What’s your favorite part of your work?
My favorite part of the work is when I am able to witness someone who was skeptical and negative be overcome by the breathing practice, and layers and layers of false personality peel off leaving them like, is a sense a newborn child. Everything suppressed arises and with it- stunning insight. And as an outside witness you can see this happen and watch the expressions on their face as they see life itself from a completely new perspective and are humbled by it. This kind of experience is usually followed by immediate expressions of kindness toward others and gratitude for life.
What’s your least favorite part of your work?
Being crammed in a long aluminum tube and shot through the atmosphere amidst diet Pepsis and iPads. There is not much room in airplanes these days but especially not for people who are 6’5″. So I think of it as my bed of nails, can I sit still for several hours in these circumstances and be happy inside?
What still excites you and keeps you engaged with teaching yoga?
What excites me is that I am witnessing people in the corporate world finally realizing that their lifestyle that they adhere to is completely unsustainable to their nervous system. Even at the highest levels, CEOs understand that they are about to snap. They haven’t slept a decent nights sleep in years and something has to give. So there is a willingness now, even in the deep corridors of the corporate world to try new techniques that five years ago they would have scoffed at. They are not only willing to try them, but once convinced they are of value, they are willing to help spread the teachings to others.
If you didn’t teach yoga, what else would you do?
I suppose I would teach a similar paradigm like Chi gong. But if you took out teaching is an option, I think I would compose and record music as that is a deep love of mine. When I am crammed into an aluminum tube hurtling through the atmosphere it is one of the things that I do in my mind. Because I’m able to compose and arrange multiple instruments sitting quietly with my eyes closed.
What are you excited about learning next?
I’m excited about the true, healthy merging of technology and health related practices. We are just touching on it now and much of what we have is nonsense. But there are some ways of utilizing the new information technology, particularly in an office space, that will help us be healthier physically and mentally.
What’s your finest advice for a newer teacher?
Be humble. You are a servant/leader, and not a Messiah. You are not an entertainer, you are an educator and a guide. Keep your personality out of it as much as possible. Teach from a universal platform so that everyone from a grandmother to a soldier with PTSD will feel welcome and at home in your class. Teach by example.
Evolutionary biology or god(s)?
Without being flippant, I think the answer is… yes. The theory of evolution is still a theory, people forget that. It is only partially proven and not a complete system. It is obvious that evolution has taken place but some of it is so complex it makes no sense that it would involve through happenstance and chance. It could have been programmed by a more evolved species. Honestly, we humans will probably be able to seed a planet with evolving forms of life within 100 years. God? I am absolutely certain that there is a universal intelligence that is benevolent and that we can be in communion with it, and are at our best when we strive to be and are in union.
Photo credit: Sandy Kavalier