Over the past few weeks, I have been experiencing major changes in my yoga practice. I contribute these changes to the workshops I have attended recently taught by a variety of teachers, and also to my teacher, Lindsay Lusignea, who I have been working with one-on-one to expand my knowledge and advance my practice.
Yesterday, I took a backbending workshop with Kino MacGregor, which was fantastic. I was mostly impressed with her knowledge of anatomy because she seemed to know EVERYTHING. Her verbal cues and ability to demonstrate poses were incredible. Besides being a great yoga teacher, she seems kind, humble, and light-hearted. I feel truly grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her.
Although I was genuinely impressed by Kino, I left her workshop feeling less confident about my ability to teach yoga and had huge doubts about my practice. Specifically, I felt most insecure about a backbending workshop that I taught last month. After attending Kino's workshop yesterday, I really questioned whether or not I was qualified to have taught a workshop about backbends. For a moment, I actually questioned whether or not I am qualified to be teaching yoga at all.
After a brief moment of major doubt, I remembered:
Kino has over fifteen years of experience practicing and teaching yoga. Of course she understands backbends better than me. Of course she has a better understanding of anatomy. Of course she has a great understanding of how to prepare the body and the mind for backbends.
Of course she is a better teacher.
How could I possibly compare myself to someone with so much more experience than me? Not to mention, such different experience.
I left her workshop feeling like a beginner. I left feeling overwhelmed as if I had just taken my very first yoga class. Feeling like a beginner is such an exciting feeling. It means that I am learning. It means there is so much more to learn.
While working with Lindsay, she helps me make "minor" changes to my practice in order to practice stronger and more efficiently. I say "minor" because although they may seem like small changes, they feel huge to me.
For example, she recently suggested that I lengthen the stance of my high plank in order to make the transition with my feet smoother when I move to chaturanga and through my vinyasa. My high plank is longer by only a few inches, yet my core is working harder than ever, my arms and legs are more engaged, and I feel much stronger. This "minor" change has actually changed my entire practice -- for the better.
Making changes in my yoga practice reminds me that I should always be evolving, not just in my yoga practice, but in life. I am not perfect. You are not perfect. Nothing is ever perfect.
Before my recent private with Lindsay, I thought that my chaturanga was great. I definitely did not think it was perfect, but I was feeling happy and content with how it felt and even with how it looked. I likely felt happy and content because I had previously struggled so much with chaturanga and felt like I had made huge progress -- which I had.
How can we ever become better versions of ourselves if we do not continue to learn? Sometimes life lessons are presented right in front of us. Other times, we need to seek out advice.
Maya Angelou says, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
I am happy. I am content. But I still want to evolve. Not just in my yoga practice, but with everything in my life. I want to communicate better. I want to be a better friend. I want to be a better daughter. I want to be a better partner. I want to be a better teacher. I want to be a better student.
I want to be better.
For me, happiness and contentment happen when I know I am making progress. Happiness with my progress. Content with how I am progressing...even when knowing that I have a long way to go.
I believe that true life is lived when tiny changes occur.
By Danna Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.
I hope you always strive to be the best version of yourself.
Class theme: March 16, 2015 - March 28, 2015