Image by Stellas mom via FlickrI have to admit that my mind was in a strange place when I stepped into the room for the first session of Seane Corn's Empower Flow Yoga workshop. I was focused inside, still processing my experiences over the three previous days. My energy felt at odds with the buzzing crowd while I set my mat down in one of the few remaining spots at the back of the room. Perhaps that's why my "fun" workshop turned into two days of torture.
Having already read posts from some of my fellow bloggers who also attended the workshop, I know my experience was different than that of the other 100+ people in the room, so please accept that this was my unique experience and nothing I write is intended to belittle Seane Corn or discourage others from taking workshops with her in the future. I only hope to share the lesson I learned in trusting myself.
When Seane entered the room my first thought was, "she's shorter than I remember." The only other time I'd seen her in person she was on the stage at Yoga Journal's Estes Park Conference. At that same conference I had been surprised that Shiva Rea wasn't taller, so maybe I just assume all celebrities are taller than me. This occupied my mind until Seane worked her way to the front of the room and called us up to sit near her.
During the first session I really tried to like Seane and kept reminding myself that this was supposed to be fun, but something wasn't right. I don't know if it was the words she used or just her delivery, but I couldn't connect to her message. Maybe with everything that went on earlier in the week I just wasn't open to being empowered.
I also didn't connect to the asana practice. After finally recovering from my last two races in September, I was taking care in my practice not to do anything that would re-injure my knee or make me hurt too bad. Perhaps because I was being cautious, or perhaps because I was already put off by the talking, the practice felt forced and uninspiring.
I spent some time Friday night trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Everyone else seemed in awe of Seane Corn, excited to be in the same room with her, and I wondered if I just didn't get it or perhaps I was not the yogini I thought I was. After spending some time with my journal over breakfast, I realized again I needed to trust my own truth and honor where I was. I had paid for the workshop, so I would gather what I could from it without internalizing those things that were not resonating with me.
By the second session I was back in teacher mode, listening for good teaching cues and checking out the adjustments Seane's assistant was doing. I was no longer listening to my body, and after doing more back bends than I should have I was hurting. The afternoon session was much more talking than practicing and when we finally got on our mats I was irritated and my back was sore from sitting. After Seane's practice did nothing to help, I stayed in the room for the Kripalu gentle class which followed.
The gentle class was great and I enjoyed the long savasana. That night I sat in the sauna for as long as I could stand, then collapsed into bed. I'd had enough of Seane Corn and I missed my family. I was ready to go home.
Sunday morning I got up for the early gentle class to work the kinks out of my low back. At breakfast I decided to skip the last session of Seane Corn's workshop. There was no point in continuing the torture. Instead I curled up with my journal for awhile, then packed, visited the Kripalu store, put my things in the car and checked out.
After a delicious lunch (the food at Kripalu is amazing) I headed for home.
While I didn't like the Empower Flow stuff, I don't regret a single minute I spent at Kripalu. I needed the break and, while it wasn't what I expected, the trip forced me to see what was going on inside and trust myself, even if it meant accepting that I am not full of fun right now.
By Sunday night I had a grip on the teaching stuff, and I went into Monday's classes prepared and organized. I feel like my teaching has been reinvigorated. My personal practice, on the other hand, has mellowed into something very gentle. I'm trusting that this is where I need to be.