Little did I know this weekend I was going to be drenched in sweat exploring every single muscle, tendon and ligament in my body while meditating in the present moment.  Body in-synch with the mind…and that’s how it should always be.  I was expecting a challenging weekend as I attended the Bryan Kest Power Yoga workshop at Prana Vinyasa School of Yoga and I certainly got my money’s worth…

There was about a half hour of lecture from Bryan on Friday night followed by an hour and half of asana practice.  Bryan emphasized that if you’re here to work out and “look good” from this yoga practice then you’re here for the wrong reason.  Yoga is the science of the mind and when practicing yoga it is your time to leave everything else at the door; so all those thoughts of work, school, gossip, judgment, ego…leave them behind…Your focus should be on calming the mind while breathing deep and concentrating in the present moment; something that individuals do rarely on a day-to-day basis. Yoga can help with that; and yoga can help you remove gossip, judgment and ego from your thoughts all together…day-to-day.

Bryan also explained how health clubs and gyms should be called “vanity gyms.”  Of course there’s tons of machines to work your hamstrings, gluteals, biceps, triceps and abdominals…in an attempt to transform our bodies to match the Hollywood stars’ and meet society’s expectations of what a “great body” is…but what about your spinal column–how easily we forget?!  Where are all the spinal work out machines at these vanity gyms we pay to go to?  Think about it, your spine is your core center of your body and it’s so very important to care for it…it starts at the base of your skull and trails down connecting to your pelvis.  Without your spine you wouldn’t be able to do those daily motions we all take for granted; such as tying your shoes, picking up your kids, and process thoughts.  Not only does it make motions possible but it acts as a communication conduit for the brain as signals are transmitted and received through your spinal cord.

On Saturday there were two sessions;
the first session was an intense two and a half hour power yoga session followed by about an half hour of meditation and relaxation.  The second session consisted of deep stretching; holding poses for 2 minutes on each side of the body.  Even a 10 minute seated forward fold (no moving at all, except the breath that fills your lungs and flows in nostrils)…my feet fell asleep and the tingling sensation coming out of that forward fold was indescribable…

Sunday was the most challenging session for me (probably due to the sore muscles and thirty minutes of meditation following the asana practice) but by far the most beneficial…a perfect practice to end the weekend.

All in all, despite the cracks and kinks in my body today I loved Bryan’s teaching style and he was quite inspiring for me.  I’m extremely thankful I was able to attend this workshop…what a terrific way to start the New Year!

Bryan Kest’s workshop was a true inspiration for me to start my own yoga venture and I did.  I decided to start my own Yoga Gainesville Community.  I am exicted to share yoga with others in Florida as Bryan shared with me.  Thanks Bryan! 🙂


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