You may have heard me say in class, “We come to yoga to learn all the things we already know.” Usually I’m specifically referencing things like left and right, up and down, bent and straight, etc. I’m probably smiling when I say it, but it’s not really a joke to me, because it’s how I feel in my own practice. Yes, I know left and right, but do I really know it?
For me, this is a light version of what the secret fifth pillar of Forrest Yoga is all about, Breath, Strength, Integrity, Spirit, Go Deeper.
I recently went to a week-long Forrest Yoga Mentorship in Texas with Cat Allen and Ann Hyde. Each time I’ve done Forrest teacher training, it’s been not just educational, but life altering. I actually think of myself and my life as Leigh Ann before teacher training and after teacher training. It’s like BC and AD, but BT and AT.
I have been overwhelmed by all the new information, and happy in my overwhelmed-ness. It’s exciting to learn. Now, the new information is starting to integrate into my life to create my new normal, and when I look back over the process of learning and integrating, what it’s boiling down to is that I went deeper.
Ana Forrest talks about her relationship with her own Spirit as a romance, and that’s how I feel about my practice. There are days that I am so in love with Forrest Yoga, that I have actually written love letters. I still have one. There are other days that I roll over in the morning and look at my practice and it’s, “Oh... You again.” (I’m 29. An 11 year romance is the longest one I’ve had.) Inevitably, once I start practicing, or at the very least in savasana, I remember why I started this relationship in the first place.
There’s the value of going deeper. If I just look at my practice and think about how much I don’t feel like it, then that’s that. If I go a little deeper and actually practice, I reconnect.
At mentorship I went deeper, and everything that was familiar now looks entirely new. In fact, everything feels so new that it’s a miracle I don’t feel like I’ve been doing everything wrong up to now.
For example, I’ve known that there are emotions and feelings that live in our bodies and yoga poses can bring them out in unusual ways. What I didn’t realize was that when I speak honestly about things I really care about (an advanced pose), I sweat massively out of my armpits. It also happens when I’m writing. Like right now.
I’ve known that I should “activate my inner leg lines” or “reach through my inner legs” since I started teaching. I have activated my inner legs in so many different ways trying to figure this out that it makes me laugh to try to count them all. The Aha! moment just now happened, halfway through mentorship. “Oh. That inner leg”
I hope that as I go deeper and learn the same things over and over and more and more, I’ll be able to share them with you better. I hope you will have so many more moments that I see the lightbulb flick on in your eyes.
But perhaps the biggest takeaway of all of this is that I have worked with some of the best teachers in the world, and I’m still having Aha! moments all the time.
I look forward to us all having many more Aha!'s side by side.