This weekend I’m in San Francisco studying yoga with John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga. In the hotel room on Friday night, this movie was on. If you haven’t seen it, it’s actually pretty good. It’s the story about a woman (who got in an accident, lost her memory and every morning wakes up to the day before the accident) and the man who fell in love with her - and makes her fall in love with him everyday, again and again.
Today John was talking about the first principle of Anusara yoga and how an essential part of it is keeping yourself open like the sky. That it’s a beautiful challenge to do something like it’s the first time you’ve ever done it, every time. Instead of standing in knowing-what’s-going-to-happen-already-cause-I do-it-everyday, keeping your mind open like a beginner will shift your experience of what is possible. Maybe you will notice something different. Maybe you could fall in love with the same person in a new way every day. JUST LIKE the movie!
Every day, Mary has to come to terms with the fact that she had an accident she can’t remember, grieve the loss of her memory, her students (she’s an art teacher), herself, her life as she knew it. Every day, Henry has to give Mary (the woman he loves) the bad news, be patient as she doesn’t remember him, and slowly woo her back to him. Whoa! It’s just like the first principle.
So here’s a personal bit - I’m a performer. In general I’m more interested in new and devised work, collaborations that are born out of people’s wildest imaginings. I also am a yogi. But I don’t like to mix the two, it’s just not my thing. In French you say, ce n’est pas mon gout - literally it’s not my taste. No offense meant or taken.
I *love* Anusara. The things that make it different from other kinds of hatha yoga - to look first for the good in ourselves and others, to cultivate community, and the elegant Universal Principles of Alignment - are things that I believe in wholly. Even though it is a fairly new system of organization, it has a strong foundation and much of that strength comes from the differences and depth of talent of its community members. If Anusara is one thing, it is like a tapestry whose beauty shines because of the variety of colors and materials used. It’s warm because of the silk and strong because of the tightly woven threads.
My intention for this year is to stay open, soften my hard edges, and share generously the immeasurable love in my heart. Even as I question the motives of things having to be “fun” all the time, I know that it is part of what makes this community so rich, and it’s that same thing that encourages me to be the fullest and most authentic self that I can be.