By Ashley Beasley
If you’d told Garth Hewitt 10 years ago he’d be teaching yoga in Los Angeles and launching a campaign to make the world a better place, he would have said, “You’re crazy.”
Now, eight years after he began his yoga journey, Hewitt likens his experience to the scene in the movie, “Midnight Cowboy,” when busy city folk unconsciously step over the body of a homeless man on the street. Then, as if waking from some deep unconscious sleep, the hero, John Voigt, realizes he’s the only one in a sea of people who thinks he should help.
Yoga is a life-long practice that can offer lifetimes of wisdom and personal growth, and at 33, Hewitt is one L.A. based teacher that is raising the standards for young instructors everywhere.
Hewitt walks into the studio, sits down on his shins at the front of the class and introduces himself to new students, making sure to make eye contact with each one. He begins with an introduction to the day’s class and the reasons for a particular focus.
“On Monday we worked on core exercises, and really went straight into the fire of our bellies. Today we’re going to use all that hard work we did on Monday to help us start to open up and release the tension, not only physically but beyond the physical, in our hips and low back, a place where we store a lot of emotional and physical baggage. Let’s begin by tuning into our bodies and observing.”
Sounds relatively easy, right? That confidence soon dissipates as breath turns into flow, turns into standing posture, turns into long-series-of-standing-postures-on-one-leg, turns into, “Holy jeez, this is a level 2 class?!”
And Hewitt isn’t one to let his students get away with sloppy form. Every pose in his class has a specific purpose for a specific end result, as he reminds everyone to breathe and remember his/her initial intention.