PHILIP PAYSON (SUB)
To paraphrase the actor Woody Allen, “90% of transformation is just showing up.” Over and over, consistently, relentlessly and gently we keep showing up on our mats breathing, moving and feeling. In a busy world full of distractions and disturbing events our mats become an opportunity to pay/play attention to the immediacy of our own direct felt experience. With practice and commitment we make space for the simple presence that we are to reveal itself. From this simplicity of being all the physical benefits of yoga fall into place: emotional resilience, flexibility of attitude and body and the beginning of courage to live from a place of joy. Radical acceptance leads to limitless gratitude.
I first studied yoga in the 1970’s. Then life intervened with marriage, family, career and all the distractions of “making it”. I came back to yoga at age 54 with a chronically weak back and a desire to deepen my understanding of health and well being. Nine months into this renewal of commitment, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The twists and folds of asana practice revealed symptoms that allowed the treatment to be brief and effective. Within days of my surgery I was walking a mile; after five weeks I was back in the studio returning to my practice. I continue to have the experience of my body surprising me in positive ways. I love sharing this possibility for rejuvenation and connection in my teaching.
I have recently begun teaching yoga to underserved communities. I teach twice a week at the Maine Correctional Center and once a week at the Milestone Foundation. I hope to expand service opportunities both for myself and others through training and networking.
Of course, my best teachers are my students who keep it all real.