Let it Rock | the origin story of Rock Star Yoga


My name is Suzanne Beenackers, but I also work under a pen name.

I ve been a fan from Bon Jovi since 1986, and consider their record Slippery When Wet, and in particular the first track Let it Rock, my initiation.
Not at the time of course.
14 Year old Suzanne thought listening to that record was an entirely normal thing to do.
Even though nobody from her class owned that record, knew that song, nor went to the 1988 Bon Jovi concert on a weeknight on the other side of the country.
Fully normal.
When in reality?
No.
Not really.

The Let it Rock intro classifies as “sex on a keyboard” and Jon Bon Jovi ends it on a deep sigh. A combination powerful enough to shake up even the most dormant sexuality.
And that’s just the first 1 minute 20 seconds.

In the eighties hard rock was banned and demonized within certain Christian circles and although I find it very unlikely satan would be hiding between the guitar riffs, I do agree now that it’s both sexual and spiritual what happened on that record.
Guitars were my first love, and although I ve strayed from the path for 25 years when I was a Madonna fan, I came back to Bon Jovi in 2019.
For good. 

The Madonna Era 1994-2019

I have questioned why I abandoned my love for rock. But ultimately I understood why I needed to go away. And what happened in those 25 years.

Because where Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and other bands too but only in the form of concerts not so much records, brought me the experience of sex, the energy of it;
Madonna taught me WHO I WAS. 
My interest in her was an identity one. I liked her music because I liked her. She was expressing herself, including her sexuality, through her music.
So I listened to her music to get to know her.
But the only record that really got under my skin was Ray of Light;
Her only album that heavily features electric guitars.

For 25 years I explored, developed and identified myself through her, and in 2019 in the half year working up to a Bon Jovi concert, the first one since 1988, I felt I was leaving Madonna behind.
The concert was on the 13th of June, and she released her new record on Friday the 14th. I never listened to it.
There was such clarity that “our time together” was over, if you can say something like that about an idol being in your life.
I now know who I was and where I belonged: 
With rock.

Yoga in the modern world

Madonna brought me many things, but the most apparent one was that she inspired me to start yoga.
In the 90s yoga in the Netherlands was the domain of pregnancy yoga, done on sleeping bags in community centers, and a magazine with Eastern oriented scholars sharing their wisdom printed in black and white with a yellow cover.
Yoga was done responsibly but it was also a bit boring.
Not to say hopelessly uncool.
When Madonna did her 1998 promotion for her album, it revolved heavily around her finding yoga after the birth of her daughter Lourdes and how she had gotten back into shape with it.
She had a lean, muscular body to prove it.
This is how yoga was put on the map of the modern world, where it has stayed from that moment on. And it was from here, that my love for yoga was also sparked.

This story illustrates how I adopted the idea of yoga, before I started doing yoga. I have always referred to 1998 as the year when I started doing yoga, until a few years ago I saw in my old agendas that it had actually been late 1999 that I had taken my first class.
The reason I remembered it differently was because the idea of yoga was taking shape inside of me. And this (adopting the idea first) would actually become one of the pillars of this blog (the one you re reading now).

Yoga, including Rock Star Yoga, should first be an idea, a concept that you explore and try on like a coat. You make it part of your identity first.

This is not to say that this will be the case for everybody. 
I know many people who are won over by yoga, by doing yoga. Taking a class, or being introduced to a class by a friend.
But that has never worked for me, and because I can’t be alone on this – and because all the people who get on the yoga wagon by experience are already catered to left, right and center – I ve decided to become more vocal about this order in which I have done this, and many things after.

Finding the agendas and realizing the concept of yoga had become a part of me, long before a yoga practice had, became a major insight.
That I can do anything by bringing it/ the experience of it, into my vibration. Maybe “in my vibration” is an even better way of describing what I do, than identity.
Bringing yoga into my vibration is what I did after Madonna first mentioned it in 1998.

Nourishing yoga in my vibration for over a year, is what brought me to pick up taking classes and to start doing yoga daily.
And ultimately, yes, yoga did become my identity, when I became a full-time yoga teacher. 
Until I could feel it slipping away..
First the vibration of it. It felt like I had lost my connection to yoga, like priests who can no longer hear God’s voice. But on the outside it looked the same. I still did my work.
Then I lost my own practice.
And then my identity when I stopped my group classes in 2018.

Like sand through my fingers, yoga had left me.
Life had left me.

Finding Healing

When I bought the ticket to the Bon Jovi show, early December 2018, it felt purposeful.
Magical even.
It was like the idea of seeing them in June, seven months later, was already casting a spell backwards, over the seven months of waiting.
It became this space, this vacuum, in which I could create an entire new life which I could then celebrate with the concert as its highlight.
Unfortunately, it turned out the road ahead was not that easy.

December to February were marked by a renovation, moving in and out of my house, not having heating. And the stone cold loneliness of a life without cats.
My cat, little Max, had died one year prior.
Knowing this highly unpractical renovation was scheduled for my building, and because my yoga business was already coming apart at the seams, I had decided not to take new cats until I had my life sorted out.
One year after his death, December 2018-February 2019 were without a doubt the lowest months in my life.
Immediately after the renovation, a friend brought me her cat to look after. It was soothing to have that little boy running around my house.
Life would only go up from now on.

Early May 2019, on a Tuesday, my sleep-over cat was picked up by his mother in the morning, and in the afternoon my two new cats arrived.
They were called Flip and Zaza, and I had been following their story since 2018, and had engaged with the organization that was fostering them, raising money for them, and sharing their posts when they asked for adoption.
It was so strange because they were adopted, only to be given back, and then fostered in a place that wasn’t part of the foster families who were participating in having them get adopted.
It was like they lived in a bubble, outside of space and time.
Until in 2019, after my renovation, they were relocated to a different foster family that was very successful at mediating their cats;
And they were brought up for adoption.
“It’s Flip and Zaza!” I exclaimed.
And I sent them a letter.

It was as if they had been waiting, as if God had been taking care of them, so they would become my babies when I was ready.
May 2019, I was ready.
My new life could start.

And yoga would be rocked back into my life, with a vengeance.

Let it Rock

I just looked it up, on the accounts under my penname, and after all the delay of the renovation and being miserable, and then the healing when I had the stay-over cat; I ultimately did start studying Bon Jovi, as I intended. 
Because when I bought the ticket, I had not just seen that entire 7 month period of waiting as one big new years resolution to a better life;
I also wanted to get reacquainted with the material, learn the lyrics, set lists, listen to interviews.

I was bringing the Bon Jovi concert into my vibration, long before the actual show. 
And just like I had done with yoga, two decades before;
It worked.
Of course it worked.

When I went to that show I knew everything there was to know. From the security procedures, to the lay-out, to the set-list.
And I had even “practiced” not eating for prolonged periods of time, because I didn’t intend to waste time buying food on the premises, or use the bathroom.
I had set my eye on standing first row, and ultimately, through a combination of almost “beginners luck” (and not knowing about pricey early access procedures and so on), through determination, preparation and a lot of friendly people;
I got first row.
Damn.

When I got out, my gums were tingling as if I had had really good sex, and I knew I had learned everything I needed to know.
And that there was no going back now.
But I didn’t know exactly what it was.
A few days later, I did.

About Rock Star Yoga

Rock Star Yoga still doesn’t have its finite form, and something tells me it never will. That it will always be a concept, an idea, something that each for his own will figure out.
Rock Star Yoga will always be something that you can bring into your vibration, and fit on like a coat. Something to toy with, to nourish, and to ultimately;
Become.

There are a couple of reoccurring principles and guidelines that I refer to, as being Rock Star Yoga. Things I find of use, and of importance too. And that are rarely mentioned in regular yoga.

These three pillars of Rock Star Yoga, which are mentioned at the bottom of every blog post, are:

1. raising your energy
Through any and all means nessecary.
Two big often overlooked sources of energy are Purpose and Sexuality. By limiting these, you are limiting your potential and your energy.
Raising your energy also means, to raise your energy through yoga
(versus merely focusing on relaxation) or to engage in yoga in order to prepare and support your body to channel these big waves of creative energy.

2. RSY means a fully creative self-practice
Versus taking classes, sticking to a schedule or educating yourself in a certain lineage.
If you feel unsure where to start, you can find help on
YouTube. Yoga with Adriene, is my personal favorite. But there are plenty of other tools around.
If/ once you feel safe enough, you can let go, and just let the body express in the way it desires.

3. RSY means your body is your instrument
Just look at the way Slash handles his guitar, and an entire new way of looking at, and experiencing, your body, could arise. 

Rock Star Yoga was born on that day.
In the sun, the rain, and the thunder, of a Bon Jovi concert on June 13th, 2019.
Or as Jon Bon Jovi said:
“We ve made it all the way through the winter and the summer, in the last two hours.”

We’ve made it all the way through half of my life, since I was a 14 year old girl. 
Maybe it was her, that was reborn that day.

~Suzanne

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“We ve made it all the way through the winter and the summer, in the last two hours.” [At 13 minutes]

(These arms are) Open all night

I can confirm these arms are always open for cuddling, licking, fetching, scratching, biting, playing catch, hide and seek. Because I am her love child. ~Flipje

“This title, Open all night, we’ve used about five times.
We finally did a song on the Bounce record, called Open all night. Great title, we never could get it right.”
Jon Bon Jovi, 32 min 28 sec 

So apparently there were five songs called Open All Night.
But even if you go with the three that were released, you’d have trouble distinguishing them.
The only mainstream version of Open all night is, like Jon said, on the album Bounce.
The Box Set, 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong, is for the fans and has two other versions: Open all night and These arms are open all night.
Three different songs, but they’re all ballads which makes them similar.
And although the title of the song on Bounce is “Open all night”;
Those lyrics say These arms are open all night.
Adding to the confusion about which song is which.

All-in-all Bon Jovi is open all night, usually with the arms included.
And it’s something that inspires them.

And lap sitting you have to tell them lap sitting too lap sitting is great it’s not just about the arms it’s also about the lap sitting because I am her love child ~Zaza

I’ve listened to all three songs, and here is what I found.
For clarity’s sake, I m going to assume the protagonist of these songs is male, and preferably Jon Bon Jovi, unless he specifically says that he is Jones and he drives a dented red Chevrolet then we go with that.
And we’ll assume the other person is a woman.
So here’s the three different songs:
1. Open all night
at 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong
live version Atlantic City 2004
Is about a girlfriend who has left to make it in the world and her boyfriend waiting at the bar, telling her not to worry.
Open all night refers to the boyfriend being open all night, meaning waiting for her.
2. These arms are open all night
at 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong
live version Borgota 2004
Is about a man who introduces himself as “Jones” and informs us he has a dented red Chevrolet, and gives a woman he met at the bar a detailed description how to get to his house.
Now if Jon Bon Jovi would try pick me up with this:
“These arms are open all night
If you need someone to talk to
A hand to hold onto and if it feels right
These arms are open all night”
That would be a Hell YES! if ever there was any.
I would feel completely seen, wanted, desired, and although I m not a night person at all, I would make an exception.
However.
This song explicitly identifies him as not being JBJ, but as “Jones”.
And I m actually surprised Jones sees the headlights of the woman behind him following him, because he confesses (out loud?):
“God only knows how long it’s been that I been this lonely”
Would not make me feel wanted at all….
For each their own I guess, but I m more than just a warm body and the shorter the encounter is gonna be, the more I want to feel that this man will do anything to be with me, because he desires me just so much it’s driving him mad.
Which brings me to:
3. Open all night, main version, Bounce
album recording
There is a reason this is the one that made it.
It starts with a verse where Jon – Jon’s back! I like him MUCH better than somebody who introduces himself with a surname Jones. – shares with us that he saw us coming from a mile away and noticed our poor little heart was bruised black and blue.
Then we get a verse where he tells us that he too, has been hurt. He knows how it feels. And that the last thing we need is another pickup line, so he’s not going to do that.
Wait.
Maybe I should just quote this. Here are those verses:

“I saw you coming from a mile away
Trying to hide behind that pretty face
Bet my last dollar baby you been bruised
Poor little heart all black ‘n’ blue

Last thing you need’s another pickup line
You must have heard them all a thousand times
God only knows what you been through
Believe me I been broken too

It aches, it breaks, it takes your breath away
I’ve been around that block a time or two”

Okay, if there is a woman now, considering to NOT immediately go with Jon, she’s lying.
We just got picked up in 2,5 verse.
Bring in the chorus:
“Baby, I don’t want to fall in love with you
I try, try, try but I can’t get around the truth
Please don’t say my name, give this heart a break
I don’t want to make the same mistake but it’s too late
I’ll leave on the light
These arms are open all night”
Song number 3 wins. Jon gets the girl.
This is such a no-brainer that I feel like an idiot even going through the rest of the song, but I will do so, as a sign of song-appreciation.

So we had Jon buttering us up with perfect verses and bringing it home with the best pickup chorus in the history of rock music and then we have:
(Take it away Jon)
“I got your taste in the back of my mouth
I want to reach in and pull it out
And I’d be lying if I didn’t say
When you’re this close I’m afraid
Of the way I’ll feel if I touch your hair
The way I’ll miss you when you’re not there
And that I’ll see you when I close my eyes
It’s too late, I’ve crossed that line
Not only did Jon have us at “Baby, I don’t want to fall in love with you”
He now burns the very last of our entire defense system to the ground,
by admitting he too has fallen hard for us.
That he didn’t want to fall in love, he wasn’t looking for it, he wasn’t needy or lonely, and yet it happened anyway.
*soft sigh*
Isn’t life beautiful?
Are we now not all dreaming of being swept off our feet by someone we don’t want to fall in love with, but we just can’t help ourselves?
In another documentary, Jon speaks about his mixed feelings of singing ballads in front of a live audience. The interviewer tells him that the crowd was completely quiet the other night, when Jon sang his version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
Jon answers:
There is a ballad called Open all Night, on Bounce, that I love for that reason.
But it gets the polite applause at the end, because it’s not that..”

*makes energetic hand gestures*
(18 min 30 sec)

After this analysis of the lyrics of Open all Night on Bounce, I don’t believe Jon. I don’t believe anyone would not get it, if Jon sang this live.
That was not a “polite” applause.

That was “God that hurt please play a rock anthem to make it go away.” – applause. It was a crowd with arms that were not just open for Jon;
They would have given them both to have him in it.

~Suzanne

yoga log Tuesday August 6:
about 45 minutes standing poses, seated, lying down
+ half hour relaxation because I fell asleep
audio: The Heroin Diaries audio book, read by Nikki Sixx

yoga log Wednesday August 7:
about 45 minutes experimental yoga a lot of cat cuddling
Short session because my little cat Flipje had decided that my time on the yoga mat were either his lap sitting time or “catch mommy with my nails” playtime.
audio: cd 1 from 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong
Open all night and These arms are open all night are track 6 and 7

You can follow Bon Jovi inspired Rock Star Yoga through this blog,
(subscribe button on this page) and the Rock Star Yoga philosophy on
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BOOKING 

Want help designing your own home practice?
Shoot me an email at s_beenackers@hotmail.com 

private yoga class, Nijmegen       € 125      75 minutes (daytime rate)
incl 9% VAT

coaching call                      € 110              60 minutes
incl 21% VAT

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All services must be paid 24 hours in advance.

These arms are open all night (Live)
version on 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong: