I attended my first Jivamukti Yoga workshop today with Jessica Stickler, 800 hour Advanced Certified Jivamukti Teacher. Jessica teaches at Jivamukti Yoga School New York City. I completely enjoyed her energy and instruction. The Art of Transitions workshop held at Dana Hot Yoga focused on the “tricky, elusive, yet ubiquitous art of ‘jumpbacks’, ‘jump ups’ and jumping through.” teaching yoga practitioners techniques to refine and strengthen their jumps. It challenged me, I learned a lot and it was loads of fun. What I find amazing about so many asana based yoga workshops is that they always break you out of your comfort zone and you always learn something new. They challenge your body physically and also challenge you so deeply in the mind. Practicing breaking out of my comfort zone, focusing and pushing through challenges on my mat has definitely impacted how I am able to handle being outside my comfort zone and dealing with challenges off my mat in daily life. It’s also influenced both my business and my personal life.
In the workshop we covered the importance of bandhas along with the ujjayi breath and how they directly influence your jump backs, jump throughs and jump ups…especially mula bandha. It was awesome that nearly everything we did was new to me. What’s incredible about yoga is that you are aways capable of growing and learning more. You never “master” yoga. I was amazed by new methods to use blocks and how they affected and improved postures and sequences. Remove the idea from your head that blocks only make postures easier. Have you tried chatarunga dandasana with two blocks? Have you held downward facing dog squeezing a block between your thighs and have you jumped from downward facing down through your arms into tabletop? Have you stepped forward into a lunge from downward facing dog hovering your foot above the mat before gently placing it down? (sigh, my arms are sore thinking about it) Do it….then call me and let me know whatcha think. It is NOT easy.
Jessica also went through techniques and exercises to strengthen arms, wrists and core to make jumping and transitions possible. A key component to transitions is a strong core. Someone asked a question about body structure and how it plays a roll in what we’re capable of. Jessica wisely noted that while a particular body structure may be a challenge in a particular posture or transition, it is not a limitation. Transitions are often challenging just as transitions in daily life, but with a strong foundation and mind we are capable of moving through these transitions. I am grateful for today’s experience and opportunity and look forward to incorporating these new transitions into my practice.