Hey there, YogaDownload students! Today, I just want to commend you and offer you my respect. Why?
For centuries humans have told stories about leaving home and then returning... because it's very human to forget and then remember. To change and then change again. To come back around to the same spot different from who you were when you left.
If you're like me...
You may disengage from taking care of your body at times.
You may disengage from feeling love—for your partner or family or even yourself—at times.
You may forget to breathe.
You may forget to act according to your morals.
You may forget to put down your phone.
You may forget to change your sweatpants.
This is all human and it happens. But hopefully we remember and return. We atone for those mistakes. We change those pants.
So I commend you and offer you respect for all the times you come back to the things that are important to you, hopefully a bit wiser for your wandering. Cheers.
In your words, what is yoga?
Yoga is a broad set of practices that emerged from a culture and a land far from the United States. Like anything touched by humans, it has become quite messy. It means a lot of different things to different people. To some people, it means expensive leggings. To others, it means renunciation of the material world in an effort to experience oneness with God. I find it hard to encapsulate that in one definition!
I don't have an opinion about what definition of yoga is more correct or pure or anything like that. I'm just a guy from Massachusetts who has practiced and studied over the years. I know what I enjoy, which is exploring the body and focusing the mind via ultra-precise instruction in physical postures, plus some philosophizing and jokes. It helps me experience my body and focus my mind. If I'm allowed to call that yoga, that's great.
What inspires your teaching?
Students. Teaching classes has been such a blessing for me because I get to meet rad people and just be generous with them. I watch their bodies move through postures, and they write to me or talk to me about their goals and their injuries and their beliefs, and that inspires me to keep learning so I can give them something that they find valuable. Remember at the end of A Christmas Carol, when Ebenezer Scrooge is running around shouting "Merry Christmas!" and giving everyone money? That's what I want to do when I teach. That's only possible because of the students.
Do you ever watch your own classes? How is it to see yourself teaching on camera?
Yeah! Seeing myself made me feel insecure at first, but I thought "pro athletes watch playback of their own games so they can get better... if I'm serious about teaching, I should do the same." So when I watch myself or practice along with myself, I'm focused. I don't have time to get embarrassed because I'm studying. There is always so much to work on. "That cue was confusing, gotta find a new way to say it. My knee is bent right there, that was unintentional. I'm speeding up too much in this section. That cue was good, I want to remember to use it again."
But I'll be honest, no matter how much I watch myself or listen to myself, I still think my voice sounds so weird.
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