No Seriously, “Keep it Simple Stupid!”

Cynthia Bates in triangle pose. White bikini optional.
Cynthia Bates in triangle pose. White bikini optional.

I love living in San Francisco. So much energy, creativity, big shit happening (in my best Ab Fab voice). The downside of so much shit happening: SO MUCH PRESSURE to go big. But how often do we stop to ask, “Is bigger better right now?”

A lot of us are sitting on ideas that could make a difference to a lot of people now. But it’s so easy to get bogged down by the complexity of possibilities, or the fear of not being able to deliver what we promise. The fear of not wanting to follow through once things really get going. But lately, I’ve been noticing some small things that are making a big difference pretty fast.

The best example is my yoga teacher, Cynthia Bates. She is a Mistress of Iyengar Yoga and is proving little-by-little, through her clients, that a daily home yoga practice is the cure for, well, just about anything like anxiety, obesity, depression, menopause…to a name a few of my personal favorites. She really wants to help a lot more people discover this path for themselves but teaching privates and classes really doesn’t scale. She kept thinking she might make a video. (The first mistake that slows us down is thinking about delivery format / how too soon. Think about the goal and the path. The format will emerge.) She made a wonderful prototype but was really stuck on finances. It would take about $15,000 to make the first video. She was stuck. So one day, she invited an impressive array of her students including a web app development guy, a relationship marketing guru (that’s me), two research professionals from the arts sector, and a yoga studio owner, to a “heart storming” session. We put her through the f’ing wringer, threw huge ideas at her, took her to the edge of possibility, and then got down to the business of reality. One of the guys (the web dude) said, “Just do something.” Then we talked about how she really wanted to live her life day-by-day. Because really, it is about day-to-day living. She said, “I want to keep doing what I’m doing now. I just want to help people.” And that’s when it hit us. One of Cynthia’s specialties (and there are many) is feeling the energy of the universe when she wakes up in the morning, and designing sequences that support human needs during each cycle. I have found this to be an amazing way to work through any possible obstacles in the path to my own bliss. So, why not just do a Daily Yoga Forecast. Start with a Facebook page to test and refine the concept and then expand to other social media, and delivery formats. So the next day, she launched Daily Yoga Forecast. Our first pose was “Utthita Marichyasana”, a standing chair twist great for releasing tension and indigestion. It’s been about six weeks now and there are 157 members, about 70% of whom look at the page each day. We’ve had a huge range of poses, dialogue among members, and even a yoga teacher weigh in from India where she’s training with the Iyengar family. Today we got a whole sequence on relieving lower back pain and stress. That one’s a keeper for sure.

I love this community. These are my kind of people interacting, sharing valuable lessons, humor, and support. But the best part is that I’ve had a couple of personal friends who I’ve been trying to get to do yoga for awhile. Now, thanks to Cynthia, they have direction, and safe and easy connection to guides. They’re doing it, they feel better, and they like it. I’m happy!

Everybody has something to give. What small, simple step could we take just this moment to start to gather the community? Maybe it’s just a matter of starting and nurturing a social group. Or maybe it’s a matter of finding one and getting involved. Just give.

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