The last few days I have been moving, a lot. Not in the traditional sense of the word, but in ways that go beyond my own physical maneuvering. I am currently assisting my mentor, Jill Miller, through a week of Yoga Tune Up® Level 1 Teacher Training at Yogaworks in Tarzana, CA. During this process of being a YTU assistant I have been continuously amazed at how genuinely moving this experience is.
Yoga Tune Up® offers tools to understand how you are moving in your body, what is making it move, which areas you are uncovering and discovering so that you may move better, and why you move the way you do (or don't). Level 1 trainees become acutely aware of their unique movement patterns, habits and nuances. Of course it makes perfect sense for a movement professional to immerse herself into movement learning, but during this intensive training many more parts of the body get moved as well... and when those other parts are stirred, the ones we aren't prepared for, that's when unqualified authentic learning happens.
As a YTU trainee in 2013, it was an utter brain-blasting experience for me to be given opportunities to feel my way in, out and through movement practices. I was given an incredibly safe playground to learn anatomical mapping, movement directions, and corrective exercise techniques so that I could feel better in my body. The voice in my head that for years said things like, "This pose just doesn't feel quite right" or "Nope, I don't want to take it to my edge, it hurts" or - and this was the toughest one to reckon with - "I have places in my body that don't feel good when they move any longer" was finally heard and getting the answers it was seeking. I was literally climbing my way out of confusion and pain, and I was doing it by MOVING my body through heightened awareness.
Diving deeply into this kind of personal locomotion awareness cannot be done with muscles and bones alone, it takes a brilliant somatic teacher to lead her students to and through a brand new appreciation of body consciousness. This time around I am an assistant to the amazing teacher, Jill, and I have been completely MOVED from the outside in - again, even more deeply as an assistant to the work and its students, than as a trainee. To me, that is the best kind of movement, when it penetrates all layers of learning.