A Weekend with Jim Kallett: Part II

As I wrote a few days ago, my studio recently had Jim Kallett in for a seminar. My first post focused on the Friday night lecture. Today, I want to talk about the day we spent with him on Saturday.

Jim’s seminar kicked off at 9:00 and ran until about 5:00 or so. We had a small break and then a 90-minute class. From the beginning until class, Jim went through every single posture minus final spine twist and final breathing (because we were running out of time). He covers every posture in great detail, takes questions, and then asks for people who would like to volunteer to do the posture.

There are any number of reasons why you might volunteer to do a posture (and in a seminar like this you really should make it a point to get your behind up in front of the visiting teacher at least once). First, it might be because you have question or need extra help, or just plain stink at the posture and want all the help you can get. It could also be that you have a great posture but need some finessing to get your up to the next level.

I didn’t volunteer for a posture so much as I was volunteered for one. Specifically, triangle.

Yes, this hurts.

Yes, this hurts.

No one volunteered for triangle so my studio owner volunteered me (I assume she knows how much I hate triangle). And all I have to say is she is never getting my homemade baked goods again.

I’m kidding. Maybe.

It was nerve wracking to get up there and do triangle in front of Jim because I don’t think very highly of myself in this posture. Notice he has a leg over me. He pushed me down into this and then turned my chin even higher to look up towards the ceiling. I honestly thought it was already turned as high as it could possibly go, but I was wrong.

Now the thing about this triangle, and the very cool thing about Jim, is that he knows exactly what I am ready to go into. He knew this with everyone. It’s not like he forced all the volunteers into the posture they were doing. That was never the case. But he knew what your body could do and where it could go even if you didn’t know how to get it there. And he got me into a deep triangle. It burned and hurt, but in a good way. And yes, he made me do both sides.

When I was done I felt like I had just had a very deep massage. I felt soooo stretched out and amazing. I try to remember this feeling and use it as motivation to keep me in triangle in class. I’d say it’s not working very well. But I am good at remembering how great I felt when Jim got me in triangle!

Now I just got to work on staying in the darn posture……

Where’s the Wonder in Triangle?

I have not a clue where the wonder in triangle is. Yesterday, I wrote about how I would go to class and when we got to triangle I would, instead of ranting and raving in my head about how I hate it, look for the wonder in it.

So we get to triangle. I get the whole thing set up and then go into it. My conversation with myself went something like this:

  • Ok, I’m supposed to ask myself a question here. What was it I was going to ask myself? Something about wonder. I wonder how I will feel in triangle today? No. That’s not it. Oh yeah – where’s the wonder in triangle. Ok. Got it. Sheesh. What does that question mean? I know I had an idea, but now I don’t remember what I thought about before I got in here. Maybe because there is no wonder in triangle. Maybe it just sucks that much. No. There’s got to be wonder here. I just have to keep looking. Oh look. We’re done! Other side.

Ok – I tried to work it out. The problem is I had massive yoga brain. Don’t know about the yoga brain? It’s a very real condition that impedes your ability to think and act coherently. With yoga brain, I am able to do class just fine because all that requires is following directions. It’s trying to think on my own that’s a problem. You might think I just did my best with a hard question. I did, and thanks. But yoga brain effects everything. For example, when I come home and Mark says, “Would you like garlic bread with dinner?” I can give random answers like:

  • Yes. That sounds delicious. Wait. What did I just say yes to? What are you doing in the kitchen?
  • What was that question again? Say it slower.
  • Five minutes after saying yes I return with this little nugget, “Do you know what would be amazing with dinner? Garlic bread!”
  • And then when I show up for dinner, “Oh! I didn’t know we were having garlic bread.”

Those are all examples that show the yoga brain is in full swing. Sometimes I am aware of it and will say, “I’m sorry. I have the yoga brain. You need to tell me that again.” Yoga brain will be gone about an hour after finishing class. Depends on how rough the class was for me.

So, yes, I had a case of the yoga brain while trying to determine the wonder in triangle. As you can see from the garlic bread example, asking myself where the wonder is in triangle is a much harder question that being asked if I want garlic bread for dinner. I did my best. I’ll engage with the question again next time I practice (and maybe several more times) to see if I can get any better.