My yoga practice used to be very serious. It felt like medicine. It was helping me but it didn’t necessarily taste good. I’d often feel claustrophobic while practicing. I had a desire to sing and move and dance around the room and felt locked into the static postures. I shared this struggle with my teacher at the time. He told me to ignore it and continue practicing. So I did. Then one day after class he said,
“You know Sam, life isn’t meant to be joyful”.
I never took class from him again.
Shortly after I began studying with Sri Dharma. I loved his playful spirit and ability to be both deadly serious AND playful about practice. At the end of one of his Maha Sadhana workshops he turned on a hilarious techno dance song. He began punching his fists, shaking his hips and beaming as he invited us to dance around the temple with him. When he turned the music off he said,
“Joy is very important.”
It brought tears to my eyes and let me know I was finally home with my true teacher.
This post was written by Sam Manchulenko.