One of my favorite yoga classes in La Jolla is Rob Nguyen’s Healing Yin class at Trilogy Sanctuary.
Rob is a beautiful soul who seems to float on magic dust as he enters every space. Whether leading a Vinyasa Flow class or a Yin class, every word that flows from him is poetry. His verbal cues are my #cuegoals.
Opening the Circle
I love how Rob opens each Healing Yin practice. It starts with how he directs the room set up: he treats healing Yin like a circle, rather than a traditional classroom setup, with mats set up around the perimeter of the room.
To open the practice, he invites us to share our name and how we want to feel that evening, as we pass around a talking crystal.
The intentions spoken into the circle magnify within each of us during the practice, which Rob infuses with healing modalities like reiki and flower essences.
It’s a beautiful way to cultivate community.
Two Potent Questions
Rob’s opening invitation tonight was slightly different.
Tell us your name and how you want to feel.
He invited us to
Tell us who you are and how you want to feel.
A subtle, but potent, shift in language.
Your name is a shorthand for telling the world who you are, but it does not tell us who you are.
Who are you?
Most people describe their roles in life. But you are more than your roles.
Finding who you are, knowing who you are, can be the work of a lifetime. It’s the work many people procrastinate while they’re busy doing the other work, what our culture might consider the “real work.”
Secret: knowing who you are is the real work.
How Do You Want To Feel?
If you look at the bookshelves and the titles of podcasts and the top headlines, you’ll see we place a premium on happiness and freedom in this country.
Yet of all the things I hear people say about how they want to feel, I have never heard anyone say either of these things.
What I hear a lot is:
Once, a guy said “I just want to feel.”
It was the most refreshingly honest thing I’ve ever heard a man say.
Tonight a woman said “I want to find myself.” Another honest share.
What We Are Yearning For
Together these two questions strike at the heart of everything. How we define ourselves and what we are seeking to feel or receive is life. It directs our focus, energy, and how we spend our days.
As I floated away on my own magic clouds after class, I wondered,
What if our culture has it wrong?
All those books about how to be happy — but it’s not what people are really desiring.
What I hear each week in these intentions and desires is a weary fatigue with the crushing demands of life.
We want to feel something more simple, easier to define.
People are exhausted. Even here in San Diego, where the pace is slower — and in La Jolla, where most places shut down by 9 pm — I hear the cries of “enough.”
Everything is moving fast — too fast. I see and hear the signs of people wanting to slow down. To connect face to face. In circle. On the yoga mat. In authenticity.
There’s a yearning for spaciousness to do the real work of discovering who we are and connecting with others.
Who are you? How do you want to feel?
Simple, yet potent, inquiries that will shape your life.