Right before I left for Las Vegas I got to attend a weekend workshop with Jim Kallett. It broke down as a Friday night 3-hour lecture followed by an all day workshop on Saturday (literally from 9:00 to 7:00 or 7:30 – I can’t remember when it ended). He was also there on Sunday doing some additional things, but I had to blow out of town.
You may recall I got the chance to take classes at Jim’s studio a little over a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I never got to meet Jim when I was in San Diego, but I did correspond with him over email about my floor bow posture, got some great tips, and was very excited I was finally going to get to spend some time with him.
From my perspective, the Friday night lecture seemed to be about giving us some history of yoga as well as discussing its various benefits and the rationale for why we should do it.
While I took a lot away from the Friday night lecture, there are three key things I’d like to share:
“When you’re doing yoga, you have to cross the boundary.” Jim Kallett
Jim discussed the idea of finding your edge and pushing it just the teeniest, tiniest bit each time. It doesn’t need to be anything huge. Just a toe over the line. Or maybe not even a whole toe. Maybe just the very tip of a toe.
Where I get trapped in this is I think that if I put a whole toe over the line on Monday then on Tuesday I need to put the same toe over the line plus a piece of my foot. I’ve figured out that this is kinda useless thinking. Why? Because my edge is different everyday which means the boundary I have to cross is different everyday. So there’s no need to get upset with myself if I put a toe over the line on Monday and then on Tuesday I can barely get my toe back to that same line. I have a different boundary. My job is to identify that boundary each day and give it a tiny push.
“Struggling is good. It means something is happening.” Jim Kallett
I have always supported the concept of struggling in class. While I will agree it is a whole bunch of no fun, I do think it is a necessary and good thing. Jim argued that those classes where you are flat on your back just might be the ones where all kinds of good things are happening to you. I’ll just speak for myself here and say I know I look forward to having good classes. The kind with few struggles and where I feel like I am flying. But Jim’s got me working on not just accepting the struggles but looking forward to them. They are the work that pushes us forward to a new place and a new edge.
Every day is different. Every class is different. We know this. I look at Jim’s quote here and think about how hard it is to not judge myself. How hard it is to not be critical of myself that yesterday I got my toe over the line and today I can only get it halfway to the line. But that’s the point, right? I need to cut that out. I need to let the process happen, accept it for what it is, and learn from it.