Bryan Kest has returned to Shakti Vinyasa Yoga in Bellevue, Wash. for his 6th year teaching his Mastery Class at the studio. The room was packed from wall to wall and everyone waited eagerly to see what Bryan had to say about yoga. What I immediately heard when Bryan entered were a few greetings sprinkled with F-bombs. Right way I knew what type of class this was going to be. It was going to be raw and real.

Bryan is the creator of Power Yoga and is currently based out of Santa Monica, Calif. His Power Yoga model was created in the late 80s and since then has been integrated into the vinyasa practice throughout the world. Bryan comes from a family line that practices and teaches yoga. His brother Jonny Kest and Jonah Kest are also yoga teachers and can experienced at Wanderlust yoga festival lineups.

I came into the practice knowing that I had to let go over everything I knew about yoga because he would not be telling me what I would want to hear or how I wanted to practice. Bryan began the class with a real-talk session discussing the filter over our expectations and why everything we’ve thought about yoga was based on the westernization of yoga into today’s superficial and materialistic culture. Bryan repeatedly engrained into the attendees minds that yoga is not about what happens physically, but is instead a tool to get to the mind and to the root cause of all our pain and suffering – that ugly word we call attachment and our addiction to ideas and things that do not serve us. It was evident that the asanas were not important and that many of us were looking for answers in the wrong places.

[su_quote cite=”Bryan Kest on “attachment””]If you give it food, it strengthens. If you don’t, it will die.[/su_quote]

-Bryan Kest on “attachment”

Bryan encouraged students to be gentle on their bodies as to sustain their practice. Throughout the practice session, Bryan reminded students to identify pain and to constantly back off. He encouraged students to heal through four qualities: moderation, humility, listening and acceptance. He humbly stated that he was not a teacher, but instead the teacher is the experience that we all live on our mats.

The session ended with a meditation practice focusing gratitude. We immediately thought of those who have selflessly given to us so that we could become the better people we are today. My mindset shifted from questioning what my life purpose was to being thankful for all the moment leading up to my life today.

Although there were no handstands practiced in class, everyone still let out a good sweat. Bryan’s teaching was unlike any other yoga class I’ve experienced but it was definitely one of the most enlightening.

Below are some images I captured from his Master Workshop at Shakti Vinyasa Yoga in Bellevue. For more images, please visit Seattle Yoga News’ Facebook page.

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