My first regular yoga gig
“Am I a man who has just awaken from a dream of being a butterfly, or am I a sleeping butterfly now dreaming he is a man?” -Zhuangzi
It’s been over 2 months since I returned from my yoga-training trip to India. Weirdly, my yoga practice has taken a back seat to several other activities. Or should I say my “external” (physical) yoga practice has taken a back seat to my “internal” (psychological and subtle) yoga practice? Let me explain.
Similar to how a caterpillar dissolves into a primordial soup that is rearranged to produce a butterfly, I feel as if my journey was the beginning of my own metamorphosis, with the last couple of months since my return being the end of this process. I’ve been practicing swadhyay (realizing my potential in the context of my abilities and situation), ahimsa and satya (loving-kidness and honesty), aparigraha (minimizing material and mental clutter), santosha (contentment), and trikaldarshi (awareness of the passage of time).
Somehow, this process has resulted in me being more myself. I’m still the same guy I was before, but clearer in my goals as a patent attorney, musician, significant other, and yoga teacher. I’m working more efficiently (and closer to getting my green card), I’m writing more music and playing more shows, going deeper with my girlfriend (we’re traveling to Guatemala next month), and just scored my first regular gig as a yoga teacher in DC!
The yoga teaching is particularly exciting, as it embodies my dream of being a renaissance man in today’s complicated world. Not only can I travel with my current patent attorney gig, I can travel and teach universally accessible yoga! Also, not only will this new yoga teaching gig provide valuable experience, it will also help me tweak my “product” that I will offer worldwide.
The new teaching gig is at Quiet Mind Yoga, soon to be renamed Kali Yoga, in Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C. Similar to my other yoga efforts, this will be donation-based, with proceeds going towards similar yoga outreach efforts. This also embodies the concept of Karma yoga, or performing one’s duty without any expectations of material gain. Although I’m aware that at some point I’m going to want to sustain my life by teaching yoga, the free / donation / pay-what-you-can model appears to have worked in some cases.
The content of the class will be tailored to be universally accessible. Since my students are likely to be educated city-dwelling office-workers, I’m going to give them a bit of a workout to stimulate blood flow and body awareness, and introduce some specific asanas and pranayamas to burn away toxins. I’m also going to focus on bhavas or attitudes of action, as taught to me at the Yoga Institute, specifically: acceptance of one’s dharma (or duty), and maintaining equanimity and a balanced state of mind in overstimulating situations. Finally, the class include short discussion portions where I’m going to encourage students to share their thoughts, with the belief that the lesson is not what the teacher conveys to the students, but what the students collectively understand based on their own backgrounds. Plus, collaboration is connection, which is one of the definitions of yoga, no?