A little somethin’ somethin’

3 Dec

There is a reason why Rusty’s classes are packed with a cult-like following. Why people hover around after class like love stricken teenagers. Why taking his class at Yoga Tree is like jumping into a can of sardines (sometimes that fragrant too). And there’s a reason I’m willing to drive all the way to the city to join in.

Rusty’s classes are challenging. He is able to mix up vinyasa, long holds, inversions, in an intelligent way that works for my body. It’s never really predictable or repetitive. Rusty’s execution is impeccable. He seems to have things planned ahead, yet they flow effortlessly as if he were teaching from a stream of consicousness. He knows how and when to tell a joke and he knows his audience. His music always rocks and his group of students are fabulous.  The man can sing…. it’s beautiful. There’s something though, that Rusty brings to class that’s more than all of that.

Personally, I need to work with tapas, to burn through all of my crap and find the bliss underneath. I find that when I take class, the teacher will usually do one of two things: they will either fail to encourage me to my edge at all, or I get to the edge and while I’m deep inside all of my junk, class is over. With a lot of yoga teachers, they seem to know how to face their demons and go deep into the practice, but not how to find what is underneath it all. I have trouble believing that yoga  is really, truly working for them. When I feel yoga working, it’s able to bring me to the work, the sweat, and emotional crap, work through it, and find the happiness and love underneath. I think a lot of teachers fail to get us deep enough to find the bliss.

I take class from Rusty and I become a believer all over again. I get to the edge of the cliff in my practice, toes hanging over the edge thinking, “here I am, I’m done”. Usually I am done, but in Rusty’s class he’ll come by with a smile and playfully say, “Come on, give a little somethin”….  He knows just when and how to coax it out of me and I find myself believing again. I’m able to open my eyes and step over the edge as if it were a fun game. Just when I’m done physically, wondering if I’m going to land with a thud, we’re done. Instead of leaving in that limbo, there’s this very soft, light parachute – landing. Right into a pool of bliss. Just when I’m blissed out, thinking that it doesn’t get any better, there’s more. Class comes together in a collective sea of bliss, singing the most beautiful kirtan….

“Tash Mayashri, Guruvey Namaha…”


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