Joseph’s Tip #7: Get Out and Learn

Tip #7 reminds us that about the importance of experiencing new people and situations and then using those experiences to learn and grow:

Attend champion events and senior teacher seminars to learn and be inspired

Although I participated in the first regional championship for the state of North Carolina, it would have been very interesting to have been an audience member. After I performed, I joined the audience (all the way in the back so I couldn’t always see well) and watched most of the remaining competitors. I remember before the competition started someone telling the competitors that the vibe from the audience was positive. Everyone wanted us to do well and was rooting for us. I found that to be true both on and off the stage.

Off the stage, I don’t know what I learned. I was still calming down from having been on the stage. But I know that seeing everyone – even people I did not know – get up on the stage and do their postures was very inspiring. I knew how hard they worked. I knew they were showing us where they were with their yoga. In many ways, being an audience member for a competition is a privledge. We are being allowed a look into a competitor’s yoga journey which can be a very private thing. I think competitors are sharing something private, personal, and intensely intimate with the audience. We give ourselves to you, and that is a scary thing to do.

There is a very recent post about a yogi taking her children to a regional competition and all the benefits that came from it. I highly recommend it. It shows a different perspective on being an audience member.

Regarding senior teacher seminars, my understanding is that some people think these seminars are only for advanced practioneers. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’ve been to three – Craig Villani, Mary Jarvis, and Joseph. I’m doing Joseph’s again in a few weeks, but that’s because he’s in town. If Mary or Craig came back I would see them again too. I love these seminars. Each person has their own take on yoga and how to further your practice. I know that when I see Joseph a second time, I will learn new things even if he said the same things he said the first time. The second time around I will be ready to receive new information or my understandings will change. I always leave these seminars with 2-3 key things to focus on in my practice starting that moment.

I agree that attending champion events and seminars is important for competitors, but it is also relevant for anyone. In the seminars, you will learn and grow and be pushed in new ways. In the champion events you will also learn and grow, but you will also provide support for the competitors. I cannot express how much it meant to me when the door opened for me to go on stage and I saw the husband of one of our teachers. He was in the front row smiling away. He was the first person I saw as I made my way to the stage, and his happy, smiling face made me smile. Then I saw a second person I knew up front smiling away, and I relaxed a bit more. Afterwards, I talked to so many happy, supportive people from my studio. As an audience member, we play a vital role for the people on stage. We let them know we love them and support them, and we let them know how much we appreciate being given access to their yoga journay.