On Saturday I was a volunteer subject for a yoga instructors workshop on assisting. The volunteers consisted of an assortment of newbies, somewhat experienced but injured yogis, and a few who seemingly fit yogis with significant handicaps you’d never know they possessed. This included life altering illnesses far more extensive than the residual effects of the demyelination of my neurons (a brief autoimmune response) in my early teens.
As a volunteer, we subjects got to listen in and observe the instructors (and soon-to-be instructors) as they were taught about how and when to assist the yogis in their classes. It was fascinating.
One by one, each subject was asked to assume a pose for the group to gather, discuss the particulars about the subject’s form, and take turns trying to assist the yogi to better it. The particulars of each yogi, including their yoga experience (or lack of), injuries, or handicaps taken into consideration. I felt like a fly on the wall at times and like a cell under a microscope at other times. It was good — in an informative way.
When it was finally time to go, I had much to take into consideration as I develop my yoga practice but also as I play in my other sports.
More than my instructors being informed of my rotating host of injuries and chronic (although subtle) right sided weakness and decreased neurological messaging, is my own awareness and respect rather than denying the facts. Instead of getting angry at my body for not responding as I’d like it, with it’s sometimes blatant differences in strength and alignment and constant right-sided injuries, I should accept it for what it is, note the improvements over time, and take advantage of the available assistive props when needed — which changes day to day.
While I know that I’m not always open to criticism, it’s good to be under the microscope once in a while — if only for a reminder of the things you’ve tried to hide from others… and perhaps yourself.