Recently my teacher Darren Rhodes posed a series of questions to a group of his students.
What do you aim to pass on? To offer? What’s your bigger vision that will serve others? Or, what’s your inward vision that means being away from one and all that will serve others? Big or small; what is it? Do tell. Try it: write something down. Starts with My vision is… see what you end up writing. Why not?
I am sitting on the bullet train from Hangzhou to Shanghai having just wrapped up a series of workshops in China. As the train whizzes through the countryside at 300 kph I have some time to sit, think, and write about my vision.
My Vision Board
In the years BY (before yoga) I was clear on my vision. To find a job that would allow me to help others help themselves. I spent years searching, and then I found yoga. But that’s a story for another day.
This is about today. My vision today is that, through yoga, I will be able to inspire students to discover themselves. My vision is to offer people the opportunity to learn more about yoga, and to bring them the ability to study, through my classes, with my teachers. I want to pass on the passion for yoga that my teachers have instilled in me.
I had the great fortune to be able to do my first teacher training with Darren Rhodes and Christina Sell in Tucson. I had no idea what I was in for when I travelled there for the first week of training, but I can tell you that it forever changed me.
I am kinder, more thoughtful, happier, healthier, stronger and smarter thanks to their guidance.
In Los Angeles, I had an abundance of teachers to study with, and Noah Mazé, Tony Giuliano, Scott Lewicki, Keric Morinaga, Hagar Harpak, and Tara Judelle become my weekly teachers. I have made it my mission, my vision, to take their teachings with me and share them through my own filter as I travel and teach my workshops around the world.
Who Are You?
I was on a long search for myself when I discovered yoga. Through practicing pranayama, meditation, and asana, I was able to move beyond the external, beyond all of the ideas I had placed on myself about who I was, and who I should be. In the tradition of Classical Yoga, and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, this work is part of one of the second of the eight limbs of yoga, the Niyamas, and it’s called Svadhyaya, which is the practice of self inquiry, of self reflection.
Through this reflection, I discovered that when I didn’t focus on who I thought I should be, but instead focused on what was true about me on the inside, when I focused on what made me happier, I was much happier. And when am happier, and more aware of who I am, I am a much better husband and friend.
Working in the music industry for more than ten years had taken its toll on me, and I was becoming one of the cynical, asshole music industry idiots you see personified in movies. I was not a nice guy. Except that, of course, yoga taught me really am a nice guy, it’s just that all that ‘nice’ was hidden under layers of dust.
Yoga has the power to help you find the truth about who you are, and to inspire you to work every day to be your best self.
40 Days Or Bust
Just before Jane and I left on our epic My Five Acres bike trip (16 months, 22 countries, 16,000 km cycled) Urth Yoga in Los Angeles invited us to lead a 40 Day Yoga Challenge.
Jane and I took this opportunity to help students to learn more about how yoga can be used every moment of every day to not only help them find themselves, but to help their family, friends, even complete strangers find the spark that inspires searching, discovering, questioning, and thinking.
Now that I am travelling and teaching yoga I get to work every weekend with students who have set aside time and money to invest in yoga. I have a huge responsibility to give them a good return on their investment.
My vision is to share pieces of my amazing teachers and the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have to help others discover the great power yoga has to shift not only your body, but your mind, and your heart.
What’s About You?
What is your vision? What is it that inspires you, motivates you to get up, to strive to be your best? Sit down and think about what your vision is, what your want, what you do everything in pursuit of. Write it down or don’t. Share it or don’t. Just sit, for three minutes, and think. Why not?
More from Stephen: adventureyogaonline.com and facebook.com/StephenEwashkiwYoga/
Image copyright: Zhou Zihan, 2014