Would You Laugh If

Burnt my toast this morning and for some odd reason I remembered a phrase I heard in a workshop last weekend with Bryan Kest.  I’ve meant to blog about this but forgot about it.

It was the first time I took a class from Bryan Kest… have been curious for a long time since I’ve heard he’s another favorite amongst the power yogis.  I would describe him as the Dr. Seuss of yoga with a bad  mouth.   That cat rhymes everything in class and swears freely… “hand to the sky, way up high.  Look down low, flow you go.  Chin to the mat, heart to the sky, butt way up high…”  It was something to that effect for the whole class which was about 2 hours long.  I wasn’t annoyed but rather intrigued at how he was able to do all that and choreograph the whole class into one smooth flow.  The class wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be but it was definitely good.

My burnt toast reminded me of when we were in happy baby pose.  I don’t remember exactly what he said about happy babies while we were in this pose, but then he told us to grab our big toes and straighten our legs and said “now that’s happy husband version.”  I bursted out laughing as some others did too.  Some looked at their neighbor and made a face.  Some just stared up into the ceiling thinking who knows what.

photo credit: http://flic.kr/p/6CfJoU

I don’t know if I would ever say such a bold statement if I didn’t know all the students in there.  After I left the studio, there was a parking ticket waiting for me at my car!  The first thing that came out of my mouth was F@#! followed by a big laugh that probably sounded like “why me?!”.  Now I know why he said it.  During class he kept emphasizing that there should be a battle going on when we’re on our mat.  The way of the yoga warrior is the battle between wisdom and vanity or fear and truth.  The practice teaches us to become aware of the qualities we strengthen when we’re on the mat.  Do you strengthen compassion, competitiveness, frustration, or humility when you’re holding a pose?  I’ve been asking this question a lot this past week, “How does a yoga pose make you a better person?”  The happy husband pose popped into my head and I laughed a big belly laugh and shrugged off that ticket.  I could either go into a story about the “why me” of the ticket which would probably bring up something that happened yesterday that I didn’t deserve which would probably bring back the time when my best friend betrayed me in 5th grade which would probably send me back to the time when my dad took me to the dentist when I really wanted my mom to go with me instead because she was much more comforting and now I’m left feeling so unwanted and alone.   Now can you imagine how the person who was offended by his happy husband pose could’ve gone into a whirlwind of stories?  It’s our choice.  It all boils down to (as Bryan said) “It’s a yoga buffet.  Eat what you want and leave the rest.”

That day I learned how to strengthen my sense of humor!

When I burnt my toast, the first thing that came out of my mouth was F&*$ and instead of staying in that attitude, I laughed a big laugh, scraped off the burnt areas and put a ton of butter on it 🙂

14 thoughts on “Would You Laugh If

  1. Great post Nikki. Laughter is such an important part of yogic release and it seriously (no pun intended) makes the little nuances of life just that “little”. As for Bryan Kest, I totally get what you mean by his rhymes, I think I noticed that for the first time when I was in his classes last month in SM. And then he throws in an F bomb here and there to keep your ears perked, haha. Great yogi!

  2. ha! that’s great….the other day in class, i got tongue-tied trying to say “happy baby” and “dead bug” at the same time and it came out “happy bed pose”…sometimes you just gotta roll with it…

    love your blog! it lights me up!

  3. I think your classes are more chanllenging than Bryan Kest sometimes! But his yoga studios by donation only at Santa Monica have the best yoga classes ever! They have so many awesome yoga teachers!

    • One day I will make it to his studio to try it out. Does he rhyme there too? 🙂 I’ve been thinking about you and your coworkers and will post more 1 hr podcasts soon 🙂

  4. Maharani Dawn says:

    Your blog came in useful on Monday evening. Yoga has taught me to let it go. Just like we are asked to let it go after each posture, in life I’m also learning to let go. Guess next step is to learn to laugh at what life has to offer.

    • It tickles me happy how we all are so much alike but yet so different. Laughter has definitely gotten me thru a bunch of crap. If anything, I often laugh at myself. Thanks for reading and chatting…

  5. Thank heavens for you Nikki! I took a workshop with him a year ago and literally was in giggles the WHOLE time (to the point of squeals and tears) b/c of the rhyming talk. I told people he taught like Dr. Suess too… it drove me crazy and all I could do is try to second guess what his next word would be: “put your foot right up there” next will be…. “bring your ass into the air”

    I like your respose to his class.. mine was VERY different because he was extremely disrespectful to those of us in the workshop keeping us there an hour longer b/c he wanted to hear his own voice, taking text messages, yelling at people. I thought his vinyasa was quite uninventive and despite the fact that he touted it as “the hardest class you’ll ever take,” thought it was mellow.

    Thanks for validating that I wasn’t crazy to think he was rhyming and being the only other person I know who has noticed this silliness.

    • He did go over 30 minutes… Prob why I got a parking ticket cause I was at a meter lol. I left not hating or loving the class. There were no assistants and I like to go to workshops to get those yummy assists. I’m curious to see what he’s like in a regular class.

  6. Great post Nikki. I think a spontaneous or skillfully placed F-Bomb can be super powerful in an I-don’t-take-myself-too-seriously sort of way. And it just cracks me up. Bryan Kest sounds like fun.

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