So Kripalu was amazing. As always. I took the workshop with Timothy McCall on Yoga as Medicine. I had to buy his book for teacher training and it had been one of my favorite books that I had obtained. He was a complete pleasure to listen to. Very knowledgable, witty, and kind. His assistant, Lauren Toolin, was what I considered an efficient bitch ( trust me when I say that that’s a massive compliment ). She gave me a lot of pointers and insight that I have yet to receive anywhere else. And of course, all the others taking the class, whether they were teachers, long time practitioners, or what not, were a massive joy. Being able to share experiences and so forth with others is such a special gift. You can’t trade it with any amount of training.
So the class was broken down as kind of an intro to yoga therapy. Very, very basic stuff. Went over some big components when it comes to helping someone out - anatomy, nervous system, ayurveda, psychology, and spirituality - and then were broken into small groups to apply all of this. I had the opportunity to both help someone out with some yogic advice and also be a “patient” myself. We had to fill out little forms if we wished to be a patient and I was glad to be picked. I think my story was insightful for those who aren’t used to it and their unbiased advice was extremely helpful. I went in more focused on my mental issues than I was physical, but I’ve always had a very tight upper back/shoulder area. They looked at my posture, noticed such little details, and gave me some amazing exercises to help not only bring relief to my upper back, but to also promote my healthy lifestyle and add more tools to my toolbox, so to speak.
Also brought up a lot of stuff within me, both in my group and in the general workshop, about my blocked creativity. I’ve been working on a novel for some time and I keep having spurts of creativity and nothing else. Everyone spoke of how I need to pursue my dreams of becoming a published novelist and I think I took several steps in the right direction. I picked up Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and I’m hoping that helps me out. Also made a sankalpa to write at least 2000 words a day on this particular novel until it’s done.
And this all strikes me odd, too. Back in January, I went to go see a woman who was very connected spiritually, and she gave me lots of advice, like continuing yoga, getting back into photography ( I guess pictures on my iPhone count ), and so forth. But the biggest thing she told me was that something big was going to happen for my during the summer time and that it would end one phase of my “learning,” so to speak, and then I would move on. She was very cryptic about it and I had NO idea what exactly was going to happen. Well, it’s summer now, and I was waiting around for a bit. I don’t know for what, a sign or something, you know? Then it hit me in the middle of the week that perhaps all of this unblocking of my creativity might be onto something. Maybe something will come from all of this, I don’t know, but I have a good feeling about it.
Aside from all of that, I had the most delicious Thai yoga massage ever. He gave me some great pointers to help release tension in my upper back and he simply threw me around like a rag doll. Oh, it felt so good. And to think that most of it was assisted stretching. Hell, he got be into a full locust pose and I wanted to stay there forever. Also reminds me that I need to get into more Thai yoga massage. I love doing it and I just imagine how much I would know ten years from now if I kept at it, continued my levels, and practiced constantly.
So yeah, good stuff all around. Was bittersweet to leave - leaving Kripalu is never easy, but I couldn’t wait to get home to take everything I learned and apply to my life. Good stuff. Namaste!
And on THAT note, I’m back! I will write more about my lovely tales about Kripalu tomorrow when I’m more awake. It’s been an amazing week and I’m happy to be home. Hope all of you lovely followers are doing well! It’s certainly been awhile. Namaste.
I’m heading on out to Kripalu tomorrow for a workshop on yoga as medicine. Very excited about this! Also getting a 90 minute thai yoga massage, which my poor upper back/shoulders are dying for. Can’t wait. I’ll be back Friday night, though there might be a few pictures here and there via my phone on the occasion. You lovely followers take care and namaste!
So I’ve always been afraid of teaching a yoga class and not being on my A game. I think everyone has that kind of moment no matter where they work, though it’s still terrifying for me. It’s not so much if I’ve had a bad day or I’m tired or what not. Actually, I’d trade that for any of the depression I’ve been feeling for the past couple of days. I had to teach on Thursday night, which I was worried about, not wanting to come off as weak to all my students. I’m slowly starting to create a good foundation of students, the ones who come up to me after class and ask questions, ask what other classes I teach, and even bring some of their friends along, too.
The last thing I want is for my students to see me after I’ve had a nervous breakdown. There are just some days that no amount of yoga can heal me and I just need to go with it. I had a really horrible, shitty day Thursday ( for a lack of better words, because really now ) and tried to stay focused and positive. Then once I got there, tried to put a smile on my face, and do my own breathing exercises, I ended up tossing whatever plan I had in mind out of my head and decided to make stuff up along the way.
Started off with a fifteen minute meditation, something I barely see in other classes. I’m lucky if I find a class with five minutes worth of grounding. I felt like I did the meditation more so for myself than for my students ( it was a Buddhist meditation for compassion, really powerful ) and when it was all said and done, everyone seemed to love it. Then fifteen minutes worth of gentle stretching and warm ups, fifteen minutes of an intense hip opening sequence, a couple reclined twists, then relaxation ( for those of you playing the home game, it’s an hour long class ). It wasn’t a typical class I normally run. It’s totally a session I would do in my free time, though: lots of meditation and relaxation, lots of yin styled poses and focus on releasing blockages than getting a bikini body. I even, for the first time, went around and gave some assisting while they were in child’s pose for five minutes. I was always afraid people wouldn’t want to be touched and told them to shoo me away if they didn’t like it. Nope. Survey says, keep it up!
And when everything was all said and done, a bunch of them came up to me after and said how powerful the class was. One of them even commented it on being “deceiving” with how peaceful we started out and then were hardcore for the fifteen minutes of standing postures. I kept hearing people saw how relaxed and refreshed they were. One of my regulars, who’s a college girl, comment to her mom she brought along how her mind’s always all over the place and how she felt like that wasn’t the case in that night’s class. I’m glad I can share that gift with people.
I don’t wear the fact I’ve been living with depression, anxiety, and manic episodes on my sleeve. I’m not that kind of person. At the same time, I’m not going to hide it if someone asks, either. Though it does make me wonder if any of them would have suspected I had a nervous breakdown earlier that day or that I live on a day-to-day basis when it comes to whether or not I’m “fine,” so to speak. As horrible as it is, I wouldn’t want to live life any other way. One of my biggest role models for bipolar, Stephen Fry, once mentioned he wouldn’t trade his illness for all the tea in China. It’s what makes us who we are. Regardless, that class showed me that I was able to pull through it and do it successfully. Sometimes its our darkest demons that help us create light in the thick of things.