The Thrill of Trying New Things
There is a thrill that comes from learning and trying new things—both for the student and the teacher. Last week I attended a Thai Energy Yoga training. I picked up some new ideas I want to use in helping my clients get up after a session. Transitioning from the work to real life is an important part of the session, and I think these ideas will really help. While at that training, I met a man who teaches acroyoga. We visited, and he told me what he does, and I was fascinated. I have seen videos of acroyoga and was moved by its beauty. However, I have a fear of heights (like if I don’t have at least one foot on the ground I panic). After class some of those in the class started playing around with acroyoga poses. When asked if I wanted to try, the familiar “No, yes, no, yes” response shot through me. Luckily it ended with the yes, and I had the chance to try a couple of poses.
These are pictures of me having way too much fun trying something completely new. I can assure you, watching a video just isn’t the same as doing it. Maybe we need to do a little less “watching” and a little more getting up and “doing it.” Thank you, Tim Glover, for giving me the opportunity and encouragement to try. I hope it is just a beginning!
I was also reflecting on trying new things today as I met with a woman who owns a Pilates studio in Kansas City. I have been gently inviting her to try Yamuna’s work for awhile. Several weeks ago she had her third hip replacement surgery. They had trouble with the surgery because her bones were too hard to get the screws into. I knew this work would be incredible for her and that she really needed it now. I came to her home and showed her how to work with the balls to facilitate healing of the pelvis. She was thrilled—both with the genius of the work and with how much better she felt afterwards. She then had me teach a workshop to her teachers to introduce the work. There were about 10-12 people there. They also loved the work and many commented on how much better they felt and how excited they were to learn more. Then I had the chance to do a short hands-on shoulder session with one of her teachers who had rotator cuff surgery several months ago. She was also thrilled and commented several times that she could not believe how much better she felt. So many people having the thrill of learning and feeling better, all because someone was willing the try something new, it’s incredible.
I often hear from my clients, “I try to explain what you do to people, but they just don’t get it, so I quit trying.” I completely understand because what I do is very tactile and experiential in nature, and you really cannot understand it with a verbal explanation. Many things are like that. Imagine trying to “explain” a symphony or a sunset or the touch of a baby’s skin. What would your life be like if you only let yourself experience things that were familiar and could only be verbally explained? So come to one of my workshops and you can see for yourself what I do and how it feels.
I believe this holds true especially where holistic alternatives to conventional medicine are concerned. In fact, the very term “conventional medicine” illustrates the lack of innovation accepted by most patients. But there is change in the wind….
Very imaginative, intelligent people are creating bodies of work that help heal the body so much more effectively than “conventional medicine” (ie. drugs and surgery). Notice I said, “help heal the body.” The body already has the most amazing ability to heal itself and frequently can do so with just a little help and education. However, because many of these new modalities are not covered by insurance, and because they are not “familiar”, people walk like cattle through the surgery chute without even giving alternative options a try.
And trying something is really the only way you will know how your body will respond. I have developed a deep reverence for the uniqueness of each person’s body and mind. Some respond better to this or to that, and the only way to know is through trying it and seeing how your body responds. It is really not much different than “practicing” medicine, except that the methods used are generally much less invasive and have far less negative side effects. I mentioned Dr. McCall’s book, “Yoga as Medicine” a few weeks ago. He points out that often times people may be using 3-4 or more different methods at one time to facilitate healing. If it is helping you feel better. It is all good.
Try it out. See what you think. See how your body responds. See if you notice any improvement. Can you tweak it a little to make it fit your needs better? This is a journey we are on with our bodies, and learning to listen to what they are telling us along the path is critical. So try something new and enjoy the thrill of a new discovery. It could be just what you have been looking for, and it could help you feel so much better.
What are some things you have tried that worked well for you? Were you surprised? Had you been skeptical? What got you “over the hump” of skepticism so you could have the experience? Were you moving on the recommendation of someone you trusted? How have you gotten others to try new things they were reluctant to try at first? Innovation requires the support of those willing to try new things. As you try, you feed the thrill of discovery.