During nursing school I stopped all the exercising. If you've ever been in nursing school, you get it. It's brutal. After nursing school, though, I continued with all-the-stopping-of-all-the-exercising. The times I have tried Pilates and Yoga at home, I have ended up covered in children.
A new plan needed to be hatched. I googled Yoga in Dallas and discovered Yoga with Carlos. Being that "Yoga" and "Carlos" are not oft used in the same sentence, I was intrigued. So I called. Carlos answered.
I had thought Carlos might be an acrostic spelling out something "zen" about the yoga studio. Nope, in this case, Carlos means Carlos. This dude is blasting through every preconceived notion I had of yoga teachers. And Carloses. And I love it. I HAD to go check it out.
Upon entering, I found a bright, jungle-themed studio full of people eagerly catching up on grand kids, college entrance exam results, and new shoes. As if that wasn't interesting enough, they included me like I had always been there. Not your typical yoga experience already.
Then the class started. I was a little confused because the lights were still on and disco music was blaring. But hey, Carlos is the boss. Throughout the class there was not a single yoga "term" used and yet, the class was full of people who were excellent at yoga. It was clearly not a class for slouches.
Full disclosure: he did use a yoga term once when jokingly asking a student, "What kind of downward dog was THAT?" There was banter throughout the class and lots of teasing both to and from Carlos. I can honestly say I have never laughed so much in a yoga class.
Yoga aside, I found this experience refreshing for other reasons:
- Carlos is comfortable being himself. Who cares if Carloses don't typically own yoga studios? He's doing it. And he is not trying to recreate the "typical" yoga experience. He's doing his own thing. And it is working for him. As a result, he makes others feel comfortable with themselves. I felt like I was in a living room full of friends (who all happened to be balancing on one leg).
- Carlos is excellent at what he has chosen to pursue. 25 pounds and two kids ago, I did my fair share of yoga. Carlos is able to correct and explain poses better than most instructors. His personal technique is fantastic and his ability to TEACH technique in a second language is seriously impressive. As we all know from being terrible at things in our daily lives, excellence doesn't just happen. Look at the things people try to recreate from Pinterest for heaven's sake! To be amazing we must focus on our goal and endure being bad for a time. This is true with my writing. With my mom-ing and wife-ing. We endure because what we're pursing is worth it.
What I have learned from writing conferences (and now Carlos) is that I need to be true to my writing "voice" and not try to be like another blogger because that's not me. And my readers are not theirs. I'm thankful for Carlos. I went there hoping to relax without a toddler sitting on my head and I left refreshed and encouraged to pursue who I was created to be. I would say everything learned was definitely worth the cost of the class buuuut I forgot my money and so the class was free...
It's ok though. I'm definitely going back.