Among my peers, there are so many articles in circulated about how an asana practice should not be shown or performed and that this moves away from the teachings of Yoga. I disagree. I accept that Yoga is a deeply internal journey, one that has to rise above the ego. Part of my talent is bringing people to the Yoga room who would not normally consider themselves able to do Yoga. I see that visibility and imaging as incredibly helpful and inspirational.
When I create my demonstrations, they are never just gratuitous displays of my prowess in asana, they mean something to me. I perform them at fundraisers and charity events or in front of audiences that I am looking to build up a dialogue with. I use demonstrations to get children and teenagers excited about exploring the Yoga pathways.
My last demo in Sweden (above) was for a group of people who have never met me or Forrest Yoga before. I chose the music to tell a story. “Wasting My Young Years” and “Conquest of Spaces” felt like correct choices for me. I used them to weave in a story about my journey and the healing ability of Yoga. This demo has been watched by thousands of people and brings people to my door every week. Recently I was touched when a woman with rheumatoid arthritis and a double hip replacement came to me. “I saw your demonstration and read about you, I want to learn to move with strength and you have inspired me to work with Yoga and with you.” I don’t know what aspect reached her, but I am so glad that it did.
I take great enjoyment out of making these demos, they are a way to mix my love of music and art together into something that I can display. It tells my story when I lack the ability to accurately convey the emotion. I delight in the next one I get to do.