I’m always delighted when I come across an individual who is clearly living his or her truth.
By that I mean doing exactly what he or she seems meant to do. Josh Blatter to me is one of those people. His yoga classes at CorePower Yoga are insanely good, but it is also Josh’s devotion to meditation and dedication to mindfulness that I admire.
Josh started The 32 Metronome Project last year to spread just that – mindfulness. Today Josh shares more about the life he has created, his project, and the unique event he is hosting this Sunday.
BEACH GROWN: Most of us know you as our yoga teacher or former yoga teacher training coach. Now after starting the 32 Metronome Project I can imagine your days are pretty busy! Describe what a day in the life of Josh is like.
JOSH BLATTER: My schedule is fairly routine these days. I typically wake up around 4:45 AM if I’m not teaching early and start my day off with my practice. It usually takes me about 75 minutes and begins with a positive beginning – cultivating an inner smile. I think that any practice without an inward smile is not in fact a practice at all. The physiology of the body changes with a smile and it allows us to effectively release tension. I roll out my blanket (I don’t practice on a sticky mat) and move through about 12 poses with long holds. I then practice pranayama and sit for meditation.
After my practice is when I am most creative. I usually get onto my laptop and start writing, journaling, and blogging. It is amazing how meditation taps you directly into source and how words can come onto paper as if they were downloaded. As the creativity trickles away, I dive into my day of teaching, studying different aspects of yoga, and working on the 32 Metronome Project. I really want the 32MP to be a resource for inspiration, support, and collaboration so I am constantly keeping the website up-to-date and posting articles that encourage mindfulness and insight.
BG: How did you first discover yoga?
JB: I first discovered yoga by a set of oddly dealt cards. I was managing a restaurant underneath a yoga studio in Point Loma. If you don’t know I am also a chef and restaurateur and have spent my whole life (until now) in the industry. At the restaurant I was constantly urged by the teachers and students to try out yoga. Stubbornly I resisted holding strong to the point that my body was too tight from years of having broken various bones. In fact I resisted every offer for almost 2 years. Then one day an instructor came down to eat and made no mention of yoga – so I asked her why she had not asked me to come upstairs to try it. She replied, ‘When you are ready, you will come.’ The next day I went and the rest was history.
BG: What is your favorite thing about teaching yoga?
JB: My favorite thing about teaching yoga is that I can support students along their journey of transformation and allow them to find great clarity. Clarity, so that they can understand themselves better, those around them, and the world much more accurately. To me, yoga is not about perfection of form, advanced breathing techniques, or Vedic teachings – although these elements will in time leave a great imprint. Yoga is a return home to ourselves where we allow the experience to offer us the true insight. When we can such insight it is as if life just makes sense.
BG: Who influences your practice and your teaching?
JB: I am influenced by a lot of different people and for many different reasons. I am equally influenced by many things. To label them by a name would not really serve much justice because words only entangle what it means to be influenced by something. What I see in someone is not the same as what someone else would see. Instead I think it would be of much greater value to say that I am inspired by people or things that are living in their dharma that hold their highest potential – like a flower or a blade of grass. The flower never tries to be a blade of grass and a blade of grass never tries to become a flower.
BG: Why do you think practicing yoga helps us to lead healthier lives?
JB: Yoga helps us live healthier lives for many reasons. On the most gross level, moving the body has a profound impact on our health, by building strength and mobility in our muscular and skeletal system. The gentle compression on the bones has even been shown to reduce illness such as osteoporosis. On a more visceral level, when we release tension in the body we are able to more efficiently circulate the blood which allows the vital organs and brain to stay oxygenated and energized. Through pranayama and breathing more deep we tap into the parasympathetic nervous system which has a profound effect on the health of our heart, digestion, and ability to rest and relax. Yoga also has its benefits mentally. By learning to breathe and to slow down we are able to be more mindful, aware, and attentive. We learn to respond instead of react and stay much more grounded.
BG: If there is one thing you can tell people about yoga, what would it be?
JB: Yoga is not about perfection – it is about learning about ourselves deeply.
BG: How did you first get into meditation?
JB: I always toyed around with the practice of meditation as it seemed to be a natural evolution as a yogi. My girlfriend is a meditation teacher (which doesn’t hurt either) and her influence has also greatly kept my meditation practice as a priority in my life.
BG: Why did you start the 32 Metronome Project?
JB: I started the 32 Metronome Project as a platform to give back; as a way for me to encourage people to do something different and bring more meaning
to their life. Finding meaning in life is easy to neglect as we get caught up with the mundane but something that we all desire on a very cellular level. The project originally trickled off of a restaurant project (which is still in the works) in which we hold space for mindfulness through food.
BG: What are your goals for the 32 Metronome Project?
JB: I want the 32 Metronome Project to be a symbol for mindfulness and a way in which businesses can come together and collaboratively make an impact. I would love to see more businesses engaged in mindfulness based practices, yoga, and meditation.
BG: How can Beach Grown readers get involved with your project?
JB: The first thing you can do is find us on Facebook so you can follow what we are doing. All of our posts have meaning, intention, and purpose so that you have a resource for inspiration and insight. We make sure that everything we post has value and that we are not posting to see how many people like it – we care much more about what you take away from it. Then come and support us at our different events, yoga, and meditation classes. This Sunday (January 12) at 705 N. Vulcan, Encinitas, CA 92024 we are holding an event called “Get To Give”. The event is a clothing swap with a twist. We have live music, live art, food, and good times. We will kick off the event with a guided meditation and then let the fun begin.
BG: What is your advice to readers who are trying to live healthier lives this year?
JB: The only way in which change can take place is if we do something different. Health is no exception. If we want to make changes with our health plan we have to be willing to do something outside of our habits and to create new patterns that are better for us. This takes time, a real commitment, and honesty. Let’s say that you decide you want to quit drinking coffee this year. If you simply stop drinking coffee, what are you really doing differently if the reason you drink it is that you stay up too late with friends. A real, honest commitment will guide you into your healthier new year.
Thank you Josh for your honesty and for your commitment to spreading mindfulness.
See everyone Sunday at the event!
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