My very first class of the Being Yoga conference at Omega was with Peter Sterios, founder of the Manduka mat. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’d never taken his class before, but I felt intuitively guided to it, and I walked away with some pretty sweet new insights. His class was called “Power of Surrender and Intuitive Response.” He said it’s his job, as a teacher, to get out of our way and let us use our intuition to guide us in how far to go with our practice. He aimed to bring our attention to places where we could empower ourselves.
“There’s an incredible power when you release effort and let gravity work with your body. Your body will intuitively make micro-adjustments to keep you balanced. Play on the edge of that balance. What can you do to move your alignment towards pleasure?”
Pretty cool right? Goes along with the whole “think less, feel more” concept I’ve been into lately…which is not always the first instinct for a Virgo.
The very end of the class brought the best message. Peter had us do a pose he called the “shake and bake,” which was pretty much lying on our backs and shaking around on the mat to the live music that was being played by Masood Ali Khan. I know it sounds super weird, and to be honest, it felt super weird. But Peter made us all close our eyes and told us,
“Be almost reckless. Let go of some control. Never fully reckless – but a soft recklessness. Dance along the edge of reckless. Release your chronic grip.”
Those words lingered with me long after the class was over. In life, we can get so caught up in trying to control and plan out every single aspect of our lives, that we don’t leave enough room for surprise, serendipity, uncertainty, chance, surrender, unanticipated exhilaration.
Peter pointed out, “You don’t have to be a tight ass to navigate through the world. Release some control. Eliminate some unnecessary effort.”
What would your life look like if you lived with a little bit less chronic control? Does it scare you a little bit to even think about that? But…maybe scary in an exciting way? Yeah. “Almost reckless” doesn’t mean you just live with a total “screw it” mentality and you don’t take care of your responsibilities. No way. In my opinion, it means to desire things and plan things, sure, but be open to them turning out much differently (and much better!) than you could ever imagine. Flow with life. Do more things that excite you. Take a chance, take a new path. Live as if something incredible might happen at any time, just around the corner.
…now excuse me while I go book a plane ticket.
Check out more from Peter Sterios here!