Last weekend I attended Erich Schiffmann’s ‘Freedom Yoga’ workshop at yogaview.
It was exactly what I needed in that moment in time. I’ve never been to one of Erich’s classes although he teaches at the studio in Venice Beach where I did my teacher training. He opened the three hour workshop with about 5-7 minutes of silence. He walked into the room, sat down, everyone became quiet and he just looked at every single person in the room (there was about 80 of us) and didn’t say a word…He broke the silence by saying ‘now that that is out of the way’ and then he giggled.
His main message during the workshop was: ‘Yoga is a lifestyle, not just P.E.’
He also spoke about the fact that people are constantly making assessments and judgements even if we don’t want to, or try not to, it’s a natural behavior. His advice was next time we want to judge or access a person–to instead simply think of that person as a ‘sister’ or a ‘brother.’
Some dude cuts you off on Lake Shore Drive —‘brother.’ Some girl in yoga class on the mat next to yours is checking her cellphone during savasana—‘sister.’ So simple, and yet it blew my mind how often I’ve used this advice in the last couple of days. It’s an easy way to recognize that all beings are connected (even squirrels and aliens.) If we all did that and let go of our anger, what would happen?