This weekend was enlightening, to say the least. I attended my first ever yoga workshop led by Dylan Werner from California. It consisted of four classes spread in two days: Beyond Balance Vinyasa Master Class – 2 hours of flow that was so intense it felt like we were in a heated room, Strength, Balance and Core Stabilization Workshop – which emphasized how much we use the core in every movement and totally debunked the way I have always planked, Flexibility Fundamentals Workshop – 3 hours of techniques on how to be more flexible and how it is directly correlated to strength, and Get Acro Workshop – which was also the first Acroyoga class I’ve attended.
I found out about it since it was held at my yoga home, Yoga+ Makati. It was decide partly on impulse – I wanted to take my practice into a somewhat deeper level, and partly because the instructor, Dylan Werner, really caught my attention. I read a bit about him online and saw his photos on Instagram (@dylanwerneryoga). I’m telling you, I was awestruck by his balance and control – two of the things I know I need work on. It also helped that he reminded me a lot of Ido Portal‘s movement philosophy.
In the realm of the art of movement, it is very easy for me to fall in love. I’ve tried a lot of different movement arts in the past couple of years, and every single time I catch my jaw hanging in bewilderment. But given our limited time in this world, I know I can only choose which I can pursue in the long run. Capoeira is a first love, so that’s obviously a given. Yoga is now very close behind.
In my first class in Yoga + a couple of months back, I remember always looking left and right, checking what and how other people are doing as compared to me. I’d say I’m a teeny weeny bit competitive. I have this ‘if he can do it then I can too’ kind of attitude as a way to grow myself. I am magnetized by human beings who are extraordinarily good at what they do. I learn from them, imitate them even, and then I try to be better in those aspects. It’s not such a bad thing. But it’s the kind of mindset I know I need to leave outside of the yoga mat somehow.
The yoga teacher would always say our practice is for ourselves and nobody really cares if we can do a full pose and stuff like that. It’s a really different framework from what I’m accustomed to, which is sort of a ‘hey look mom, no hands’ kind of culture. ‘Hey, look at my new move!’ kind of culture.
Neither is wrong or right, just different.
Despite my irregular practice, in just a couple of months I started shifting the focus to myself. I tell myself, hey, your legs are shaking, stop at this level, you are not here to impress anyone. Even if I’m the only one who can’t do the damned pose, seriously. We are all going through different journeys. Some things take time.
Oh, and so much humility. So much. I’ve discovered that I have so many more weak spots that I have expected. So much tightness I never thought existed because I didn’t really move my body in that way before. And when I was at the Dylan Werner workshop I discovered so much more.
Perhaps it never really ends. Our knowledge and abilities will always, always seem like a drop of water in a vast sea.
That makes things more interesting, doesn’t it? Like you want to live forever. Sail the whole sea.
I realized that I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough the past few months. I do my usual stuff, sure, but these are things that are already within my comfort threshold. I guess the normal me is always pumped up to do and create and move. But what I’m looking for is the me who is SUPER pumped up to do and create and move. Like I ate a dozen bananas. With Nutella. Like when Super Mario passes through a star and he’d be all – let’s do this sh*t!!!
So yoga. This workshop. Dylan Werner. They’re all amazing things. He is amazing. And I dream of becoming that too.
But we don’t become things by dreaming.
We become things by moving. By putting in hours and hours of hard work and sweat to make realities out of our imagined stories. And a lot of those moments when we feel like we can’t hell do it anymore but then we push one. more. time. That is the point, perhaps the only point, where we go beyond ourselves.
Videos of Dylan Werner: