Today we have a guest blog by one of our yoga partners Randall Buskirk.  It’s a beautiful insight as to what drew Randall to yoga and why it keeps his attention.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again–simply to be in this man’s presence is a form of meditation.  Enjoy!

 

image courtesy of Amanda Stillings

A song comes on the radio: “Life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long.” I love that feeling. We all want to be happy and free. That’s our nature.

My mode of transportation has been yoga for a number of years now. If asked how long I’ve been practicing, I can’t exactly pinpoint it. Sometimes it feels like I began just this morning. Or maybe when I started teaching in 2007. Or was it when I took my first yoga class in 2003? On the other hand, yoga is not that different from the karate and tai chi that I began practicing as a teen. And wasn’t it a kind of yoga when I worked to hone my skills and my body by swinging a baseball bat or dribbling a basketball, season after endless season, as a youth? The focus and concentration of those sports, whether trying to connect with the path of a hard grounder or calm my mind while shooting free throws, are also needed for a headstand. And that meditation book I picked up in high school, along with the books filled with Zen and Chinese philosophy that blew my mind wide open then—for that matter, all the books I’ve read, whatever the subject, are a form of meditation. As for the central components of yoga—passion and the heart—they’ve always been the power behind the countless hours I’ve played guitar, from garage bands to kirtan.

When I found this thing called “yoga,” I realized I had found another word for me, for my life, that encompassed everything. I can’t not do yoga. It’s yoga when I’m practicing Sun Salutations, playing a sport, resting on my back, standing in the grocery line, strumming a guitar, driving down the highway, having a conversation, eating, reading, or simply breathing.

And if I’m doing yoga like that, then so is everyone around me. Sometimes we formalize that practice and relationship by calling it a yoga class. For that I thank my teachers Betsey Downing, Jaye Martin, and all the great Anusara Yoga teachers for the alignment-based hatha yoga method I practice and teach. It’s a method that makes so much possible, like a GPS system that helps me locate myself and shows me how to get where I want to go. It’s all about this: a soft and open heart; a clear, sharp mind; and a vibrant, strong and flexible body. These qualities will always serve you and, more importantly, empower you to serve others. That’s what I hope to pass along, whether in a class or anywhere else along the highway. To offer a map and fuel your journey with passion, whether you’re driving full-speed ahead or stopping to enjoy the scenic view. To help you realize your ultimate freedom and happiness, because that’s your true nature.

Lauren
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