Becky Farbstein är en av yogalärarna som kommer till Prana Festival i Göteborg nu till helgen. Yogan har lärt henne att möta motgångar i livet och gjort att hon lättare kan hantera tuffa tider med ett större lugn. Här berättar hon mer om vad yoga är för henne, om det allra viktigaste som yogan lärt henne och vad som kommer hända på hennes klasser.
What is yoga for you?
First and foremost, yoga is something I enjoy. When practising on my own, I always look for ways to keep the practice playful, and when I teach, I incorporate elements of fun and joy that honour the aspects of yoga that are ”lila” (play). Beyond that, yoga has been a my chance for me to get to know myself; yoga is a break from the clutter, noise, and distractions of everyday life; and yoga introduces challenges that I look forward confronting every time I get on my mat.
How has yoga effected your life in a positive way?
My first yoga teacher once said to me, ”Becky, yoga is about finding your place of calm,” and he was right. Growing up, I always had a bit of a short temper, and yoga has taught me how to approach the challenges and frustrations of life with a bit more equanimity. This doesn’t mean I never get upset, of course, but through yoga, I have learned about myself so that I can approach and handle the hard times with more calmness and ease.
What will the students at Prana festival learn from your classes?
My classes are physically very strong, and I fold in inspiration from my diverse background in yoga, including Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Dharma Mittra, and Iyengar Yoga. All of my classes include discussion of yoga philosophy that offers both a point of focus and an intellectual challenge for my students. However, as I said above, I believe yoga should also be fun, and I always incorporate what I call ”playtime,” which in my classes is often a chance to play on your hands in arm balances and inversions (which I love). These elements of play are a chance to try something new, without expectation or aspiration and to drop the ego! Expect to breathe deeply, sweat freely, and most of all, walk out feeling better than you did when you got on your mat.
You lead the Karma Yoga London community, which inspires yogis and yoginis to ”more selflessly serve the welfare of the world”. Why do you that?
I believe that in 2016 in the West, most yogis focus primarily on the physical work they do on their yoga mats. Last year, I looked around in my community and noticed thousands of people practising yoga in London, most of them with good intentions, but we were having little positive impact on those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I knew as a yoga teacher, the only way to change this was to lead by example and encourage yogis in London to devote some of their effort and energy to their work off the mat. Through yoga classes and special charity events, our community has now raised thousands of dollars which we have donated to both local and international charities. Beyond these large-scale efforts, in all of my classes, I encourage my students not just to offer up a selfless devotion during their asana practice, but then to walk out of the studio and do something selfless (no matter how small that might be) for the benefit of others.
If you only would teach one thing about yoga and life, what would it be?
Pause for a moment. Consider and feel gratitude for the ways that you are fortunate. Now go do something to share and spread that fortune to others.
Follow Becky on Instagram under @beckyfarbs