As most of my loyal nagged yogis know, it’s true. My days of daily yoga nags, of a “NagADay” are over … for a myriad of reasons, including one big one (go to bullet 4 if you want to skip the rest):
- I am too busy. This is true, but aren’t we all? This is never a good reason to stop doing anything that feels important.
- I have another job writing for a restaurant company, which I love. I am still doing and teaching yoga, but I have had to adjust how I spend my time, and how I use my writing and creative brain, and honestly, nagging takes more than it seems.
- I lost my Instagram @YogaNag handle (another long story for another time), and it was at first distressing, and then seemed like an important and needed shift. You can still find me on Insta, but now just as myself, @DaisyWhittemore.
- I NO LONGER BELIEVE YOGA EVERY DAMN DAY IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR MANY PEOPLE, at least how I once practiced it, taught it, and nagged about it. And, given this, I haven’t figured out what to do now on these pages and elsewhere. Right?
Seriously, what does a Yoga Nag do if she isn’t nagging everyone to do yoga?
How do I integrate my new thinking into this existing framework?
How do I share what I know to be useful and wonderful, and even wise, movement practices that I am learning and adopting, within the container of yoga and the persona of Yoga Nag?
This is B-I-G, folks. I have always talked about and believed in the full eight limbs of yoga, encouraging everyone to look to the full breadth of yoga when creating a daily practice. To consider more than just asana (poses), to consider breath work, meditation, chanting, etc. BUT if I am honest, mostly what I nagged were poses, and mostly what I practiced was asana. And a lot of it was pretty advanced yoga.
And then I injured myself….fairly suddenly, a crabby, achey hip, sacrum, and low back appeared that just wouldn’t get better and seemed to get worse, especially when I went to a yoga class, but also when I practiced yoga on my own. This was two plus years ago. I started to suspect particular poses were causing trouble, and some underlying weakness from life, babies, and imbalanced activity. I went to docs and PTs, got no definititve answers, but it became very clear that particular parts of yoga were not helping me get better, and in fact, made it worse.
What is a Yoga Nag to do when she has an apparent injury FROM yoga?
Carry on, continue to teach, but with wisdom and she is to STOP demo-ing a lot of poses. Basically, slow the F down in my own practice. Modify. Investigate and learn.
I did all of these things.
I healed up. I felt better. I learned a ton. And I started to approach my practice and movement in general with more care and consideration. This of course started to affect my teaching…. and, my nagging….
Here’s the other thing I need to admit: I have always been a bit of an anatomy avoider, certainly in yoga teacher training and even afterwards. I have a tired old brain that doesn’t want to remember the names of things or where they attach. At the same time, I have always been fascinated with how bodies work and heal. And love more than any other part of teaching, the most important part for me — in public classes and with private clients — helping people feel better in their bodies, stronger, smoother, more capable, at ease, happier. I worked hard at this with the tools I had.
But really understanding bodies includes functional anatomy. It is really important to making bodies work well and feel good.
(THIS IS GETTING TOO LONG AND perhaps a bit BLAH BLAH BLAH for some of you if you have made it this far, so let me cut to the chase….sort of….)
After lots of searching and filling in gaps by dabbling in this and that, reading this and that, I signed up for an advanced yoga training where I knew I would get what I wanted, and where I would be forced to learn my anatomy, the functional parts of how we move and breathe that really matter to me: ThreesPhysiosMethod.
These smart women, who are all PTs (aka, physiotherapists) and yoga teachers, are in it to transform both worlds (or that’s what I see), making yoga teachers smarter about bodies and functional movement, and arming PTs with some of the amazing tools of yoga, like breathing.
After three long weekends in NYC, 100 hours of training, I am now an officially certified ThreesPhysiosMethod teacher. WOOOOOOOOOT. And eeeeeeeks. There aren’t that many of us, so I need to represent well (and it is A LOT of information loaded into my brain, how will I keep it all in there???).
My love affair with yoga has been rekindled.
AND it doesn’t feel like a smoke and mirrors show of me avoiding what I don’t know, using fancy arm balances and other yoga tricks and woo woo magic as cover up and diversion. (Although I still love an arm balance and good woo woo yoga.) It feels like exploration and wisdom joining hands. It feels smart. I am feeling smarter. More capable. More able to really help people. And I am growing my body knowledge…the real stuff…to inform the practice, with real movement science and information.
I am psyched (and a little bit scared) to keep learning and sharing what I am learning.
How this will unfold on these pages? I am not sure. I hope to use them more regularly again. At some point…. In the meantime, I am posting often on my new Instagram page, so come on over there if you want to see some of the ways I am working functional movement into yoga. It’s good stuff. It’s strong stuff. It might be practice changing stuff. There is a short example video below (or linked to this email) of using some of the familiar yoga shapes in slightly different ways, inspired by the amazing Jenni Rawlings.
If you made it this far through, thanks for your time. Really. And send me an email (or comment below) and tell me where you are in your practice. In your body. Or what you are worrying about, frustrated by, wish was different. Or what you think is super cool about bodies and movement that is making your practice and/or your life better. Or a book or teacher you think is changing the movement world. I am all ears, and would love to chat.