When Sharath Jois observes students moving beyond his count in a led class, he asks "Why you hurry?" It is an honest inquiry, some lighthearted fun, as well as a reminder to slow down, be present, and move when you’re told. His tone is serious yet playful. He is commanding, but he also leaves some room for student error. Sharath is not after perfection. He simply wants to know that you’re doing your very best, whatever that may look like. Are you trying? Are you really trying? Try a little harder.
So what made Miami so incredible? Of course, Sharath was amazing. His calm, sense of humor, knowledge and ease was an inspiration. The 400+ yogis from all over the world, coming together in spiritual practice, was so cool. Laying in the sun and getting tanned on the beach was long-overdue. Eating authentic eggplant parmesan at Fratelli la Bufala with Lisa was delicious, fun and well deserved. All of these things were great. The best thing, however, was coming home!
It’s easy for me to get caught up in life, to forget why I'm getting on my yoga mat everyday. Practice can become mundane and forced. I lose sight of the divine and become heavily focused on the physical movements of my Ashtanga practice. Before I left for Miami, even though I was practicing daily, I was feeling disconnected, worn out, and rather unenthusiastic. When I focus my attention on gaining spiritual wisdom rather than letting it come naturally, disconnection happens. When I work to advance within my practice rather than being content where I am, I become worn. When I make excuses not to practice because of sickness, or injury, or a hectic schedule, my enthusiasm gets lost. For me, the best part of this trip was a reminder that what I’m seeking is right in front of me. Sometimes, I just need to slow down, be present and take notice. As Sharath says, “Why you hurry?”
So, I woke up early this morning, heavy with fatigue. Yet my excitement to go downstairs and get on my yoga mat overpowered my tired body. I sat in our studio, sunshine on my face, eyes closed. I felt restored. I felt clear. My connection to the practice felt new and magical. I was comfortable and happy being exactly where I was. Sharath’s words “Why you hurry?” were on repeat in my mind. The realization of having no where to go, no goals to meet, and no need for advancement set me free. In that moment, everything felt exactly as it should.
But the real highlight of my trip was the realization that the “present moment” is home. I live in Vermont and teach yoga. But my real home is the present, and my real job is not to hurry…
And to hang out with this dude.