More is Not Always Better
Today marks Day 11 of my month-long Yoga Teacher Training certification. With so much information – anatomy, philosophy, alignment, adjustments, sequencing, etc – every day is a densely-packed amalgam of more and more elements to learn.
I have been practicing on my friends and family outside of class, because with so much fun stuff floating around in my head, I just want to share it all! I want to use juicy, dynamic language, create amazing and inspiring sequences, give my students the best physical adjustments and verbal cues. I want to do it ALL!
The other day I learned a very valuable and humbling lesson in my foray as a yoga teacher: more is not always better. My partner Andrew graciously volunteered to let me practice teaching a 15min beginner’s sequence on him. He worked so hard and I fumbled a few bits, so when he climbed into Savasana, I really wanted to treat him with something nice – a sweet shoulder adjustment. I’ve been practicing this on my classmates every day.
But I really wanted to give him the BEST adjustment possible. “How to do that?” I thought. I reasoned that the adjustment feels so good is because of the shoulder blade being pulled down the back. So I decided to give him MORE shoulder, so he could have a better adjustment. Not good. It was too much for his body and I tweaked a muscle in his shoulder/neck. Oops.
Feeling quite sheepish now, I have been volunteering my massage techniques (sweet and simple) to help him with his soreness. I’m glad I learned this little lesson now (sorry Andrew!) rather than with a student in class. I definitely have a better appreciation for the importance of keeping things simple and moderate. Next time I find myself thinking, “more would be better here,” I will definitely take a moment to remember that sometimes it just isn’t.