Beers and Buddha Squats – I just don’t see the connection by LouAnn McBride

By December 6, 2017 Writing No Comments
LouAnn McBride

I have magical friends. Here’s just a sampling of what they have done in 2017 – sold everything and moved into an RV with their husband and 2 small children, had a fifth baby, wrote a play about not having a baby, moved to Asbury Park and re-started the career they had in their twenties, moved their family to a garlic farm to live and work.

See? Magical.

LouAnn McBride is one of those magical friends. She is a yoga teacher, creative Mama, garlic farmer, and a beautiful, loving soul. Please find her writing posted below as the first guest Creative I’ve ever been able to highlight here!

When Lou Lou was first teaching, I gave her feedback that said something to the effect of “You’re so moon and the stars! I love it but I want you to connect with everyday people. Make the guy who just got out of his shift and onto his yoga mat hear what you’re saying”.

Years and years later, she’s still “moon and the stars”. The only thing I’d change is that I wouldn’t tell her not to be. Please find her gorgeous, honest truth below.

-LA


I have experienced dark bouts of depression throughout my life and struggle with cluttering as an adult. I often feel as if I bear the depression and anxiety not only from my own journey on earth, but also that of my ancestors. It is times like these I distance myself from those around me, as I find it difficult to accurately articulate my feelings.

The darkness of depression is sometimes paralyzing for me. Other times however, this same sadness mysteriously ignites my creativity and I am grateful for it. When I feel this way, I could swear that I am being guided by an unseeable force. It is this force which has inspired my art, as well as a number of my classes and meditations. Many classes have been crafted upon needs that I had at a certain time. By teaching the class, I am also teaching myself. As I commonly express, it is mindfulness practices that have been a saving grace for me. Psychotherapy has also been extremely helpful as well, and I support the use of psychiatric medication. There is a place for it, and it helped me throughout my early 20s.

Counter to medication that may help our brain, frequent excessive alcohol use causes great harm. This is a scientific fact. It is because of this that I do not understand the newest trend to hit the American yoga scene. Is this not contradictory to what yoga stands for? When I approach a yoga studio and see a poster on the door for “Beers and Buddha Squats,” I just don’t see the connection. What message does this send to someone approaching a studio for the first time that may be suffering from alcohol addiction? Why are we, as teachers encouraging unhealthy behaviors within our classes? Yoga studios are supposed to be a safe haven in this wild world. Yoga practices open up the body and produce their own physical sensations and rewards. Why would we cloud yoga’s natural intoxicating experiences with alcohol? Alcoholism is a big problem and yoga should be part of the solution for those afflicted, not a souce of validation for harmful behavior. I rarely drink these days, it doesn’t serve my highest good and it took me years to come to this realization.

I wish to clarify, I am not here to bash drinking alcohol if it doesn’t present itself as a problem to you. Nor can I tell you how to teach or live your life. I am simply expressing that I have witnessed first-hand what addiction (a mental illness) has done to the people I love most. Something needed to be said.

It is indeed a strange time to be alive, yet I find beauty in the strangeness enveloping us. We are all discovering our own truths and speaking out. This breaks barriers and creates real connection. My first yoga teaching mentor and friend LA Finfinger courageously speaks out about the stigma on mental illness and has given me strength and a safe place to share a piece of my story.

I hope you find my sharing helpful.

Lovingly,
LouAnn
Click here for more information about LouAnn McBride