My husband is incredibly supportive of my yoga practice, and the crazy healthy habits that it inspires. He is pretty open minded about it all, and truly enjoys practicing yoga. Unfortunately, we rarely have time to explore yoga together, now that we have three kids ages 8 and under.
Which is why I really wanted to take him, and the kids, to Chantlanta 2013 this past weekend.
Chantlanta is a two day yoga festival at Druid Hills Baptist church (yes, a Baptist church!), in Atlanta’s artsy Virginia Highlands neighborhood. It’s a cultural event, full of asana, meditation, drumming, and kirtan. The classes and performances are kid-friendly, and almost all are free (donations are happily accepted, however, with proceeds benefitting an amazing organization called The Learning Tea).
A perfect way for a dedicated yogini to spend a Saturday with her family, right?
Truth be told, I was a little hesitant to ask hubby if we could spend our first free Saturday afternoon in months chanting and practicing yoga. Our kids rarely have a weekend off from their extracurricular activities, and I knew there were a million other things he would probably rather do. Not because he doesn’t like yoga and kirtan, but because it is less familiar to him than it is to me, and unfamiliarity breeds resistance. So, ironically, I resisted asking if we could attend Chantlanta, because I feared his resistance to the idea of trying something new.
Thankfully, yoga teaches us that resistance can actually serve us in our pursuit of happiness, if we learn to recognize it, and overcome it.
So, that’s exactly what I did. I asked hubby if we could hang out at a yoga festival, on our one free Saturday afternoon. And of course, being the open-minded person that he is, hubby happily obliged.
After lunch on Saturday, we piled in the car, and headed over to The Highlands. What happened when we got there was awesome:
We practiced Grounded Yoga with our kids…
…our girls made new friends…
…and we all took a Double Dog Dare.
After yoga, we sat on cushions on the floor of the sanctuary, and sang with our kids…
…and when the spirit called, the kids got up and danced with beautiful scarves…
and it was really, really fun.
I tried to see it all through my children’s eyes. The yoga, the dancers, the drummers, the unfamiliar songs. They embraced it, and let themselves get carried away. It was beautiful. Joy in its purest form.
Afterward, we went to the artists’ market, where everyone was super friendly, and incredibly generous with gifts for our girls. The girls came home with sparkly beaded keychains, and a beautiful handcrafted necklace, kindly offered to them by the vendors (thanks Natural Healing Stones and Vista Yoga!). We also ran into old friends in the yoga community, and made new friends as well.
As we were leaving, we literally bumped into Krishna Das (remember the kirtan article I wrote a few weeks ago?). I couldn’t believe it! Such a surprise and honor. I’ve been listening to his music for over a decade, so it was a thrill to finally meet him.
The entire day was perfect, and, in hindsight, I can’t imagine what there was to resist.
That’s how it always is with resistance. It seems like the hardest thing in the world to overcome it, but after we do, it makes perfect sense.
So, once again, I am reminded that this is the real yoga. Choosing possibility over attachment. Committing to the path less traveled. And believing that it really does make all the difference.
Special thanks to my friend, Stan Holt, and everyone else at Swaha Productions, for organizing Chantlanta 2013!