Being here in San Francisco for the Yoga Journal Conference has been a great experience. I was here for the conference last year and this year was just as good as, if not better than, last year’s conference. I could easily get addicted to attending conferences.
You see, I teach so much that it is sometimes hard for me to attend yoga classes back home. As a result I do my own yoga practice and continue to grow through my reading, my teaching, my own home practice, and watching and doing yoga DVDs. But there is nothing like attending workshops with some of the best yoga instructors in the States. One workshop after another, I put my all into grasping at every concept, every bit of wisdom, every new idea, and every nuance and fine-tuning for the yoga poses and yoga philosophy. The overall experience is both enriching and overwhelming. I know I will spend the next few months digesting all that I have learned.
In the intensive workshops at the conferences, I absorb touch (oh, how I love adjustments!) and I learn again and again how to be a student. I learn how to be humble and how to feel humbled. I learn how to allow another to adjust me and show me another way of doing something. I find my mind stretching. And yes, I meet other yoga instructors. How fun to connect with yoga instructors from all over the United States and other parts of the world. I met an instructor from Panama who gave me a sweet bracelet (She actually asked me if I knew where Panama is!). I met two dynamic yoga instructors from Peru and one very outgoing Saudi yoga instructor! In the last workshop this evening, I met an instructor from Slovenia. The instructors I met were a breath of fresh air. So exciting to meet instructors of all ages, new teachers, seasoned teachers, teachers lacking confidence, and teachers with huge visions of bringing the yoga practice to places beyond the mat.
1st Note to Self: Reach out more to my fellow yoga teachers in Seattle. We are a community and we need to learn from each other and grow our roots deeper.
2nd Note to Self: You know practically nothing! Don’t forget it. It sounds strange to write that down, but it is something I feel each time I take a Master Class. I feel like a little ant building an ant hill twig by twig. Will the work ever be done? Will I ever make progress? I am humbled beyond words. It is, oddly, a good feeling to have. I realize it will take years to master the yoga practice, if mastery is even attainable, but I also realize the journey of a lifetime has begun and is underway. I must continue to work hard on my own yoga practice, but I mustn’t be hard on myself. Oh, by the way, the first two sentences of this paragraph should read, You mustn’t forget that you have more to learn. (a much nicer approach!)
3rd Note to Self: It’s OK to cry or feel emotional during or after an intensive yoga workshop, especially on Day #3. The work I do during the conference is deep. This is the kind of work that can break down the hard armor clutching at the heart. You know the kind of armor I am talking about? The kind that protects us from the big bad world! The kind that helps dull the pain of loss. The kind of armor that helps us deal with meanness and selfishness. I need to remember that, though the armor might seem to protect me from emotional pain, it also cuts me off from myself. Not good. The workshops I have experienced so far (there are more tomorrow) cracked something open inside of me and today, as I walked back to my hotel room, this current blog post materialized in my head as tears streamed down my face.
4th Note to Self: Attend MORE yoga conferences! More and more and more! Namaste!