The Yogi: Come as you are – farmers markets and yoga

The Morris Family Band can be found playing at farmers markets in Concord and all over the Live Free or Die State.  Courtesy of Mike Morris
The Morris Family Band can be found playing at farmers markets in Concord and all over the Live Free or Die State. Courtesy of Mike Morris

For the Insider

The Morris Family Band hit the road this past weekend. We packed up the old Honda CRV with our guitars, fiddles and sound system. We stuffed our “backstage” tent and assorted snacks between the seats. We even brought along a portable dance floor, a new addition this year, made by my wife and our fearless leader, Heather. The Morris Family Band does a fair amount of traveling. We bring our little show to town events and libraries. We’ll entertain at birthdays and barbecues. We’ll give most any type of gig a shot, but we love farmers markets the most.

From Lebanon to Derry, from Wolfeboro to Portsmouth, we roll into town, unpack that trusty CRV and fill the air with music, dance and giant bubbles (the secret to our giant bubbles is guar gum). I’ve made a few suggestions about touring the country from market to market with the Morris Family Band. Our youngest member, who is five, thought that was a little much, and vetoed the idea.

This past Friday, after Yoga and Pilates classes in Concord, we headed to the Newport Farmers Market. As we drove up Interstate 89, we talked about the similarities between the yoga room and the farmers market.

Folks come to yoga with very different intentions. Some come to heal aching backs, to strengthen and stretch stiff bodies or to get away from the noisy world for a while. Some come to lose weight, to feel better in their bodies, or to build confidence in their movements. Yoga doesn’t care why you come to yoga. In a modern world that wants you to take sides, or tries to pit “us vs. them,” yoga doesn’t much care. Yoga is about showing up.

Farmers markets are much the same. Some folks come for fresh, organic food, or to get to know the folks that grow it. Some folks come to be with friends and families, meet new people, or share a meal. The farmers market doesn’t much care why you show up, only that you do.

On that Friday afternoon, as we banged out the first few chords of a song up in Newport, there were a few dozen people milling around at our end of the market. I couldn’t help but think that just a few hours before I was in front of 17 Pilates students, getting ready for a different kind of song.

There is a theme that runs through this column: yoga and exercise, music and mindfulness, food and farmers. The theme is that we always have, and always will, gather together, despite our differences. We are human beings, and “humans being”, and we need each other more today than ever.

When you step on to a yoga mat and begin to practice, you often notice the differences. The parts of your body, and how they move, may seem very separate at first, like a collection of pieces. With practice, the pieces get to know each other better, and the body begins to move more like a unit. There can be some struggle in the process. There can be a few difficulties in the relationship, some moments of “us vs. them.” This is where we start to realize that it is the practice of yoga, the showing up, that matters more than the perfection of yoga. In the yoga room, it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, where you come from or what you believe.

You are welcome here. You are welcome here, exactly as you are.

I think the same can be said for the farmers market. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, where you come from, or what you believe. Whoever you are, come as you are.

On any given Saturday from May to October, you can head on down to the Concord Farmers Market on Capitol Street and take it all in. Come as you are. Grab yourself a coffee, some kale and a high-five from your local farmer. You might just bring along that yoga mat, in case a yoga class breaks out on the State House lawn. If you come across the Morris Family Band at a farmers market near you, come on over and say hello. We’ll sing you a song. We’ll dance you a jig. We’ll show you a few of our giant bubbles. Then we’ll all practice our Cobra pose together.

Rock on, my friends.

 (Mike Morris is the owner of Hot House NH Yoga & Pilates.)

Author: Mike Morris

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