Laughter really and truly is the best medicine. As I’ve gone through my various practices of coming into my own sense of joy and well-being, I have really been taken by how…seriously…we take joy. As though I can squeeze happiness out of my third eye with enough scrunching and focus or I can breathe a little louder and suck joy in through my teeth and if I do that enough – I’ll wake up joyful tomorrow.
I am not denying (and never could) the deep benefits of profound and unwavering concentration through various meditative and healing practices. I embrace and love my moments of deep reflection and quiet. I take them every day. It is important to take the meditative and healing journey to the self seriously and clear out the garbage with zeal and focus. There is ALWAYS a time and space for that deep emotional healing that we all absolutely must do to get to the root of our pain, unearth it, and ultimately let it go.
What I’m speaking more to here is that sensation I’m sure we’re all sometimes hit with when you walk into new a yoga class and everyone sizes you up. You’ve never been here before and no one knows how connected you are or how bendy your back is and they’re ready to eat you up. Somehow, your journey represents a direct threat to their own. The room is silent and everyone goes inward and for the whole class, it’s fierce competition. Frustration is palpable when folks topple out of Ardha Chandrasana and look around shamefully to ensure no one saw it.. they leave class without seeing or speaking to any one else they’ve just spent 90 minutes sweating with. Or maybe you make a friend at the top of class, but you feel that because you didn’t wrap your leg around your head or wanted to take it easy today because you’re tired, they are no longer interested in you by the end of class. Like somehow, you’re not up to their standard.. though again, you’ve just spent 90 minutes sweating and wiggling in a hot room with them.. think about the joy and silliness inherent in those last few words. I’ll wait..
This attitude just ain’t right y’all. I’m personally on a mission to blow it limb from limb. My approach is simple. Laugh. Giggle. Smile. Scream. Explode with joy and bliss. Let everyone feel the safety to do the same by shamelessly being in your yoga. If you fall – fall! Do it big, laugh as the earth catches you and you’re are able to get up and try again. If you can’t reach your toes- reach for your toes! If your neighbor has her face buried between her knees and that makes you say “damn girl! I want to do that!” just say it – she’ll feel good and you’ll get it out so you can go back to your knees. If you just need to lay down, by god just lay down. If you’re slipping in sweat (hopefully mostly your own) and your down dog is looking more like “dog on a frozen lake” – envision it. Have giggle, wipe that mat down and come on back. This asana is YOURS and you don’t have to be anything other than the absolute truest version of yourself. Because I am. I’ll tell you to get your ass up in your down dog, I’ll ask you to pop n’ lock in utkatasana until you understand your pelvic tilt or stop riding durty in dandasana. I’ll tell you that it should burn but if it really truly sucks and you hate it and you can’t stop thinking about how much you hate it, get out of boat pose and back up. Holy – if you fart in happy baby? HA! Please know I’m going to laugh because it’s funny – not as something you should be ashamed of but you’re releasing sooooo much and I know – I know – that felt good.
Y’all – I’ve done it all and will continue to. I know what it’s like to be in the weird judgey class, or feel like the fat kid because I’m only here to work off my 3 layer chocolate cake I ate for breakfast. I know what it’s like to think I’m super nasty sweaty or hate my panty lines I know are showing because there’s a super bendy shirtless nom man behind me and UGH. I GET IT. Get REAL.. I don’t care why you’re here. I don’t care how advanced or beginner you are. I don’t care if you ate a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s for lunch (ok – no that I do care about.. stop that.. ) or if you’re the strictest vegan in the western hemisphere and you’re on the FBI watch list to prove it. I don’t care why you’re here – I care you ARE here. That you came and you’re going to go in and clear out the garbage and get joyful with you. Be honest with yourself and the class will provide you with what you need because it’s yours from the moment you walked in. Be real. If you want to get real with yourself, start by being real. I promise – we’re all gonna be alright.
I’ll sweat with you, I’ll swear for you when you need to, I’ll laugh with you when you topple over and high five you when you reach for the sky. I’ll scream and ask you do the same. I’ll crack terrible jokes because I’m good at it and act a fool to get you to LET GO of how serious the challenge is and GIVE IN to the joy of doing it. While the results and gifts of your practice are damn serious, they’re also incredibly fun and inspiring and silly. You have to CELEBRATE the process so you can just BE joyful instead of wasting time trying to get to joyfulness by thinking your way through your practice. I love it when people fall in my class because that’s our chance – right there – to try again and reevaluate. That’s our chance! Like LAND HOE! Let’s gooooo! Smile. Have fun and seriously bro, smile. You’re doing yoga and changing your body, mind, soul and the world. It’s kind of a big deal and if you’re not stoked, you’re not doing it right. Sorry. You’re just not.
I appreciate you and celebrate you fully. If you’ve made it to the end of this post congrats! I’ll be posting video classes soon so we can practice and LAUGH together – no matter where you are.
Thank you for visiting me. Let’s get that joy locked down.
I’m proud of you – keep going.