Blind Faith

Now is the time of year when everyone really misses Burning Man

Decompression is over, costumes are packed up and it’s been just enough time that you forget how goddamn annoying and expensive and dusty and irritating that Burning Man really IS

And,  like a wide-eyed teenager thinking back on prom night, the good memories override the bad as if the glitter and special chocolates are capable of sealing them into your amygdala

I’m no different, I started last weekend in a funk, feeling unstimulated and bored

But, I live in San Francisco-a land where, thankfully, miracles can happen

I just had to have faith

Sunday, I attended the movie premier and performance by The Yard Dogs Road Show -a self-described ‘love letter from the bordello of your imagination’ YardDogs

The movie tells the story about a group of freaks and performers and musicians who travel around without much sense of where they are going or what will happen but they know DO they will look fabulous once there (sound familiar?)

This inspired the creativity in my brain to come back to life after months without sewing or gluing ANYTHING

For my body-I did the following:

Harmonia1Every year, I teach a Hoop Asana class for Yoga for Hope-an event that raises money for City of Hope a group of treatment centers that focus on both mind and body for cancer research

The amazing DJ who spins at this event is Eric Monkhouse a funky dude who blends alot of shakti into his mixes

Now, he is the studio director of Harmonia Marin so a friend of mine and I decided to check out his ‘Permission Flow’ class

Lucky for me, my friend is Brazilian and up for anything so she joined me for this unique experience

We walk in to this gorgeous, serene space-a historic recording studio made into a yoga studio and spa space, part wooden rustic barn, part modern-Zen

Eric offers us blindfolds which we slip on an allow ourselves to surrender to the expericnce

At first, moving without sight feels disconcerning then freeing

Every breath is amplified as he encourages us to move in what ever way feels right

Our movements begin small, safe, careful

But, as the music started to pulse-tribal drum beats thumping and serene vocals that invoke that gorgeous fierceness of the Divine Feminine-our movements started to match it

And our poses became more bold

One of my teachers, Janet Stone, always says ‘If you’re afraid of how you look-close your eyes and no one can see you
EricMonkhouseThe blindfold, while at first feeling limiting, becomes freeing

Once I face the immediate challenge to my Ego, l am able to transcend-like Lord Shiva as Nataraja standing on the dwarf that represents our ignorance

The misunderstanding and disconnect from the truth that we are all Divine beings

Once we released the grip Ego had on the practice,  we were able to move like strong tribal warriors

Stomping and shaking but also swirling and melting

Instead of the teacher directing the class with a pre-conceived set of poses, Eric allowed us to honor the wisdom of our bodies and move however we wanted

It felt like a great afternoon on the Playa where the sun is beating down and your skin is warm and the music feels like the whole earth is throbbing underneath you

That moment when you feel confident in your body and trust its direction to shake it however you want

As the beat crescendoed, Eric encouraged us to pick up our feet and jump

Fear melted away as we pounded the floor then finally slowed our bodies with the cadence of the music

By the time our hour was up and we were asked to sit or lay in meditation, I felt as worked as any hot, sweaty vinyasa class

Eric finished by having us offer up our experiences if we wished

The only thing I could say was ‘It felt like Burning Man‘-which in my opinion is the highest compliment to give

So, if you’re feeling uninspired in your yoga practice (or just in life) go check Eric out to have your Burning Man experience

(Minus the dust, long lines, and sometimes horrible music)

Now I have faith

“Tell your body that it is strong, tell your mind that it is strong, and have unbounded faith and hope in yourself.”
Swami Vivekananda 

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