Break Tradition with Sridaiva Yoga | Gay in Austin | A Relocation Guide for Gay People Moving to Austin, TX

Break Tradition with Sridaiva Yoga

Jul 23, 2014 Comments Off on Break Tradition with Sridaiva Yoga by

A lot of us queers have a little bit of a rebellious streak in us, yeah?  I believe that we can benefit from honoring our inner rebels, we just need to find ways to honor that space in ourselves in productive ways.  One way that I’ve found my little rebel thriving is in my fit lifestyle.  That might seem silly at first, to think of being fit as rebellion.  Actually, if you consider the deconditioned state of the American public, I’m living a pretty unconventional lifestyle.  I’m a minister’s son.  It’s in my blood to veer from THE way.

In my early twenties, I practiced various forms of yoga.  I loved the practice, but disliked the rules.  I never wanted to chant.  I never felt fully authentic adopting the diet, nomenclature, or culture of my yoga friends, though they seemed to thrive within the framework that is YOGA.  As a consequence, I lost touch with the yoga community and the practice itself.

Recently a fellow queer fitness renegade and yoga instructor, JohnMark Robbins of Practice Yoga on East 6th st, invited me to his Sridaiva yoga class on Thursday night.  I was really excited to support his work and I noticed that I was curious about the practice again after many years away.  I was floored to find out about an apparent controversy around the yoga form’s founder, John Friend.  There’s even a facebook page dedicated to outing him as a “master manipulator” and “predator.”  I was hooked.  I love an alleged scandal.  Maybe that’s because I grew up in a very strict religious home, witnessing scandal after scandal go down amongst the most righteous of all the parishoners.  The class was exactly what I needed to throttle my interest in Yoga again.  In fact, I’m planning to be there every Thursday if at all possible.

The form itself is a very fluid form, which includes some belly dance type movements in the hip and one-armed hand stands against the wall.  Much time was spend creating a strong arch in the back with fully engaged contraction and a significant flexibility challenge at the thoracic spine level.  To this point, JohnMark says, “Nearly everyone who comes needs opening of the spine to keep the heart open.” He explains that he wants to teach something that will show up in every day life for people.  He wants to contribute to a changing paradigm in Yoga that is more fluid, less focused on rules, and more centered around the experience itself.  In addition, he notes that in most forms of yoga, there is a heavy emphasis on forward bending and hip flexion.  At the heart of Sridaiva is the powerfully arched spine and movements to strengthen the back to facilitate an open heart.  He adds that at the psychological level, embracing the movements in Sridaiva that resemble “feminine” postures as the West sees them can maybe help a queer man integrate his feminine side with pride and release judgment.  I’m sold, JohnMark.  Thank you for breaking tradition and connecting to my little rebel that needs acceptance to get back into yoga!

Check out the Thursday evening candlelight Sridaiva class at Practice Yoga on east 6th st.  The class is donation based.  I hope to see you there!  For more info about the studio check out Practice Yoga. For more info on JohnMark Robbins visit Dawg Yoga, his personal schedule and bio page.

Finn Deerhart, Living in Austin, Socializing in Austin, Things to do on Thursday, Uncategorized, Wellness in Austin

About the author

I have chosen Austin, TX, as my home, because I thrive here. To my clients, I am their personal trainer, life coach, spiritual counselor and friend. To myself, daily I'm finding the same boy I knew inside as a child. I look in the mirror each morning as I get ready to meet the city. The changing lines and scruff on my face have, over thirty-four years, morphed the childhood image I used to see into Finn Deerhart, the man that I think I know more and more with every new experience. I believe Austin, TX, is the perfect place to be well and develop yourself in any way you choose. The experiences in health and wellness available here can put you in touch with the same sense of freedom I have found in our beautiful city. I hope to meet you and help you on your journey! Welcome to Austin!!
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