Friday, November 13, 2015

A Day with Diane Ducharme

This past weekend, we hosted a Diane Ducharme's seminar. 

First, I want to say that I believe our studio and students are exceptional.  I have seen and heard from many of you as to how much your yoga practices have impacted your lives.  

Next, I want to share with you how my first seminar with Diane Ducharme impacted me and how it is the reason why I was able to take the first step into opening Bikram Yoga Hamburg.

It is not a secret that Bikram Yoga has some controversy attached to it.  When I first started practicing and teaching this series years ago, many of us taught and practiced in a very aggressive way. The hotter, the better. The harder, the better.  If you weren't suffering or forcing your way through class, you weren't trying hard enough.  In my personal practice, this mindset caused an injury that I came in with, a much longer time to heal. It also caused minor irritations in my body to become ones more pronounced.  I don't believe all studios or teachers taught this way, but I do know that many did.  I did and I was at a point with my practice and with my teaching where this did not feel right to me any longer. I no longer had the ability to fight myself through my practice and I certainly did not want to teach this way.

In the beginning, I had limited access to understanding the healing capacities of this series and I certainly did not know how to practice in a way to heal my body or teach in a way to help people.  I was not willing to teach in a way that felt less than helpful for students.  I thought this meant I had to give up my practice, my teaching and the idea of opening a Bikram studio.  What didn't make sense to me is that it was so clear that I had received immeasurable benefits from my practice and I was receiving an incredible amount of joy from teaching because I knew the potential this series had in changing peoples lives for the better.  I knew what it did for mine and could only imagine what it had to offer if I stuck with it.  I had wanted to open a studio for almost as long as I had been practicing but had no idea how I would do this with feeling the lack of understanding in my yoga practice and in my teaching abilities.  I knew there was something more to understand. And I knew that I was at a point where it was now or never. I was ready to step away from not only the idea of opening a studio, but also my practice when I had randomly heard that there was a teacher's only seminar in NYC coming up.  Throughout my years as a teacher, I had attended as many seminars as I could from Bikram, as well as Senior Teachers.  I wanted to learn as much as I could.  This was the first time I had access to a teacher's only seminar and something about it intrigued me.  I went with a bit of a chip on my shoulder because I had thought I had made up my mind that I was going to step away from this yoga and this seminar would only give me more reason to know that walking away was the right decision.  This was to be the perfect excuse to stop doing something I knew deep down was a good thing, but simply because I was at a stuck point with my practice and teaching.  
I showed up to the seminar, not sure what to expect.  Not exactly sure what I even hoped, wanted, needed to get out of it.  I don't know how far along we were into the day, but I remember so vividly, being in complete awe as I listened to Diane talk and demonstrate, answer questions about how to work with students more effectively and how to help our own personal practices evolve.  She did hands on adjustments and worked with so much humor and with an incredible amount of kindness.  And I knew exactly how I needed to move forward with my teaching and my practice and I also knew opening a yoga studio was, without a doubt, my next step.  Last week's seminar with Diane Ducharme helped students gain great insight into their yoga practice. For new students to Bikram's yoga, it was a great opportunity to learn from the start by a senior teacher.

For those who have been practicing for a while, it helped in ways that surprised.  It's easy to find ourselves sometimes going through the motions once we've been practicing for a longer period of time because we are more comfortable and now the basics, but this time with Diane helped take our practice a step further. It was a long day, but what was gained from this day is immeasurable. 


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