This past Friday night I attended a workshop that was being taught by yoga teacher extraordinaire, Jason Crandell. Jason was recently named “one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga’s future” by Yoga Journal. Jason is well know in the world wide yoga community for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga.
It was a great workshop and I was impressed with his humility and logical approach to teaching. I really enjoyed it and was disappointed that I was unable to make the rest of his classes while he was in town. The weekend was sponsored by Yoga Association of Great Detroit (YAGD) which is primarily based in Oakland County. That group of volunteers do a great job in bringing teachers of this caliber to the area.
We arrived at the workshop quite early since we were coming from Chesterfield and unfamiliar with Farmington Hills and then of course I always have to factor in time for getting lost. Good thing too because the GPS on my phone decided to take us through the scenic route and since I didn't know any better, I let it (we figured out a better route coming back).
The place was buzzing with excitement, everyone waiting to meet and greet "the star". But truth be told, in my humble opinion, the true stars of the show were some of the fellow yoga teachers and students that were there. When we came into the space we were greeted by Claudette who introduced herself and showed us around. She was pumped. You could literally feel the energy bouncing off of her. She told us that after the class, which ended at 9:30 PM, she was going dancing! She then proceeded to tell us that she just turned 70....70!!!! Wow, she had the energy of a teenager at a Justin Bieber concert.
As the room started to fill up I took note as to the ages of a good portion of the other participants, which was clearly 60 and up. In the ladies room I over heard others talking about a certain teacher who is still teaching in her 80's. This area is an older more established yoga community, yoga has been around there for quite a while which would account for this. Watching these ladies and gentlemen practice was inspiring. Yes, yes I know I was suppose to be concentrating on my own practice, but I did have to leave and go to the rest room at one point and just happened to glance here and there.
Do I really need to explain to you all what the moral of this story is? I again experienced the miracle of what this practice of yoga can do for us. I witnessed what I have been telling everyone and anyone that yoga is not just for the young and nubile.
Yes of course their bodies have changed over time but they adapted their practice to accommodate that. Jason kept on telling us all through the class to quit beating ourselves up, to accept and be proud of the bodies that we have today. He reminded us that we are already "whole" when we come to the mat. Yoga just helps bring it out of us. These beautiful, seasoned students of yoga were moving, breathing and going dancing.
It's not too late. Get off the couch, get away from the computer, stop texting so much and get on the mat....and just breathe.