I walked into the Still Water Yoga Lake Tahoe Studio on Friday evening. I was a bit frazzled from the day. I had an interview that morning (which I got), but it threw me off my game all week and made achieving deep sleep very difficult. I was also nervous about the weekend, so my whole week was overwhelming. That’s a bit off topic, but it lends to the overall frazzled feeling of the day.
I parked, and as per usual routine I fretted about what door to use (there are two) and if I was parked in the right place and if the people would like me and if I was going to be able to do everything or if I was going to majorly let myself down. I’ve been off my yin game for the last several weeks so I knew I wasn’t as “into it” as I normally am. So my usual, overly anxious brain somewhat got the better of me for a few minutes as I gathered my things to go inside.
I stepped outside my car and you know the feeling when you’re in the middle of the woods and you just feel so free and the air is just so fresh? That’s what it smelled like. Lake Tahoe is simply amazing. And I got to spend ALL WEEKEND HERE! I knew after taking a big deep breath outside, it was all going to be ok and go perfectly.
I walked into the classroom and it felt so cozy. Shannon who owns it was so sweet! She met me right away and was so excited that I was doing the teacher training. They had a ton of cubbies to put our stuff away and everything smelled so nice. Smell is a big thing for me. I don’t hear well, so smelling is what got the extra sense I believe. Shannon even has mat spray called “Peace” with lavender and eucalyptus. I had never used any of that before and it was amazing! The whole vibe the studio has is so peaceful and just is the type of place I would go to daily if I could. It might be worth a monthly trip for me just to take one of Shannon’s classes.
We sat down on our mats with Manduka bolsters, blankets, and blocks all around us. We went around introducing ourselves and how long we had been doing yoga. I was one of the 3 that have not done the full yoga teacher training yet, and it kind of made me feel inadequate. That’s something I personally struggle with, when someone can do something that I can’t. Especially when it’s something that I really want to do. We moved on from that and started a yin yoga class taught by our instructor for the weekend Kelly Aguilera. I love that in Yin yoga you focus on yourself. I feel like being in seated poses means that you aren’t watching others, which for me means less comparison. The lighting led to a great ambiance in the room and the blanket only helped to soften my mat. It was heaven. And let me tell ya, Yinfluence is real!
On the agenda for day two was basically just anatomy and the foundation of Yin Yoga as taught by Paul Grilley. I’m lucky in the sense that I worked in the medical field for 6 years so I already know so much about anatomy. However, we also got into the fascia groups which is something that I haven’t spent as much time going over. It’s amazing how connected the entire body is. If you injure your something in your feet, you can ache all the way to the top of your head.
In my years of doing yoga, it never crossed my mind how different our bodies are from one person to the next. If you’re seated in a chair and someone holds your knee in place, only picking up your foot and bringing it to the outside or to the inside, there is only a certain amount of space your leg will move. It all has to do with how our hip joints are built and there is NOTHING that we can do to change those. At least, nothing short of a total hip replacement with a special request to the doc, but… that’s not something I’m doing anytime soon. On one end of the spectrum we had a classmate whose leg could be lifted out to the side and become in line with the thigh. And then you have me, whose leg seemed to hardly move. It was a big eye opener for me. There will be certain poses that I will just never be able to do, no matter how often I try to do it. Which means, all these years, all these teachers have been leading me astray or not really noticing when I seem to not be able to do a certain asana. Now granted, we also don’t typically talk through all this in an actual hour long class. So this is probably on me for never bringing it up before.
I also learned that I have a super long torso but my arms don’t quite match… Which basically means arm balances are incredibly hard for me. It makes me all that more proud of the crow that I have taught myself to do and also makes me super grateful that I’ve never hurt myself in headstands!
This is where it got really fun for me. We went through all 26 of Paul Grilley’s asanas for Yin Yoga and how to modify them. We had such a great mix of people in our class that you could really see people that needed the poses modified to go deeper, and people who needed it modified for less stress. And of course, the people in between. I learned a lot of things that I felt like were just me problems but actually other people struggle with too! Like the tops of my feet hurting in saddle pose. Always thought that was something they would just get used to.
Day three was really the day I felt like I could share with the amazing ladies here. We talked about hopes and dreams, and what yoga studios we go to. It was really great to get such amazing advice from some people who have been practicing for years and to hear from people who have a more fresh outlook on it. We went for coffee, and at the end of the day exchanged instagram accounts where all of us are basically sharing our yoga practices. It felt a lot like the end of summer camp, when everyone is packing up to go home.
I’d call the entire weekend a huge success. I love that we were able to share so much information with each other and it really makes me want to continue to fine tune my practice and share it with others. Now that I can help modify poses it means I can finally start working with my mom on her own yin practice!
I’m hopeful that there will be more teacher training that I’ll be able to be a part of. And I also hope that one day my path will cross with these ladies’ and we’ll be able to do some sort of workshop together in the future.
For more info on Still Water Yoga Lake Tahoe, check out their site: