Yesterday I started teaching yoga to students at Temple University, and it was like I had never taught yoga before.
Seriously. I have been teaching yoga for nearly 7 years, and only yesterday did I feel like I actually started teaching yoga.
That is how amazing yoga is. There is nothing like this business in the world.
The reason I am now more of a yoga teacher, is that I’ve lived more of life. I’m not only doing yoga on a mat once a day, the way I was doing it before. That is all well and good, to do yoga on your mat. It relaxes you, it calms you down, it helps you breathe. It is a really, really beautiful experience when you’re starting out.
But eventually, this practice just gets in your brain and body in a way that’s vital, and powerful, and subtle, too, and you just start recognizing that you’re doing yoga all damn day, in every frickin’ interaction, as you handle and manage everything that comes at you.
Life comes at you, and you’re the juggler, and even when those balls are hot or cold or a little greasy, you just simply breathe and juggle, juggle, juggle.
Yoga is going to change the world even more than it has already. You just watch. It’s kind of like the root of everything, the way we get out of hell, the way we stop wars, the way we make people return to love.
There’s a lot of good work being done, and about to be done.
But here’s what I want to specify, and what I shared with my students.
A lot of people who are into yoga are in it more for the “exotic” nature, the “cool factor,” the fact that everybody is doing it than they are about seeing what it really is and why it works and why it’s such a powerful practice. I mean, it doesn’t really matter how you get into this. What matters is whether it works. For me, it is never about the idea of something; it is always about whether it actually works, whether it actually helps you reach your goal. If you want something, and you want it bad, and you’re willing to try fucking everything to get that thing because you believe in that thing and you won’t stop until you find it, and then it shows up and it looks different than you thought but it’s going to solve all your problems?
You’re a fucking idiot for turning it down. You’re fucking blind.
So really, here, we’re talking about learning how to see. Not how to look, because looking is easy. Everybody looks.
We’re talking about seeing.
So what I told my students, amid a lot of friggin’ cursing, because any good yoga teacher knows how to curse, because people need to learn to listen, and when you speak from your heart and your yoni all the right words just spill out and they’re good, good words, is that all most of us are looking for in this life is to be happy. That’s really all we want.
And I told them that we have all these silly ideas of what is going to make us happy. And I know college students; I’ve taught them for years. So I told them, we think that what’s going to make us happy is making a lot of money, or getting the perfect car, or having the perfect relationship, or getting that particular person to love us, or having a lot of followers on instagram. We think that being adored by a bunch of people, having everybody think well of us, is going to make us happy. We think those stupid things are the things we need to strive for.
But happiness happens inside us, through some serious frickin’ work.
Many people pretend they’re happy. We’re all really good at pretending. Many people are good at convincing themselves of many things. Many people throw up pictures of themselves in seductive poses, or with family members, or smiling, or god knows what, and a bunch of people click “heart” under it and we just go through the fucking motions like robots when we have no idea what’s what, and we have our heads up our friggin’ assholes.
You want to do real yoga?
It’s fucking tough. You have to be a fucking warrior to do yoga. You don’t get through years of doing yoga being a fucking pussy.
(Omg, that word, pussy, I have to get to that later, because pussies are really awesome.)
People think, and oh my God, really pay attention here, sit back on your ass and put your feet on the floor and listen to this piece! Listen to this!:
People think love is weak. They think kindness is weakness.
They really do.
Oh my God, those people are so fucking stupid.
People think that a kind person, a person who is nice to everyone, a person who has a lot of love and wants to share it, and oozes with it, and also speaks softly and is really pretty (I’m not sure who I’m referencing here, just go with me) is some hippie dippie shit or something. Like, when someone says, “Love is all there is,” or “Love is all you need,” you can step all over that person. People think peacefulness, generosity, wanting-to-give-ness, is weak and you can stomp all over a person like that and do whatever you want and get whatever you want.
And baby. Whoooo. I mean, I really hope this isn’t you but can I get a nod? Can I get an acknowledgment? And then can I smack your face if you were thinking such stupid things, being a limp-dicked little boy instead of a man?
Can you get your ass over here right now so I can absolve you of such horrendous thinking?
Now. Get over here. You need a slap.
Sometimes a fucking slap upside the head makes you wake up inside. Sometimes that’s what it takes, and it’s the only time you listen, thick-headed motherfucker.
So let’s get real clear. Love is not weak. Love is not weak. Love is not weak. Love is not weak. Love is not weak. Love is not weak. Love is not weak. Love is not weak. Love is not weak.
And God is Love.
We think that only the assholes in this life are the ones with the power. The Old Testament is really good at clearing you of this ideology. The Old Testament is when God rains down like a mother figure and screams her ass off and gets everybody in line and shows everybody who is boss.
And that’s love, you see.
So yes. Love is kindness and pancakes in the morning and walks in the park. And it’s puppies! And it’s hamsters! And it’s blue skies. Love is all these things.
But Love is also going to reach out through the ether and grab you by the ear and wake you up if you’re being a dick. See? Cause this is what God does when you’re not getting the message. When you take advantage of people. When you think you run the fucking show, or that you’re in control. Love fucking steps out of the fucking clouds and smacks you over the fucking head with a hammer and knocks you down on your fucking knees and says, Who’s the boss now, honey? Wake the fuck up.
And she tastes your blood. Because that’s the only way you’re going to listen.
You’re tough enough. You can handle it. You just didn’t know. Sometimes a young man needs to know what he’s made of. He doesn’t get to menstruate, and he doesn’t get to be pregnant, and he doesn’t get to give birth, which are all the things we women get to do to feel and know our power.
So a man needs to be dropped to his fucking knees with the spirit of a dark cloud over him, and he needs to be beaten down and cracked open to understand what it really means to be alive, and he needs to beg for forgiveness and for answers, because that’s the only time he seems to know what’s fucking real, and that he’s just a fucking puppet, and he’s not running the show.
Man, back to yoga.
It makes you really calm and stress-free and peaceful inside.
But there are all these other powers that come with it, too.