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True Confessions of a Yoga Teacher

Woman holding wooden object

It’s been said that “You are as young as your spine is supple.” Easy to say, and yet maybe difficult to know what it means, especially given our unique personal stories and the realities of living in real live bodies. How supple or fluid is your spine?

Back pain and its related discomfort has been a big part of my practice and unfortunately also my personal life. It seems at least once a week I have a unanimous request from students to address back pain in class. Lucky for me, I know a thing or two about the causes and consequences of how our every day life can result in over-use, mis-use or even unintended abuse of our back. 😉 Hint: sitting is a big risk factor!

Speaking of back pain… we launched our 2019 Yoga Teacher Training program last month with aerial training and this past weekend we welcomed our 2019 class of 200-hour trainees. Interesting segue, right?!? Who things of yoga teacher training as linked to back pain? Anyone who has ever participated in the demands of extended sitting can probably relate.

During these training weekends, I “push thru” in order to share this rich curriculum. Unfortunately, when I focus and engage 100% of my attention on learning and leading, I often miss the subtle whispers (which when ignored become obnoxious, desperate pleadings) from my body. I so love what I do that I get engrossed in what we’re doing and turn down the whispers of discomfort and strain that try to remind me to move and shift my shape. Have you ever done the same? As a result, my training “hang-over” shows up as back pain come Monday morning. Sigh! But it’s hard to lecture and teach from a reclined savasana pose!

It seems back pain is fairly common! Who knew, right?!? 😉 I now know how to take care of my back (and help you care for yours!) to avoid and minimize the discomfort of sitting for long periods of time. I know the things TO DO and NOT TO DO… as that is the question!  (Sorry Shakespeare) And yet, I inevitably fail to do these things ALL THE TIME. Hence, I #beginagain a lot! As owner of a wellness studio and an advocate for intentional self-care. I know there’s a risk in sharing the TRUTH of my experience with back pain (or any non-wellness habit). However, I would be amiss if I told you life is always easy as a yoga teacher! Fortunately, I NOW know enough, that I can reset and relieve the discomfort without interruption to my life. If back pain is causing you to miss out on life, let me know. As a yoga therapist, I can share what I have learned to help you!

In addition to our trainees, we have a new “teaching assistant”. I’d like you to meet Shortie. Comprised from craft supplies harvested from the local craft store and surgically assembled on a “sanitized” kitchen island late Friday night, Shortie’s debut was both inspirational and powerfully educational. Pictured below with Mary Lou, Shortie made an encore presentation in class on Monday. Shortie is an expert on movement of the six directions of the spine and continues to educate in the best ways possible- thru demonstration and interactive connection! Want to learn more? Just ask, Shortie is now part of the family!

May you breathe deeply, move freely, labor lovingly & live vibrantly.