Unspoken Expression | The Rise of Slash

It must have seemed quiet here.
Maybe even as if Rock Star Yoga had died on me?
That has not been the case although I understand why it may have seemed that way, with this blog all but abandoned.

The last time I wrote wasn’t even rock music related, but about the upcoming Star Wars episode 9:
The Rise of Skywalker
And it was actually a STRONG realization that I needed an escape from The Rise of Skywalker – all the disturbing plot leaks, the turmoil, the polarization in the fanbase – at least until the movie’s premiere, that made me focus on my love for rock in the form of guitarist Slash, instead.
For the first time of my life.

As an 80s and 90s Guns N Roses fan, and I felt in particularly drawn to their unique guitar sound, it feels weird for me to admit this, but apparently I “manage to miss” Slash.
I don’t understand what happened.
My boyfriends were always guitar players, up to the point that I could not imagine that ever not being the case.
Yet my love for bands always revolved around lead singers Jon Bon Jovi and Axl Rose. Sebastian Bach. Lenny Kravitz.
They could be lead singer and guitarist.

But it took until my 47th birthday and falling in love with someone who looks like Slash, which both happened late July this year, before I started looking at Slash with a fresh pair of eyes.
And it took until the current mayhem in the Star Wars community AND a sinking deeper into this whole concept Rock Star Yoga, before I could commit.

Every Star Wars video I would normally watch, was replaced with a Slash interview. I wrote out his bio, made an overview of all the records he had made, and the bands he had been in.
I wrote out entire paragraphs from interviews, things that seemed important.
All the while thinking over and over again:
“How did I manage to miss Slash?”

I still don’t have an answer to that and it embarrasses me. Part of it may have been that I (apparently) needed to reconnect with Bon Jovi first.
Just like I had when I was a teen.

Guns N Roses gave two recent shows, practically in my backyard. Nijmegen, 2017 and 2018.
Yet I listened from my balcony and didn’t have a ticket.
Three hour plus rock shows, in two consecutive years, and I just admired from afar?
(text continues under Slash’s 2017 tweet)
Like I said, I really don’t have an explanation why “it” didn’t click immediately. I did listen to Guns N Roses, after both shows 2017 and 2018. But it was more like a rekindling of my 80s/90s fanhood.
Not something new that was developing.

But what didn’t happen after those concerts, did happen this year.
And I do remember how Slash entered my life.
I got reacquainted with Slash in spring this year, watching Nikki Sixx’s radio show The Sixxth Sense.
The final show of The Sixxth Sense was an hour of Nikki and Slash talking.
It was magnetic.

But I already “had my hands full” preparing for the Bon Jovi concert this summer AND Nikki Sixx was already “the surprise rock star crush”.
I had no time nor desire to investigate Slash further.

Then the falling in love with the lookalike happened in July, followed by my first “round” of investigating Slash.
I was still very unsure about the lookalike. As sort of a coping mechanism, and because I knew how overbearing and intimidating my attention can be (they often talk about “the male gaze”; but that is nothing compared to my gaze!), I decided to focus on Slash instead.

Whatever chances I had with the Slash-lookalike, I wasn’t going to trash them by obsessing over him.
And the real Slash was safe:
He was already adored by millions, one more wouldn’t matter.
And I had 25 years of missed records, interviews, and an autobiography to keep me busy.
Whenever the being in love became unbearable, or I wanted to speak to him but couldn’t, I would turn to Slash instead.

But it wasn’t until last week, when a combination of circumstances changed all that, and made me drop in deeper. So deep that the Slash lookalike beau feels strangely unfamiliar by now.
We have barely seen each other these past months. And only unintentionally.
Nothing private or personal.

So the reason I m studying Slash now is no longer to keep my mind off matters with this new man. That has calmed down or even cooled off, who knows 🙂
Instead it happened through a combination of factors:
1. Reconnecting with Rock Star Yoga
Although I have not been active on this blog, Rock Star Yoga has not left my mind. Whenever I considered letting it go because I still don’t want Rock Star Yoga to be “professional” or a “business model” I realized:
This is it.
Rock Star Yoga, advocating a rise in creative and sexual energy, and a self-practice of yoga supporting that, instead of taking yoga classes being taught by someone else, is a thing.
It is THE thing.
I want the people who resonate with designing their own yoga, to have an alternative and to start relying on themselves instead of outer guidance.
Rock Star Yoga is the badass, creative – dare I say masculine? – yoga, that is a wonderful addition to what has been presented to us as being yoga.
2. getting sucked into pre-Rise of Skywalker anxiety
I knew I needed something extremely powerful to pull myself away from the pre-Star Wars 9 media buzz.

So 1 + 2 had already made me decide to focus on “Rock Star Yoga”. And one Friday night I went to my favorite hotel bar to journal on my options, and setup this Rock Star Yoga 2.0 so to speak.
I was aware I had been neglecting both this blog, as well as my own yoga practice. But with Rock Star Yoga being my ticket out of The Rise of Skywalker turmoil, I was determined to make this work.
I wrote out three bios:
Jon Bon Jovi, Nikki Sixx, and Slash.
And it was soon clear to me I felt the click with Slash. Not only was his birthday almost similar to mine (July 23 for him, versus July 24 for me); He was also the closest to me in age, being only 7 years my senior.
He was an introvert, just like me.
He didn’t like making eye contact.
He preferred communicating through his work, over speaking.
And he was happiest playing guitar, always working. Although the reunion with Guns N’ Roses came as a surprise, and unexpectedly put him in two bands instead of one, it worked out brilliantly. His “solo group” band members were worried he would not come back after a few gigs with Guns N’ Roses turned into a three year world tour.
But he always returned and kept making records and tour with his own band too.

On tour he would be writing new songs all the time.

For Slash, playing guitar seemed as natural and satisfying, as writing is to me. I have been a yoga teacher for over 15 years but I more or less “accidentally” became a writer. By now I feel more writer than yoga teacher.
I write under this name, but the majority of my work is under my pen name.
I am a writer, I know that.
That is what I do when nobody is watching and it is my procrastination of having a real life.
Until I realized that of course, this is my life.

Part of me still hopes that doing yoga, Rock Star Yoga, will save me from being a writer. Because in that case I have the days to “myself”, can have a normal job, right?
Because I “only” have to make time for yoga.
Eight hours of writing a blog post versus 90 minutes of doing yoga?
It’s not difficult to see which one is easier to fit into a normal life.

But I will get back to this “problem” of being addicted to writing at the end of this post.
Anyway, circumstance 1 + 2, the desire to get back with Rock Star Yoga and to quit watching Rise of Skywalker videos, combined with the journaling session at the bar, really put Rock Star Yoga 2.0 on the map.
And with it, my love for Slash.

And my first yoga session has indeed been with interviews (not even music yet) with Slash. Doing yoga listening to his soothing voice, talking Gibsons and Les Pauls: I totally loved it.
More than ever I was overwhelmed with “Why did it take me so long to discover Slash?” moments.
But it was something else as well… something that ultimately gave me the missing piece to Rock Star Yoga.
You see, I knew a couple of things when I started Rock Star Yoga this July.
1. Rock Star Yoga was going to be about raising your energy
And through any means necessary.
One of the key “problems” with normal yoga, to me, had been that yoga is micromanagement. It never addressed being creative, sexual, having fun, doing any and all things that make you happy and lift you up.
To me yoga = energy management.
And the first thing to do if you want more energy is to free yourself of the restraints, the things you re not allowing yourself to be, do or have.
Or, alternatively, to at least make a very conscious decision to keep the restraints, but to be more realistic about the amount of compensation that is going to require.
Rock Star Yoga was going to start with pulling all the lids from all the barrels of energy you got stored in that basement of Where You Can’t Come.
Which brings me to the second characteristic:
2. Rock Star Yoga was totally free.
There were no rules, no gurus, no path.
It was ultimately a full creative expression of your body, moving from one pose into the next, at your own pace, doing your own thing.

Through this blog and my YouTube, these points 1 and 2 have been consistent. But watching the Slash interviews and how he works, and becomes one with his guitar, gave me the third piece of the puzzle, which has already reshaped my yoga drastically…
And just like I apparently managed to miss Slash, even when it were the guitars of Guns N’Roses that I loved so much – I managed to miss this key element too.
Even when I have always been inspired by the physicality of yoga.
Even when I have always been inspired by yoga teachers with a back ground in dancing.
Even after calling it Rock Star Yoga and doing yoga to rock music… even then.
I had managed to miss the physicality of Rock Star Yoga. The “what” that the body really is… What is the role of the body in Rock Star Yoga?
What makes it vastly different from any other form of yoga, I have ever heard of?

Slash’s fingers moving over the guitar told me that.
His remark that he felt incomplete without a guitar taught me that.

Rock Star Yoga means that you discover, treat, play your body like an instrument, like a guitar.

The immersion of a musician into his work, becoming one with his instrument, is wildly different to a scientist or a writer, being absorbed by his work.
A musician is a performance artist.
What makes Slash playing guitar, or even talking with a guitar on his lap, so attractive, is because it has become the most visible part of his consciousness.
Just like in yoga, when we say that the breath is the most tangible part of the spirit, the guitar, the instrument itself, has become a tangible part of his spirit.
One of the parts or explanations of (normal) yoga I ve always liked, is that yoga is the merging of consciousness and body.
Consciousness is represented as Shiva.
And the body is represented by Shakti.
By merging Shiva and Shakti, you experience the body as a whole.
Even though my intention for Rock Star Yoga was to stay true to this Tantric aspect of the body and the consciousness becoming one, I had not figured out how to communicate this. Or how to “inspire” it.
But by seeing the body as an instrument, just like Slash pours his consciousness into his guitar, the riddle had practically solved itself.
In Rock Star Yoga, your body is your guitar.

Sometimes I  still wonder, will it really happen?
Not the yoga part, but will I stop being a writer? Calm down? Cool off even 😉
In favor of being a yogi, and in favor of having a normal job.
Maybe even in favor of being a publisher, and more consciously marketing and selling my books. 

Instead of constantly writing new material.
Will I ever stop being addicted to writing?
But as much as love the idea of being more mobile, of not having to bury myself behind my computer for days on end, have a normal working environment with real colleagues, jokes, lightheartedness, connection, I think:
Not in this lifetime.
Writing is who I am, it is the blood that flows through these veins.

But what I can do, just for 90 minutes a day, is listen to Slash interviews *, and pour my consciousness into my body, and let it play. Express. Be.
The unspoken expression of Rock Star Yoga.
That, I can do.

Rock Star Writer

* My favorite interview with Slash is A Scary Sleepover video with a game called Guess Your Dino where he easily identifies plastic dinos by their correct names.


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