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I’m on the evolation yoga blog #yogastory
“You’re the girl who teaches hot yoga don’t you?”
“I could never do that, it’s too intense!”
“I’m definitely not flexible enough to do yoga.”
“I’ve heard it makes you feel terrible.”
“I went once and I didn’t enjoy myself so I would never go back.”
“How do you do that for 90 minutes—that’s crazy!”
“Yoga’s just not my thing—it’s too slow.”
“The same postures? Doesn’t that get old?”
As a teacher, I hear many of these statements consistently. They range in intensity, tone, inflection and facial expression. Friends of friends, students I know, people I do not know, within random conversations that I overhear—these words are said in just about any capacity. In the studio, at a restaurant, at a fitness center, in passing conversation, at an event, out of town—not specifically isolated to my teaching domain.
My personality type is extremely empathetic: in conversation I spend most time listening to others for true understanding. I press for more information. I reply: “oh really?” or “tell me more about that.” Normally I take a neutral position, which seems to open the dialogue more. When conversation feels open, there is more room for authenticity and ability to move beyond the shallow surface. I listen with intent, and think: what is it that made them feel this certain way about the experience? How can I encourage them to try again? How can I share my knowledge with them about the benefits of practicing? How much do I share and where is the fine line between encouraging and becoming too attached to the idea that everyone in the world would do yoga forever in a happy carefree land? [cue: unicorns & rainbows]
Side note: to be perfectly candid I often worry that people perceive that I would be “selling” the yoga if I were to push people to it by selling them a product. This is not my intent: yoga as it stands sells itself. Benefits are scientifically proven. An open-ended invite to the yoga studio or to a conversation about it and putting the information out there normally works better. I find that when others know you are involved in something, they take notice and want to know more. There is curiosity and that is a gift for me—another person’s curiosity about my craft is an opportunity to share my passion. This has proven more effective to create the space for others to pursue yoga then to drag people to it.
A paradigm shift is a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.
If you never rode a bike again because you fell off the first time, you would never learn to ride a bike. If instead, you think: I could try again and I may or may not get another result—that would be the beginning of a shift in paradigm. A person likely won’t experience a paradigm shift unless there is an internal “click” in their mind—something that changes within them. It’s similar to putting on a new pair of eyeglasses and seeing the same thing you’ve seen in a different light.
Allow for another example: if you experienced one single class, one kind of yoga, one event, one teaching style, one studio, one perception, and judged it solely on that single experience would you be able to capture the total essence of the practice? Could you accurately assess and then conjecture that every time you did that thing again (be it yoga, or something else) it would be the exact same experience?
There is freedom in trusting the process. There is freedom in consciously choosing not to jump to a conclusion about a thing (be it yoga, another human being, a glance from a stranger, an idea) based on a single interaction. There is freedom in not passing judgment about every single thing in the daily grind. There is freedom in diving headfirst into something you are unsure of, deathly afraid of, or curious of—there is freedom in being open to numerous experiences and being open for anything that comes along.
“After class I feel like I can do anything!”
“My back pain has gone away and definitely feel better after.”
“Since I started yoga I sleep better and have more energy.”
“I see what you mean, I see what you were talking about in that pose!”
“My practice is my outlet—coming here is my stress relief.”
“Everyone around me notices changes in me.”
“I finally see myself as strong.”
As a teacher, I hear many of these aforementioned statements consistently. They too range in intensity, tone, inflection and facial expression. I hear these conversations in multiple capacities as well—before or after a class, at a local hangout, at Starbucks, just about anywhere. It’s a shift in paradigm. These thoughts likely weren’t after one single experience but multiple, numerous occasions. It is the shift in perception. It is a beautiful shift from being open over time to whatever happens along the way. It is true commitment to something over a period of time when the real magic happens. Being able to reap the benefits of actually experiencing something with an open heart, open mind.
Where have you seen a paradigm shift? Where in your life can you see something in new light?
gain strength in the core and upper body to discipline your handstand using a pike press on the trx:
- hands shoulder distance apart, feet in the suspension straps
- initiate movement from the core–> lift hips up
- over time, get the hips up stacked over the shoulders
great tool for learning handstand pressing and for building both proper alignment and kinesthetic awareness