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Diaries of Yoga Student: Week 3

Vulnerability, authenticity, and balance. Three things you don’t see very often in your daily life, right?

What Stops You From Being Vulnerable With Others?

When I think of the word vulnerable, I often associate imagery of an open wound allowing outside forces to see every essence of its brutality. It’s a bit scary and intimidating so it’s no surprise you don’t see vulnerable people walking down the street with their heart on their sleeve. We stop ourselves from openly showing our wounds because we fear outside assumption and judgement. We fear rejection. We have an innate need to feel love and acceptance, we’re only human after all.

On Friday night, we were joined by Blake Spencer for a two-part breath work workshop and John Beck, accompanied by his hypnotizing crystal singing bowls. We were given permission to be vulnerable and to show up with our authentic selves. For some like myself, being vulnerable in a group this large was a first. I could feel my heart trying to escape my chest while my sweaty palms attempted to refrain from shaking. Vulnerability is hard, but as I stared around the room at welcoming eyes I felt relief as I poured my heart out.

After we spoke in circle, the breath work began. Blake walked around the room and offered encouragement to each of us as we drifted further away from reality and closer to a dream state. Once the breath work stopped, we laid in corpse pose while Blake sung to us in an angelic pitch and John bathed us in sound. It was one of the most beautiful events I’ve ever experienced.

Permission To Fall

The next day, a group of us ventured up to La Jolla with Jill for a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session with Soleil Hepner. Soleil is Jill’s teacher and it was exciting to see how her teaching style had metamorphosed into Jill. I had never done yoga therapy before, but it was quick to see the appeal and how integral our bodies are in helping us unveil the mind.

The entire session was done with our eyes closed, so we did not find distraction throughout the room and could focus inward. We moved through poses slowly, taking inventory on how our body felt throughout each one. Soleil gave us small queues and intentions as we moved through our own expressions. The two that stood out the most for me were balance and falling.

While balance came relatively easy for me, I was unable to stay truly balanced with my eyes closed throughout the intention. Next, Soleil gave us permission to make falling our intention. It was okay to fall! That’s not something you hear every day now, is it? Strangely enough, falling was the hardest for me. I felt reluctance in my body, but what was I scared of? By the end of the session, I knew what I needed to work on and I knew what hesitations were held in my body.

The Daunting Chaturanga

Back at the studio, we continued to work through our sequences on Saturday and Sunday. We met the daunting chaturanga and as I type, my arms are still sore! What was one of my favorite postures to move through in asana, quickly became a pesky little sibling I wanted nothing to do with (just kidding, chaturanga, I still love you).

Excitement fills my belly as I retrace the last three weeks of yoga teacher training, in awe that we’ve come so far already and that we’ve established such strong bonds with each other. While vulnerability, authenticity, and balance are something that we rarely see outside of the studio, it is a blessing that we get to revisit these three things every weekend.

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