Another F#cking Growth Opportunity
As many of you know, my brother Kyle and I have been recently displaced, having successfully terminated our lease at the mold house…bouncing between the bed of the truck and a series of hotels I’ve really come to appreciate little things like hot showers and reliable places to sh!t.
I was spreading a couple of bleached white towels on the floor of another hotel room to practice a bit the other day when the memory of a very special class I taught way back in the day came to me…
My good buddy – and famous pastor – Hugh Halter and I had ran into each other at an antique mall (long story there)…
“Dude!” He said. “I was just thinking about you!”
We laughed and hugged while our respective others perused and picked through the various bins and shelves of old crap around us.
“Yeah?” I wondered back at him. “Any particular reason?”
Him and I went way back to my Corepower Yoga days where he had suffered through yoga sculpt, and sweating buckets in heated power yoga classes with me.
“Yup, I want you to teach to my guys…”
“I’m in,” I replied without thinking much about what exactly he meant.
More accurately I didn’t think about it at all – we had one of those instant kinships and I trusted his intuition.
As we planned class over the coming months I learned that he was – and is – something of a big deal in the Christian community (check him out if you lean that way)…turns out he ran a retreat for other pastors from around the country and he wanted me to teach them some yoga while they stayed at his property for a week because he felt like we delivered essentially the same message by different means.
Perseverance. Acceptance. Community.
I learned a lot from Hugh in that prep time – he’d written several books and I had just put out the first of mine…
He modeled for an online class of mine that I called, “The Difference Between Belief and Faith”…
And, he also had a world class whiskey tasting room built into his barn, and biceps bigger than mine.
From such ingredients fast and lasting friendships are born, and we still have intentions of co-authoring a book together on the parallels of our respective teachings – the intersection of yoga and Christianity.
Fast forward to the day before our class with his guys…
“Hey, man,” I had the last-minute foresight to ask, “what are these guys gonna do for yoga mats?”
He laughed while I waited for his answer.
“I told ‘em all to bring two towels with ‘em…”
I waited some more…
“They’re gonna do yoga on two towels on the ground in your horse arena?” I asked when he didn’t offer any other comment.
“Yup,” he said back.
“Works for me.”
Back in my hotel, I hit my towels – my temporary mat – and considered those 40 Christian Pastors from around the country sweating away in Hugh Halter’s shit-strewn field…I did some plank and some push-ups, couple stretches and a surrender series realizing that sometimes we have to really want the practice and sometimes that’s not super easy.
Sometimes you have to want the practice more than the inconvenience.
It’s easy to chalk up another day off to less than optimal conditions. It’s easy to skip an extra push-up, or ditch your discipline because things are less than perfect.
But it’s precisely the times when circumstances are less than perfect that you need the mental fortitude that the yoga practice uniquely provides the most.
Like deciding to stop hauling water because the house has caught fire.
I laughed as I did some of my discipline remembering Hugh Halter, the lessons he taught me, and his guys doing chaturanga push-ups with their noses literally in shit…
(I actually stooped down in the middle of a flow to pick-up and throw a particularly gnarly looking pile away for one guy.)
His guys were so happy, thrilled even to be challenging their bodies – many of them for the first time in a long time – and stretching their minds at the same time.
They gave me sweaty hugs and bought my book after. One of them pressed a twenty dollar bill into my palm as he shook it…
I remembered them with a smile and great appreciation of the lesson they had lastingly imparted to me as I avoided touching the disgusting hotel room floor – hotels that allow dogs are a god-send to dog owners, but they don’t do much more than vacuum after – digging deep into a well of gratitude that seems to lie at the bottom of every challenge and emotion…
At least if you dig long and deep enough, beneath the shit is an appreciation and a learning that seems to only come from one helluva tough process.
When you’ve hit some shit, don’t despair – it just means there’s some serious learning to be done there.
AFGO as the saying goes.
And, especially when times are tough, get your ass in a class! I’ve specifically recorded some super short ones ranging from 5 – 10 minutes for just such an occasion as often arises in life when we somehow convince ourselves that, “we don’t have time for yoga.”
Making time for the practice is time for yourself and you’re well worth the investment. Don’t wait, make a deposit in the piggy bank of consciousness today…
With love from a park in sunny Seal Beach…
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Justin “Jud” Kaliszewski is the best-selling yoga teacher and renowned creator of Outlaw Yoga. Author. Artist. Adventurer. Though his studio is currently closed per state order, you can still take his class NOW at outlawyogaclub.com and www.youtube.com/outlawyoga. Find his writing and art at www.justinkaliszewski.com and his presence all over the internet – for an outlaw, he’s shockingly easy to get ahold of.