Shut Up & Flow pt. 1
April 3, 2020 Posted by tanner Blog
Does that offend you?
Do your panties get all in a wad over it? Do you like gladiator movies?
Do you wish the owner of your yoga studio was a little less of a douche and more “grown up”?
Likely, never going to happen.
I know that I do not “fit” into the mold of a “yoga teacher”. Most people do not think I have clue about anything “yoga” and certainly do not think I represent the sanctity of the practice. I choose not blow smoke up my students @sses and pretend to have the answers on “what to do” in life. That being said, stay tuned for workshops I’m working on: “What not to [email protected] do – trust me” and “Don’’t [email protected] do that – I did and it didn’t work out so well”.
The irony is that many will flock to those teachers that personify the embodiment of what they think a yoga teacher should look like and sound like only to be duped by an inauthentic mockery that reads random quotes from Meditations on the Mat because they have nothing else to contribute of value in their own words (It is a great book by the way…).
This tickles me…
The need of the teacher to offer anything in terms of “words” has become something Western practitioners have come to expect in a yoga class, much like parishioners at a church expect a sermon.
Don’t get me wrong, an uplifting quote and a personal story shared can have an incredible impact on a class and on a student.
But… it’s not necessary.
After 10 years of owning Y2, and 15 years of practice, I came up with “Shut Up & Flow” because it summarizes what are the most fundamentally important things you need to do to maximize the benefits of your yoga practice.
For some, walking in to a yoga studio and seeing shirts and walls adorning “Shut Up” written on them may conflict with your expectations of what yoga is, or what a yoga studio should be like.
If that sounds like you, then your desire for conformity and need for others to meet your expectations in order for you to feel warm and fuzzy inside is adorable. Bless your heart.
Y2 is not about conformity, candy-coating, or bull sh!t.
When Pantanjali’s wrote the Yoga Sutra’s he gave prescriptions for achieving mastery over ones mind.
“Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodha” – Yoga Sutra 1.2
Yoga is the mastery of the operations of the mind.
Meditation, a technique of sitting quietly with focused awareness, was a key path towards achieving this mastery. However, he acknowledged the difficulty most have with finding a meditative state so he made recommendations.
To try and achieve this mastery one might attempt to just turn inward and say to their mind: “I am in control now”, to which your mind will reply “Love to see you try; give that a go and see how far you get before I take back over the reigns and you find your self Insta scrolling and Face snapping down your twitter book.”
Pantanjali realized that the chatter in one’s mind was strong and needed some way to wear it down to weaken it’s control, so he prescribed asana. Each asana varied in complexity, difficulty, and stamina. The physical practice fatigued the body and the mind into a more willing state of submission.
But, this was still not enough.
He realized trying to control the mind directly was pointless, so he came up with a hack: control the breath and you control the mind.
Simply by controlling the flow of your breath into slow inhalations and exhalations activates the parasympathetic nervous system causing your heart rate to slow, your muscles to relax, cortisol levels to drop, and fears and anxieties to fade away.
An indirect result of combining challenging asana with a focus on the breath was a spiritual practice called tapas. Tapas involves practices of self discipline (or suffering) meant to lead one to moksha, or liberation. (Yoga practice led in a room that reaches the boiling point of silicon ringing any bells?)
Essentially, tapas is consciously putting yourself through a physically and mentally challenging circumstance only to emerge on the other side still alive. You face your fears head on; you observe yourself and how you respond when you are completely out of your comfort zone; and you do it over and over again until you find yourself becoming unfazed.
You choose to walk over coals and into the flames to become forged into a bad ass mother [email protected] that becomes a little more unwavering and un-messable with.
Welcome to Y2 Yoga!
We shut up & flow because those are literally the instructions that were given!
Maybe your teacher makes you feel warm and fuzzy and maybe they don’t. At the end of the day it is not your teacher that will liberate you, but yourself through shutting the [email protected] up, moving your body, focusing on your breath and dealing with your own sh!t.
If all you want is to feel warm and fuzzy, ignore your feelings, and pretend life is a bowl of cherries then grab a glass of rose´and read greeting cards to yourself all day.
If you want to grow, then roll your mat out and practice.
Yours truly (and insincerely),
The Village Idiot
Aka Tanner Bazemore