Sunday, 27 March 2011

but do we have a concern for looking good?

My mother has many sayings of which I quote often. Let me list a few gems, "go out there and make a difference", "you have to have a marketable skill", "manners matter" and of course "showing up is 90% of life". In other words, my mum is always up to something big!

Saturday's Yoga Jam showed me that the message was heard loud and clear in my family. As I've written before, my brother is fighting Cancer and recently underwent surgery. His prognosis is great and certainly the disease doesn't stand a chance with a dude like him. So how does he spend his very first day out of the house after the surgery? At the Yoga Jam. Damn, that's cool. I hear so many people say they will come when they get "better at yoga", or when this happens, or that...not him. He lets nothing stand in the way of showing up, and showing up big. We need to understand deeply that yoga doesn't judge. It's a healing place, a place where we gather together in our differences, on common ground. I'm really not sure what culture was created where people stop participating because they're afraid of being judged? I admit to suffering from the same affliction. Ask me if I join mountain bike groups without any "concern for looking good", I'd likely squirm and come up with an excuse or go into a story about my inability to keep up. We are all the same on some level when faced with a fear. Can we learn from my brother? Can we up our game in honour of those who do it anyway? I'll join a mountain bike group if you come to Yoga! Deal?

Now back to the Yoga Jam. I have started on this path of offering different teachers each month and it never ceases to amaze me how the flavour changes each time. We went from a dance party to the Black Eyed Peas and practicing the "Lady Gagasana" posture with Will Blunderfield and Lara Kozan to a sweet, gentle, compassionate afternoon with Tanya Di Valentino and Colleen Felgate. All the more enhanced by the beautiful acoustic guitar by Polek and a live painting show by Kris Kupskay. The teachers brought the Yin and Yang of their very different personalities to us through their unique styles. It's amazing what manifests since I had been feeling the need for some soul nourishment with all that's happening in our world. It's damn scary out there. We may not admit it, but we're ungrounded. With disease and disaster abound I maintain that the very best place to go is to the mat. Through breath, meditation and asana we can stay present which is all we have. That's what Tanya and Colleen brought us.

It warmed my heart to see families coming together. Four members of my family, Sylvie Paré with both her daughter and mother, baby Bodhi plus 3 members of the Elmas family, Sarinda and her daughter, cousins, and friends who are like family all joint palms in a simple honouring of coming together just as we are. We can drop the concern for looking good and be up to something bigger. Let's all make a pact, the next time we say no to something, can we ask "what's standing in my way of showing up?" Trust me, when you show up it lights up my life. I love having you - all of you.


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My name is Erin Anderson, I'm in love with yoga. I found out how to love deeper, live lighter and reach further through yoga. I'm passionate about sharing just that. In order to do that, I created The Yoga Jam Events as a means to elevate spirit, cultivate community and generate abundance. Coming together in play, breath and movement we can make real impact in the world, starting in Kenya with a possibility that knows no bounds. Each Yoga Jam Event donates proceeds to the Africa Yoga Project This blog is dedicated to what I've learned along the way.
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