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Mindful : April 2019
thing, usually they will resist. That’s what I find in my own self. So there’s a buildup of movements slowly that’s attached to breath awareness. We don’t go in there and be like, “Everybody lose your shit!” There’s sound involved [the music volume gets higher as movement intensifies, then lower during breaks of stillness] so people can express themselves without feeling like they’re having some sort of panic attack. It’s one of the built-in safety nets,soattheendofabig exercise, like the burpees, you can express yourself and then land in stillness. The hands are on the body. You recover the heart. You feel the soles of your feet on the floor. Your exercises are simple. No weights. No bands. Very old school, not unlike Jack LaLanne: jumping jacks, flapping arms, leg lifts. And those damned burpees. But you don’t count. We never know when it’s going to end. The intention is that it’s basic. There is no choreog- raphy. You close your eyes and go. You watch your mind as opposed to your mind having to do some- thing. It’s actually a form of self-study. And when stuff comes up, it’s probably a pretty good sign that you’re on the edge of something that is really transforma- tive. So what do you do? You breathe. You notice that you’re in the throes of something. Instead of knowing when it’s over, you practice your ability to tolerate feeling, to tolerate intensity, and you stay right there with yourself. Most articles about The Class describe screaming and crying. After three classes I heard some scream- ing and witnessed some tears, but it was nothing like what people are saying. I know. One person cries and the media makes it like everyone is sobbing. Sure, sometimes people cry a bit. Sometimes it hits you. There are times when I’ve gone to my other teach- ers’ classes and they have broken me. It happens. But it can’t be like, “Cry!” If people come expecting to cry, they’re not going to cry. Have you seen any trans- formation in your regular students? This question makes me very uncomfortable. It’s like every single thing in my body starts to flare up and I don’t want to share any of it. But, yeah, people have told me that it’s changed their whole life. Students have been able to create completely new career paths for themselves, or leave painful or toxic rela- tionships, or grieve the loss of things from years ago. They’ve broken patterns within themselves. They’ve completely changed their physical body. But I don’t take ownership for any of it because they’re the ones that are doing it. I’m just kind of channeling their experience based on the energy they bring to the room. It’s like I’m here to be of service. Do you ever discuss your own trauma? The trauma that led you to this place? To The Class? → April 2019 mindful 27 Q&A