Amy Champ took the Wanderlust Voyager Immersion program at Wanderlust Squaw Valley and wrote about her experiences. To learn more about the Wanderlust Yoga Teacher Training program, click here.
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In the Wanderlust Teacher Training, we have practice the Surya Namaskar A, B, and C in detail. We learn the proper alignment and hands-on adjustments. It’s amazing what happens when you really start paying attention to how “swoopy” your back can get in Downward Dog. You may have also heard your teacher refer to this as “Inverted V,” and that is what it’s supposed to look like. It’s not, “Inverted V, With One Really Swoopy Side As You Try to Force Your Back Towards The Floor.”
As we started adjusting each other, we could see that we were doing all of these weird things, like swooping our backs to the floor and flipping our feet out to the side when we shift our weight to go down into chaturanga dandasana. We noticed how we were moving habitually, and adding in little side gestures that aren’t even part of the actual yoga vinyasa.
Now that we are studying anatomy, we are seeing how all the muscles fit together into the bones and joints. The body’s symmetry and exquisiteness is really quite breathtaking. We are taught how to push down on a muscle and get a deeper stretch. We were like children once again, studying anatomy, of all things. It’s okay to get geeky about your yoga. In fact, we are here to encourage just that.
It’s quite fine to look like the hottest and rockinest yogini on the block, but the most amazing folks in this community have actually taken their artistry beyond “amazing” to a genius level. Maybe anatomy doesn’t interest you at all, but maybe you’ve found a few ideas in your exploration phase.
We’re not going to get concerned with being a genius at the moment, but the difference between paying attention and really paying attention is as wide as an ocean. I met a guy on the Wanderlust crew who built his own flying machine for a GoPro. A group of guys were up there flying it over the mountain, and I had the chance to hear how he put it all together. He said it took quite a while, because some of the connector manuals were in Chinese. You can’t go out and buy one of those. You have to build it yourself.
Let’s take it to a higher level. Keep in mind, you might have to slow down a whole lot before you speed up and take flight. Whether you’re dancing or chopping broccoli, I implore you to do it with style and verve. What knife are you using? How long has it been since you sharpened your knives? Cleaned the cutting board? Look around you. Take note and dig in.
— Dr. Amy Champ is a scholar, yogini and writer dedicated to all the simple things in life. Studying yoga and ordinary people, her work is motivated by supporting women’s health and bringing people together in community.