SAT NAM: The truth is my identity.
So this is the state of the third life of Jeff Parsons as he awakens to each new day in his beautiful home in Logan, Utah: I awake, I breathe, I take yoga classes, I walk my dogs on beautiful trails and beautiful parks, I think about my future as it will unfold. I learned a new greeting today that I must use for the rest of my life: SAT NAM. No more, “I am just happy to be alive.”
My buddy, Martin Buber, said, “All real living is meeting.” This week has been a week of real living, in Logan.
I awoke too late for my hour of intentional breathing this morning. I decided to attend a Kundalini Yoga class at 7:30, and it was 7:00 when the Labs rolled me out of bed. I wasn’t going to miss this class. I thought to myself, “What fool does yoga at 7:30 on a Saturday morning in Logan, Utah?” I decided to find out what Kundalini Yoga was all about on the strong recommendation of my first Transcend Yoga teacher, Kelly.
Was I ever in for a surprise! Arriving early at 7:15, my fellow yoga friend Bonnie (veteran of one class, I bond quickly) and I thought we must be late to class because the class of three students and the teacher were already in high chant. As in: HIGH CHANT! Master teacher Andy Rasmussen welcomed us in, informing us that we weren’t late, we had just missed the early morning warm up; class would start soon. This was my introduction to Andy’s class: Everyone in the class was outfitted in white (Bonnie and I showed up in black), Andy sat on a pile of prayer pillows in front of what appeared to be a 40 inch gong! (Quite a prop!) Andy started with a loud, and relatively long chant. No “Hi! How do you do?” Just, “Let’s get busy and chant!” Bonnie informed me that this was pretty much a “chill” class that was mostly chanting and storytelling and not a lot of long-held asanas. She did get the chanting part right, as well as the storytelling, but she must not have gotten the e-mail about seven and a half minutes of “down dog push-ups,” or the really, really long time spent on an overhead arm-swinging-breathing exercise. I almost passed out from vehement arm swinging, and chuff-breathing-in-rhythm to the arm swinging. Swinging your arms, (while sitting) over your head and down to your sides, will surely wake you up if the down dog pushups didn’t do the trick!
We moved on (can an hour really be this long?) to guided visualization and then to an intense ten-minute meditation to the BONG song of that monster gong! I guess an hour has to be really, really long to get all this good stuff in!
Rarely, (if ever) do I walk into a completely different culture that shakes up my composure and consciousness. Each day spent with Transcend Yoga has given me a new experience from “Ashtanga Vinyasha” back bends with Kelly, to manic “how many of these asanas can we do in one hour because I am SO out of breath?” Chantel Gerfen, to Vinyassa Flow (OMG! I am going to run out of sweat here if we don’t stop for savasana soon) Olivia, to YinYangYoga with “if you pause, you may never catch up,” Sherilyn, to Kundalini Yoga “this will change your life forever!,” Andy Rasmussen.
I still have HOT Flow into Flexibility with Sherilyn tonight (she promised that the class would “melt” my heart).
This is my life in Logan, Utah, August 20th, and the clock just struck 1:30 pm. Wait was that a gong? My I-phone changed its tone to a gong tone spontaneously!
Six hours later: Yes! Sherilyn delivered a class to melt my heart; true to her word!