Dear Homegrown Yogis,
Last week I traveled to Austin, Texas to attend my second Rocket Yoga Teacher Training – this time led by David Kyle, a teacher I had never had the chance to meet or practice with. At the very beginning of the training, David had each of us create lines on our mat with permanent markers – one to mark the centerline of the mat and the others based on the width of our shoulders and hips. These lines were reminders of alignment – where should my hands be in down dog, where should my feet land when I float back to chaturanga, and is my upper body really in the centerline when I’m in triangle? (Spoiler alert: It really was not!)
As I moved through my first practice with those lines, I became so ridiculously frustrated with them. When I stayed in alignment, my poses and body felt weird, awkward and unfamiliar to me. Yet when David Kyle looked to the other side of the room (and I got to cheat!), I felt comfortable again. After that first practice, I made a little deal with myself – I’ll play by the rules while I’m in training BUT those lines are definitely going away as soon as I get back home.
Fast forward to day #3 of training and my body was actually starting to like this new way of moving. Day #4 – I had more stability and strength in my arm balances than I have ever had before. Day #5 – fine, this new teacher might kind of know a thing or two =) On the last night of training, I hopped onto Homegrown’s Instagram and was reminded of the Monday Mantra I had posted before Rocket training had even begun: “Start separating familiar from good.” It’s then that I realized what I had really learned over the past week…
Being out of alignment in my poses didn’t really feel good – it just felt familiar. I was mistaking that feeling of safety with the truth of what my body was capable of doing. It took me a period of feeling awkward and uncomfortable to realize that, and I don’t think I would have persisted through that temporary discomfort if it weren’t for David. That’s why this is a challenging distinction to make both in our yoga practice and life: to separate familiar from good, we are required to go through a period of uncertainty and ungrounding without quitting when things get hard. So the lines on my mat aren’t going anywhere, and I am committing to staying in the temporary discomfort with an understanding that what’s truly good awaits on the other side.
If you’re looking for a little push to get out of what’s comfortable and into what’s true, we’ve got some amazing teachers to support you along the way. I hope to see you on your mat soon!!