Author: Stephanie Serrano

Laughing Buddha opened in August of 2012 and I was one of the lucky few present to see the beginning of this amazing community.  At the time, some of the familiar faces were different and, as everyone who has been at LB for more than 3 months at a time knows, the layout and furniture have changed, but LB consistently embodies warmth, support, and comfort.  And while the positive impression that LB makes continues, one of the early students at the studio, way back in the day, made a comment that sticks with me even now.  While he may not have intended his comment as a critique, his assertion that the way we, as teachers, talk about breath, could be off-putting always sat strangely with me.  As a teacher that may cringe slightly at the more “whoo whoo” side of yoga spirituality (if the words blessed or goddess ever come out of mouth in your presence, you should probably take my temperature and get me to a hospital) the implication that talking about breath is somehow too intangible and metaphysical, continues to make me wonder: when I talk about the breath in a classroom setting, am I adequately conveying my understanding of yoga’s reliance on breath as a practical tool?  While yoga may be a spiritual practice, for its less “whoo whoo” practitioners, it is scientific.  It teaches us how to use the very real, very solid instruments we carry with us to cope with the difficulties life brings.

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In many ways we are sensory receptors. Each day we encounter other objects, people, and places with which we interact in order to survive. We must interact with the world unless we want to become rocks or recluses; in order to even leave our beds in the morning, we turn to the side, plant our feet on the ground, and stand up—all simple acts that require interaction and the senses.

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An experience that knocks you on your ass is tough to write about.  When something is so big that it cannot be contained by words, it refuses being stuffed into a shape.  So, I write around it, not about it.  It holds a literal negative space that appears only in the shape left behind after I cannot write it.

My best friend and the love of my life for 12 years died May 16th 2009.  It broke me.  And it left behind a darkness impossible to describe—changing everything.

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Scientists report that the sense of smell triggers memory more poignantly than any other; if you are a listener, music boasts the same effect. Sitting on a mat in a yoga room on the fourth of July 2010, all I wanted to do was forget where I had been the year before and the year before that. The class began. The instructor had created a playlist that “celebrated” America’s Independence and Bruce Springsteen came blaring through the speakers—I time warped to the year before. This is where the work happens.

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The practice of yoga constantly reminds us to surrender and let go.  But surrendering does not mean giving up or letting go of the ability to act.  Being present and adapting requires the constant reevaluation of what surrender actually means.  Contrary to the notion of accepting injustice, the philosophies of yoga encourage us to participate in the current moment to continue to practice one of its most basic tenants: ahimsa (non-violence).  

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You only have to go to one or two yoga asana classes to recognize the important philosophy of being present. We often place words like “just” in front of “be” or “let go” as a way of minimizing the effort involved in this concept, but you also only really have to go to one or two yoga classes to know that “just being” demands more practice than the words imply. Maintaining presence can slip away so easily; the moment that we begin to anticipate something as simple as the next yoga pose, we jump into the future.

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5025 S. Ash Ave. #B16
Tempe, AZ 85282
(Directions)

[email protected]
480.664.2515

The studio is not open for regular business hours. We open 10-15 minutes prior to each class.

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©LAUGHINGBUDDHAYOGAAZ.COM
DESIGNED WITH ♥ AT HOUSE HELIOS

5025 S. Ash Ave. #B16
Tempe, AZ 85282
(Directions)

[email protected]
480.664.2515

©LAUGHINGBUDDHAYOGAAZ.COM
DESIGNED WITH ♥ AT HOUSE HELIOS