I was sitting on the couch in the frat house watching an episode of Parks and Recreation with the guys when I was offered a goldfish cracker. My recent trip to Ann Arbor was one part DEEP practice, one part apprenticeship, and one part frat house roomie.

“Practice to live.”

When I arrived I walked into a room laden with beer bottles and a single bong fully loaded. The room was cheap and I’d every intention of making it work. I’m a Buffalo gal from Cheektowaga, NY and we’re a roll up our sleeves blue collar breed. I was taught early on that there is no mess too big for a sponge, comet and duck tape. So the next day I introduced myself to everyone and got to work.

Turns out it wasn’t technically a frat and the guys staying at the house were a mix of postgrads, grads, and one thirty-something who specialized in tiling. I practiced super early and went about my routine. I think the guys became curious about yoga, the glories of kitchari, posture, and how to release neck tension. It turned out to be a rad living situation. Every day we’d stumble upon a relic left behind from frat friends of the past. Things like a huge box of skinny pop, lacrosse sticks, and coffee beans upon coffee beans.

Life is filled with surprises and things that will throw us off our game. What we do with time on the mat is meditation. It keeps us calm in the most chaotic, reckless, and careless places life has to offer. Life is so weird. I don’t practice to fix anything. I practice to live this one life that I have fully in all of its complexities and weirdness. Life is so beautiful. Practice teaches us to look closely and learn to enjoy it, one goldfish cracker at a time.

Malissa Larson
Founder/ Teacher

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