Next month I will be teaching storytelling at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. This will be my second year teaching at Kripalu and I’m already scheduled to teach there in 2017 as well.
The fact that I teach at Kripalu astounds many. Though my students at Kripalu have assured me that my teaching and beliefs closely align to Kripalu’s philosophy and mindset, there are also many way in which I do not seem to fit:
I skip their world class meals and pick up burgers and fries and Egg McMuffins at McDonald’s instead.
I was told that I “walk aggressively” and swear more than anyone in Kripalu history.
At silent breakfast, it turns out that even when I don’t speak, I still make more noise than anyone else in the room.
Though I take advantage of their sunrise yoga class, I found the whole thing slow, tedious, and devoid of any competitive incentive.
This has been my problem with yoga:
No one wins at the end of a class.
In fact, it’s the competitive element of The Moth that probably helped me to initially fall in love with storytelling and eventually turned me into a teacher of the craft. It’s always an honor and a thrill to stand on a stage and perform for an audience, but when my performance is assigned a numerical value and there is a chance to win or lose, I tend to enjoy the experience a lot more.
In fact, if given the chance, I think I’d rather compete in a Moth StorySLAM than perform in any other show. Give me a couple hundred New Yorkers crammed into a used bookstore with teams of strangers poised to judge my story over a beautiful, acoustically pristine theater filled with a couple thousand attentive audience members and zero competition.
Crazy. I know. But probably true on most nights.
This is why I was thrilled to discover the sport of competitive juggling. No longer are jugglers permitted to just stand and entertain. Juggling is now a full contact physical sport, complete with strategy, teamwork, and body-on-body physicality.
Competitive juggling is tough. And there are winners and losers after every match.
See for yourself: