Last weekend was the kickoff weekend of my month long “beach yoga” teaching journey in beautiful Bradley Beach, NJ.
It was a success.
I met great people. Had some return students who liked the first class and came back in the evening. We call that a “double” in yoga..aka impressive! I met some awesome folks from LA, some week long vacationers and Meg, a blond sun kissed college beauty/ badge collector and resident of Bradley Beach for 20 years.
With mainly beginners I needed to stress ” It’s about the journey, not the destination. It’s the joy in doing, not finishing. Alot of new students who are in shape and do other exercises i.e run, surf, bike…want to immediately take themselves into the full expression of the pose, which is OK.. I see passion, determination and desire, but usually they learn over time its about patience and breathing and practice to get into a pose and FEEL GOOD , not jamming your neck into the mat to rock shoulder stand!
I spent alot of time getting the word out to local residents via social media encouraging those who have never done yoga, beginners and seasoned practicioners to join me in open level classes on the beach. I worked closely with the Bradley Beach Recreation Department to get this underway…thank you to the lovely and supportive Cynthia Brady, Director of Bradley Beach Recreation, and I knew from the start that I wanted to raise money for the recreation department, therefore all proceeds are donated between the town and an amazing organization called Prajjali, who funds yoga classes for war veterans through the sale of multi pass yoga passes that you can use to take classes at any partnering studio. Check it out @ http://www.Prajjali.com.
So, I encourage you to come try a class if your in the area. Worst comes to worst you don’t like it. Right? You tried it and now you can just lie on your back and listen to the waves…some music…and create some stillness in your mind until class is over.
PS: you don’t need a badge at my class times(;
But if your ready to try here is a final disclaimer…Yoga is not easy. Period. Even the most gentle, meditative classes are challenging BECAUSE it is so difficult to let go of our thoughts and be in the moment and sit in stillness…meditate. But do not let this dissuade you. I was so thankful for those who decided to try something new this weekend and take my classes but I did hear from a few that “I thought we would just sit and stretch… this was hard!” I believe challenge is good and pain is temporary. Trust me. You will feel better than when you started.
So…if it is the word “challenging” that is bothering you? Listen here. This is the part which holds most of us back from taking our first class. We must remember that many things challenge us and call on us to make a decision about whether we should continue or walk away. We’re hard wired for survival, right? Fear is a built-in mechanism to tell us something is not quite right. When we don’t heed those warnings we can get into trouble. People it’s just yoga! Do not be afraid!
At the same time, our minds have an uncanny ability to talk us out of a challenge before we have even tried it. We can conjure just about any type of scenario until the mind says: “See what can happen? Don’t try that!” I’ll hurt my neck!” Where is the line between honoring innate fear to protect ourselves and denying our ability to try? Thus….how much of a role does ego play?
I know and YOU know, that ego tells us we must have worthiness. It is in that walk to headstand that my ego begins to communicate. What if I fall? I’ll look silly in front of others. Every time I demonstrate to class my ego does this. It happened at my 9 am class today while teaching tripod headstand. What if I can’t get my legs in the air? I’ll look weak in front of others. i sweat and I shake although I know I can do it. Never mind nearly everyone else is thinking the same, ego-driven thoughts. So what if we remove the ego? What if we accept ourselves for who and what we are? What if we love and appreciate our abilities, strive to try new things, step out of our comfort zones and let whatever happens happen?
Well peeps…this is courage. Courage is not born from ego, it comes out of our true nature, our inner spirit, where fear of failure and need for validation do not exist. Ego would prefer you ignore truth and work only to fill its desires for acceptance and worth. Courage assures you that you are worthy.
So come on out and take a class this weekend @ the Fourth Ave Beach Entrance in Bradley Beach @ 7-8 am, 8-9 am and 6-7 pm!!
Be Courageous! Tell that Ego to take a hike.. Your doing yoga!
Lastly thank you to my support team, Randy, Allison, Andie, Adam, Lauren, Kelly, Chris, Hank, and the person I will always call my guru.. Elissa.