A place at the table where wisdom is passed~~Matthew Sanford
In January of 2017, I had just recently completed my yoga teacher training (YTT) in vinyasa. Within a week of completing my YTT, I began to teach twice per week. Was I ready? Goodness no! but a good friend of mine said, “start before you’re ready” and with that, I said yes!
I knew that completing my YTT was only the beginning of my journey so I began to seek out modifications, chair yoga, props and other iterations to allow for yoga adaptability and to build my knowledge base.
After consulting several books and videos, I landed on a video with Matthew Sanford and my perspective of yoga completely changed. His words, intention and serving as a connector of yoga was powerful. Matthew had a way about drawing the individual into the sensation of yoga rather than the outer reflection of bendy, twisty, complicated poses. I had to meet this person.
Matthew led me to the upcoming Accessible Yoga Conference which was going to be held in New York this year for the first time! I was so excited and the timing was perfect. I was teaching a class which was open to all and I wanted to be equipped to serve all that came.
In my very first class, a few people walked in. After about 10 minutes, another couple walked in, a mature couple and the one person had an upper extremity amputation. I must admit, I panicked for at least 10 seconds but I quickly snapped out of it and simply approached the couple and clarified the time of the class and asked about their previous yoga practice. They weren’t new to yoga and I figured that if they showed up then they should know what would work for their own bodies however, I wanted to reinforce that principle to all of the practitioners in the room.
The class went as planned and I continued with the flow and offered variations. Who had time for nervous jitters?! Before I knew it, I had to get them into savasana!!
To my delight and humbleness, I had regulars. Even the elderly couple continued to take my class and I was happy that I did not scare them away. I learned much more from them than what I felt I could share. With that, I was committed to attend the Accessible Yoga Conference to cultivate awareness and better serve all populations.