Kevin and Stacy Moss are committed to resilience.
Resilient (adj.): able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions
Synonyms: strong, tough, buoyant, irrepressible.
Kevin and Stacy are special people. They're big fans of ‘Journey to the Heart,’ avid hikers, and committed to growing together. They went all in when they joined Shakti and haven't slowed down. But recently they've started to show up- like show up BIG. Their presence fills the room, their humor always brings laughter and new conversation to the front desk, and they seek sharing this practice with others.
Resilience. This is the word they repeated, weighed, and affirmed. Both came into the studio wanting to sweat (which definitely happened) but stayed for the challenge of “dropping your baggage from the day.” They referred to this as practicing resilience. Letting go of whatever is weighing heavy in your body. Sure that sounds great in words, but what is it in practice? One of the fastest way to feel lighter is to be upside down! OR simply offering yourself the opportunity to begin again. Right now....and....right now. and right now.
"It’s a crazy world we live in with all of the crazy shit that we see happening on our television and in our government. It’s a stressful time, and you can really pick up on that energy. I think that yoga is a good way to counter balance that. Just be raw with it. Everyone expects everything to be perfect all the time. When you get rubbed raw you get gratitude and humility. It's very much a humbling practice, yoga is." said Kevin.
Kevin and Stacy believe mindfulness is crucial to creating a more balanced and peaceful world right now. Kevin cited studies where yoga was introduced to prisoners rebuilding their lives and where mindfulness was brought into the lives of young girls struggling with identity crises. One Ted talk he heard explained that 90% of girls from age 11-18 are physically inactive. The woman giving the Ted talk loved running at that age but gave it up because being an athlete wasn't cool. She spiraled into an identity crisis and ultimately gave up the need to look good and recommitted to running starting a group for girls to empower themselves through exercise and goal setting. What is possible if we can shine a light on the children and adults who are struggling with feeling lost, depressed, or even just going through the motions?
GETTING TO YOUR MAT
They both wondered what is bringing people to yoga. Is it depression? wanting to be in shape? meeting new people? Or as a last resort?
Kevin has struggled with depression which led him to running. He's now sensitive to people's energy and intention whether they are running or practicing yoga. He's started to ask, what's bringing them to their mat? What is bringing you to your mat? Declaring your "WHY YOGA" is a powerful tool to recognize where your practice is empowering your life, and where you can empower others to empower their lives. It all starts with awareness and inquiry- your "WHY YOGA."
Stacy was attracted to yoga when running ran her foot straight into injury. We all have something we are good at- running maybe, negative self- talk, playing tennis, overloading your google calendar, et cetera...and can you be honest with yourself enough to see when it's causing you suffering? Suffering is defined by dictionary.com as "feeling pain or distress." Can you give up what you must to soften the suffering and find something new? In Stacy's case that is yoga, a handstand workshop, participating in Ruby's "The Work" workshops, and taking her practice out of the studio in her back yard.
I've learned to be thankful for my foot.. all the things I would’ve never found if it hadn't hurt.
She's able to see where her body hurts, where she's being challenged in muscle groups never used before, and how to shift her perspective to a place of gratitude and not competition.
Begin again. Begin again when your body is asking you to. Begin again when your heart is telling you "this isn't working." Begin again and be open to something you haven't even imagined yet.
BEING IN THE WORK TOGETHER
"We've driven here not even wanting to be in the same car, you know," said Stacy.
"...Really?" Kevin replied.
"But when we leave we're totally fine. The days you don't want to come to yoga you have to!"
One of Kevin's co-workers asked him if having a common interest with Stacy has brought them closer together.
"Anything you can do together is going to strengthen a relationship and create a stronger bond. I would encourage couples to come and stick to it for 5 or 6 months and see what happens. Don't expect it to change in a week. You gotta create depth and get those miles beyond you. You can see some of the work pay off, and it touches all parts of your life."
Power yoga isn't a cooking class. When I say that I mean it may not produce something you can see directly after the first practice. Yoga is a journey with side roads, highways where you cruise sometimes in a handstand, it could have potholes like on the days you can hardly manage one chaturanga. Maybe you will connect to your vitality instantly and that is powerful, but this work is truly profound if you dedicate yourself to it steadily over days, months, or years. Every time you get on the mat you're reminded of your connection to your body, your community, your partner if he or she is present, and your connection to this moment- exactly as it is and as it is not.
For those that have a regular yoga practice, you may experience all kinds of thoughts and sensations in Savasana, Corpse Pose. Some days your body goes right into rest and relaxing and other days your mind is constantly at work, depriving you of presence and peace. Getting still is a challenge for a lot of people, whether it's Savasana or meditation. When you find stillness there's three options: run, fight, relax. You always have the power to choose and you have the tools to find enjoyment in stillness if you open yourself to the possibility of enjoyment.
“I think savasana is a special part of the practice... emotions come up when you put in all the work into something and you realize "oh I don't know what's going on with my body but all of a sudden I feel emotional. Thoughts come in and thoughts come out- abstract things you haven't thought about come to the surface. Just observe it and get through it,” said Kevin.
Stacy compared this to Chair Pose- some days it's a breeze and other days you may play "it can't last forever" on loop in your head. When you find stillness there's three options: run, fight, relax. You always have the power to choose and you have the tools to find enjoyment in stillness if you open yourself to the possibility of enjoyment.
Resilience! Shifting your energy over and over again until you're showing up exactly how you want to.