Tuesday, June 15, 2010
No Shirt. No Shoes. No Problem.
I just spent two weeks in Kaua'i, where I co-hosted a yoga retreat, practiced relaxing, and connected to a very special place. In Kaua'i, there is a feeling that permeates the island, inborn to the locals and infectious to its visitors. For me the feeling can be summed up in a simple motto: No Shirt. No Shoes. No Problem. The island spirit seems to welcome all people to come as they are, whether they are bronzed beach bums or uptight tourists.
I'd like to adopt some of this aloha spirit in our yoga culture. Yoga is about getting to know yourself and the world around you by practicing awareness. It's about willing to refine yourself through the transformational heat of the practice (any change, even gentle change, is refining). It's about practicing surrender and submitting to a force larger than yourself. All of this can be done from whatever place you find yourself in life. Whether you're fit or fat, got a tight butt or just tight hamstrings, stressed out or blissed out, there's a place for you in yoga. Whether you feel like you're falling apart or feel like the world is rolling your way, whether you're going through your daily ho-hum, or major changes are stretching your life, whether you're a soccer mom, a corporate bigwig, or a total wide-eyed beginner, yoga's for you. Whether it's advanced asana practice or meditation or restorative yoga, there's a practice for you.
Besides, yoga class seems to be one of those few places not proximal to the beach that can also boast the motto: No Shirt. No Shoes. No Problem.