YOU JUST NEVER KNOW…
I have been interested in writing about is this idea of digital personalities. Not as a designer or techie, but this just as a viewer. In school I took a class on digital society. A theory that people have their "real" self and their digital self. With that being said -- we see celebrities and insta-famous people and I often wonder: How are they in real life…? We follow bloggers, models, designers, travelers and I wonder if they are really as funny or clever as they are on their posts.
Instagram has become this amazing platform for artists, creatives, anyone really, to potentially be able to live off what they love to do. Whether they knit and have an etsy shop, blog for a living, or travel the world teaching yoga -- Instagram provides visibility to mass amounts of people. When I learned that Patrick Beach would be coming to our studio the first thing I did was look at his instagram page. Needless to say, I was anything but disappointed. And after clicking on that link I've provided I am sure you will think the same thing.
When you think of a yogi what comes to mind? Probably a vegan eating, mala beed wearing, handstand loving, mellow talking type of person. While all those things are probably very true, I know many yogis that are everything but. Take me for instance, I love chicken and cheese, shavasana is in my top 3 poses, and I rarely do random yoga poses for "fun" (except in the presence of my living room).
So when I realized I would be showing Patrick around I didn't know what to expect. Yes, I thought to myself I could be friends with this person of course judging purely on his Instagram pics. He wears vans, skateboards, has a beard, and well, he's a yogi. Sounds like a lot of my friends in college. I didn't know his age, where he'd been in life, or the reasons behind why he does what he does.
I took his class Friday night at the studio and soon learned that he is exactly what I was hoping for. He is a yoga teacher. Not someone who has mastered doing inversions, but can actually lead people in their growth as students. Exactly what I envision and expect this idea of a "yogi" to be. He's a lover of life, goes with the flow, has opinions and knows how to state them respectfully, a professional, is mindful and curious about the people and environment around him. (I believe that anyone who takes the time to understand the role you play in creating greeting cards must be an inquisitive person) I think that all of those things come through when he teaches as well. There is never over compensation, he speaks when necessary and exhorts gratitude on the mat and in life.
You all have to do this too… you can't just watch me…
- patrick beach -
As a designer I fully understand social media and the world wide web. It has become part of our lives and our way of living. The more we post and more we are seen. It's pretty simple. But when I got to show Patrick around Kansas City I thought to myself in all honesty, this guy will probably be taking a lot of photos. It's his business really, so I thought it was a pretty reasonable prediction. Which in all reality who hasn't done that? I have traveled and I know what it feels like to document everything you see, eat, and experience. I have realized and learned that there is always a balance. I have gotten a bit off track here, but my point is that I am sure most people would assume Patrick is doing handstands all over the place, which he can, but at all the appropriate times.
I felt like I was the one that was so excited to take a bunch a photos! For all you KC folk, we ate burgers at Beer Kitchen, I took him to the Liberty Memorial, the Nelson-Atkins, drove through the Plaza, and went to Char in Westport to drink beer and eat BBQ as I watched the Chiefs play while he eyed the Seahawks. We talked life, yoga, and travel among other things. I never felt like I needed to keep him "entertained" or had to prove anything (except that KC is a cool city!). We just did things that I would probably do any other night of the week except still gross from 3 hours of yoga and wearing our beanies to cover up sweaty hair.
I feel odd writing about a specific person. I am usually typing about a culture or personal experience, but I know people are curious just as I was. I have to say I was a little sad when he left! I want to take class from him again! I selfishly asked my mom, "So how can we get a class like that here every week?" But the answer is that we can't. But that's the beauty of it too. I believe a yoga teacher is a good teacher because they are themselves. They don't try and teach like anyone else, they have their own style and uniqueness, and Patrick has just that.
Trip to Portland anyone?