Friday, February 6, 2015

All Levels Welcome - One Size Fits All?

I recently returned from my annual trip to San Francisco to attend the Yoga Journal Conference.  I keep my certifications current with continuing education and this is my favorite city to travel to for that purpose.  There is always something interesting to see and do there between yoga conference sessions and in the days before and after the event. From museums, comedy clubs, hotels with incredible skyline views and Broadway shows to simple walks up and down the crookedest street in the world, trekking across the Golden Gate Bridge, sitting by the Bay and watching the fog roll in or away and ferry rides to Alcatraz Island or Sausalito.  That is just the tip of the iceberg of things to do in this magical city by the Bay.  I understand completely the song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". Many of us that have spent any time there do.

I selected six sessions to attend over the main conference weekend.  The sessions ranged from a very easy slow yoga training that focused on breathing and heart lifting to incredible advanced and intense workshops where I sometimes simply sat on the floor and watched as others tried seemingly impossible feats.  

When I came back to teach my classes I shared the feeling I had in the more basic classes versus the advanced classes, letting them know I empathized with their feelings wherever they were in that range of too easy to whoa impossible.  I encouraged them to hang out in simple poses if that is what their body needed or to try parts of the advanced poses that worked for them. I reminded them to pay attention to their bodies and knowing their limitations, to make the class work for them.  It provided them the opportunity to be ok with stepping away from what the group was doing and do their own poses or simply enjoy what others were able to do while they rested and observed.

Information is always coming at us from many directions, each "guru" touting the new diet or the new management technique or the new way to stay organized - the way we must do things is we are to be successful. We need to remember we are individuals with different talents, skills and needs and that there isn't just one right way to approach anything. The right way is the way that works for you.  Maybe you like some of the suggestions of an expert but know that not all of their ideas are possible or practical for you to implement. Take what works for you and create your own versions of their suggestions so that one size can really fit all with a few personal adjustments.

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