Sunday morning, I woke up early (early for me which I know is not necessarily early for many of you) and made my way to Yoga Journal LIVE! Imagine all of the best and well-known yoga teachers in the world and put them together in one place, and you have the Yoga Journal Conference.
This was the first year that I attended. I had thought about going in the past but I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of taking upwards of 6 intensive classes over one weekend. That just seemed like too much for the body. But then I did yoga teacher training…
But the classes during the conference were more like workshops. We broke down different poses and really dove deep into different areas of the practice like teacher training. And I looooooved that.
I took an inversion class with Tiffany Cruikshank, a heart opening/backbending class with Kathryn Budig, and learning how to look and assess students’ alignment and anatomy and make adjustments with Natasha Rizopoulos. It’s pretty amazing to be able to take class in person with teachers that you’ve been following on yogaglo or Instagram.
1. You need a solid foundation. In the inversion workshop, Tiffany spent a lot of time talking about setting up a solid foundation for inversions. When we set ourselves up with precision, alignment and a solid foundation, we take a lot of the scariness and hope out of the process. You don’t just flail up and hope that you stick an inversion. Once we have that foundation set, we can then proceed to experiment with more advanced variations.
I think that this goes back to my post last week on ways to move forward when you feel stuck – go back to the basics and rebuild your foundation. It’s often harder and takes a lot more courage to be willing to step back and reevaluate your skills.
2. You’re often a lot closer than you think. During the inversion workshop, Tiffany had us practice hopping forward to practice mobilizing our pelvis and bringing it over our hands. I volunteered to demo because I am always afraid that I’m going to overshoot and land on my back. But after my first hop up, she said that I was a lot closer than I thought and I managed to catch some air and balance (momentarily). The same thing happened in Kathryn’s class. We were prepping for Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana. While I can catch my foot on the left side, I can’t on the right side. But as we practiced and I began to walk my hand down the strap that was wrapped around my right foot, my hand brushed my foot.
This happens in life too, yes? Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture when you’re entrenched in all the details or you’re too focused on where you want to go that you don’t appreciate where you are right now.
3. There is so much to learn. Both as a yoga practitioner and as a teacher, there is so much to learn and that humbling – in a good way. But this is also what excites me about yoga and about teaching. You have to remain curious and inspired.
4. Yogis in savasana is a beautiful thing. It really is and now, as a teacher, one of the sights that puts such a huge smile on my face, even if it’s not my class.
5. I shouldn’t be allowed to attend a yoga conference. Because I want to buy all the things. Seriously, there were some really cute things! I walked away with a top from Hyde Yoga, a tank from be the breath, and a water bottle from Spiritual Gangster because I couldn’t resist - “I’m just here for the savasana.” Plus, see above.
Have you attended a yoga conference or retreat?
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