Jonathan Coyle has been a teacher at Pura Vida since January 2016, but that’s not all there is to Jonathan – he’s also a dueling pianos performer at The Shout House in downtown San Diego! He plays piano, guitar, drums, and sings, but his greatest passion is songwriting. He grew up around music, and for as long as he can remember, it’s been a part of his life. While he studied music at Ithaca College in New York, it became a source of comfort to him in those awkward years we all face. Music allowed him to develop deeper connections, make more friendships, and ultimately to build an identity around it.
Jonathan believes music is what led him to yoga. He feels the deep concentration and repetitive practice required for studying classical music are what enable him to be a better yoga student. He says, "the only way you're able to put it together and get it done" is to "learn it in such a way where you're perfectly focused and perfectly relaxed at the same time." That's the mentality he uses to approach his music, his yoga practice, and "hopefully" he says, life itself. "That's the goal."
Despite being a teacher for the past two years, Jonathan is committed to always remaining a student, "keeping the practice at the forefront." For him, yoga and music complement each other; practicing an instrument and practicing yoga improve his ability to invest his attention in what he's doing, including trying to be a better listener. For him, it's all about cultivating awareness and working on being less distracted.
As for the days he doesn't feel like stepping onto his mat, he says "it comes down to a level of commitment. ...You just show up and you just do it, and that's sometimes what life is. ...Sometimes you're inspired, and other days you gotta drag yourself there." He feels that's part of the work, part of the challenge, and "why it's a 'practice'."
One day – perhaps in his twilight years – Jonathan would like to learn the cello. His advice for pursuing our passions, other interests or creative diversions: "No matter what you choose to do with your time, essentially... if you have something that feels right, then just make that your time, work at it, craft it. Commit to it and be dedicated. Everything else will pretty much fall into place around that." It's not always clear to each of us, so he recommends paying close attention to "that little voice" to figure out what that thing is that will bring each of us fulfillment. Namaste, Jonathan.
To hear some of Jonathan’s music, visit: https://open.spotify.com/artist/29ElgAdxR9zKnzz4SWTVdi