Patrick Harrington is a yoga Yoda. Much like a minister might, Harrington chooses a word or concept to meditate on and analyze in class each week. Intuition and circumstance often influence his decision. Kindness was the focus recently. Considering it’s the moniker of his studios, it’s hardly surprising Harrington had some profound thoughts.
“In our culture, kindness is often seen as a weakness. I believe it’s a strength,” Harrington declared, before asking the class to stand up tall and relax its arms to the sides. “Spreading the bottom of your left foot, inhale right thigh up. Interlace your hands underneath your kneecap.”
Harrington is a master at weaving these weekly musings into his instruction. “Strengthening your left leg is kind to the posture,” Harrington continued, instantly marrying the philosophical rumination to the actual physical practice at hand. “Kindness is letting go of patterns that don’t serve you anymore. How would kindness respond to intensity or contraction?”
“Getting stronger is kind,” enlightened Harrington. “Being able to carry your own weight is being kind to the people in your life.” Has anyone ever made you feel guilty for exercising or indulging when there’s work to be done, or responsibilities to be tackled? Just when you thought treating yourself was selfish or vain, Harrington swoops in to rescue you from the moral dilemma.
“There is no defense to kindness as a response. Kindness, from your position, can shift a challenging relationship. Showing kindness is analogous to showing forgiveness,” concluded Harrington. “Kindness is invincible.”
George Peele enjoys strapping on height enhancers and aurally ambushing strangers. He is Music Editor for 303 Magazine. Follow Peele on Twitter: @Orangepeelmoses. Avatar image courtesy Jonathan Shoup.