My Journey Into Mindfulness
One Yoga Class Changed My Life
My journey into mindfulness and healing was unintentional. As a musician, teacher, and vocologist I spent many years studying human physiology and anatomy. I began teaching at the university level very young, twenty-three years old, and have been fortunate to have created a significant amount of curriculum in my time that allows me to continue my own personal study. In those academic studies I began to explore voice and speech work, typically for actors, that dealt predominately with breathing access and body alignment. My major observation in the studies is how becoming organic with the body releases powerful, potentially locked, buried, or undiscovered powerful emotions that needed to be honored. Time and time again this was my own personal and observed experience.
Growing up a in a small town I hid from my emotionally abusive and unsteady family in the Southern Baptist church. I felt welcome and safe as long as I played the part expected of me. What I would realize many years later was the sense of community and how healing community was to the young gay boy in rural Oklahoma. After deciding to live my life in the light of my true self I knew I was no longer welcome in that community. Unbeknownst to me, my life became a search for human connection, acceptance, and community. This search was overshadowed with desperation, fear, and many insecurities that often created unhealthy, toxic relationships at all levels.
In 2002, at the age of twenty-four, I attended my first yoga course in New York City. It was partner yoga . What I did not know was that it was nude partner yoga. I was horrified! I didn’t even take my shirt off at the pool and had never even tried yoga. Now I had to do it naked? I decided to just go for it. It was one of the most vulnerable experiences of my life. I will never forget what happened in that class. Touch happened -- healing happened. I had never realized how much touch I had not received my entire life. As choked back tears slowly escaped from my eyes. I observed that when I held my breath and tears the connection with my partner was restricted and there was a boundary. When I would breathe deep into my body and release I began to heal not only myself, but I was transferring that energy to my accepting and just as vulnerable partner. This energy exchange – what was happening?
Fast forward fifteen years teaching over one hundred classes on breathing and body connection, apprenticing as a massage therapist, and thousands of hours of yoga and meditation practice with numerous practitioners....what it all taught me is that touch and breath are vital to our healthy spiritual, emotional, and physical existence.
The workshops that I teach combine these years of discovery/study in mindfulness, unlocking the breath as a relates to our emotions, opening our guarded hearts, bodies, minds, releasing inhibitions due to fear and trauma, and taking a good look through our body-minds eye. My hope is that sharing these moments with others will continue to spread healing. And most importantly continue my own healing journey.
Kevin will be one of the leaders at Winter Spirit Camp, February 15-18, 20