Return is ready to open the doors at 6:30 am this Tuesday. I am eager, and I am afraid, but I have figured out that the two usually go together. That if it is really happiness, if you are really growing, there will be an element of poignant, gut grabbing panic. It doesn't mean stop. It means you're on to something important. There have been a few questions sent along. About what kind of yoga I teach, what classes will be like, whether yoga is right for all the various 'me's out there.
The short answer is this: our medicine, our psychology, and our culture have accepted yoga as mainstream. We know that it improves health and deters decline associated with aging. We know that it works to combat cardio-vascular disease (America's big number one); mitigate stress, depression, and anxiety (the numbers two and three); improve concentration and sense of wellbeing; heighten performance and reduce rates of injury and illness. It is not a religion, although it has aspects of spirituality. It is not a workout nor a diet and fitness plan, although there are elements of those things as well. Yoga is, at it's heart, a proven set of practices designed to make human beings find and follow their own highest potential and step into their authenticity.
Return practices that, over the currently popular 'power yoga' classes that are very much like jazzercise and will, sooner or later, lose it's fad appeal.
Because I teach that, my classes start from the belief that any body can practice yoga. You do not need to be in shape nor have a super healthy body. You do not need to have any experience. You don't need balance or flexibility and you do not need to know a thing. The 'healing' classes, in particular, are intended to be open to bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.
Also because I teach a yoga of authenticity, I teach 'strong' classes that are challenging and demanding. More demanding, probably, than the power yoga class taught at the gym. You will not do crunches and we will not talk about your abs. But I will provide a framework for you to chisel out your own relationship with your body, figure out what you are capable of, and be more healthy five years from now than you are today. Keep practicing, and you will be more healthy 25 years from now than you are today. I will teach you inversions and arm balances and deep backbends. I will push and you will sweat. If you're an athlete, you'll learn how to detoxify your body post work-out and bring more proprioceptive facility to your time off the mat.
The practices are deeply healing and a private experience of accountability, growth, and self revolution. They go deep. But they also can be taken small, tiny small pieces at a time. You take what you want. You practice when you can. If what you want is an hour to yourself, it is that. If you want to sweat and stretch and literally change the edges of what you are capable of, it will be that. It will help heal what is wounded and bring your body to its most alive expression, most productive state. It will be both inspiring and soothing. A yoga practice is both solace and new challenge.
That is the yoga I teach. And I am excited to teach it in St. Cloud.