If you like yoga in pyjamas and compassionate self care then you’ll want to meet Adam Hocke, the latest addition to team MFML.
We caught up with Adam to get to know him a little better. Here’s how it went…
When did you start practising yoga?
This is not a simple question or answer. I started learning yoga shapes, movements, breath, processes, chants, and philosophies when I was 18. For a while, I thought I had it. However, a gradual process over the years revealed to me that I needed to dive deeper to make sure it was an actual practical and efficient process of physical, mental, and emotional self-care. As life has given me grief, trauma, and other potent selections from the menu of possible human afflictions, I’ve had to look at my mat and ask “what are you there for? How can all of what I’ve learned apply to what I’m actually going through?” Before and after every practice, I check-in with myself mentally and physically to make sure I’m actually doing the positive work I think I’m doing for myself and if I’m not, I change tack. The check-in is the question, my practice, which I believe is actually now a practice, is the response.
What do you wear when you practise at home?
Seriously? This to me is like asking what one wears when they brush their teeth. On a busy day, I’m definitely in my pyjamas, bedraggled, with a cup of coffee nearby. Breakfast is being cooked simultaneously. If I have more time for a longer and more alert practice then I may put on ‘yoga clothes,’ but only as I will also be wearing them for ‘work clothes’ later on. My evening practice is restorative and also in pyjamas. I really should have lied and make myself seem more put together and glamorous. But there you have it!
What books inspire your practice?
The Zen of Creativity, John Daido Loori
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
Yoga for Emotional Balance, Bo Forbes
Buddha’s Brain, Rick Hanson
The Relaxation Response, Herbert Benson, M.D.
I’m a natural skeptic, so I appreciate any work of scholarship that teaches me well-researched practices that can improve my life. Conversely, I also seek impassioned and inspirational texts that challenge the skeptic in me to look outside myself and say ‘Hey! Look! Ain’t that beautiful?’ Recently, I’ve been most inspired by The Relaxation Response, which has given me greater understanding of the universal and practical architecture that underlies meditation, relaxation, and spiritual practices from many traditions.
What are your top tips for creating a habit?
I believe you need to begin with your intentions. Why do you want to practice yoga? Why do you want to move? Make sure you are driven by some amount of compassionate self-care. Otherwise, you will probably get locked in old, self-defeating patterns of beating yourself up if you miss a day, or frustration that you aren’t as flexible as you want to be. If you remember that this is really about you taking care of yourself, then you can let go of unreasonable and damaging expectations that will find some sneaky way of telling you that you’re not as good as somebody else. Forget them for now, focus on yourself, and the rest is easy… Get on your mat! Do something! Anything! Do it consistently for whatever amount of time you can realistically commit to. I’m here with you, as your teacher, as we practice together for the long haul.
Which guru would you like to sit on a mountain with?
My father. I lost him seven years ago, and there’s a lot I’d like to talk to him about.