Attending a workshop is an incredible way to deepen and grow your practice. A workshop can be on the physical asana – from a beginner series to get started or deepening your own understanding of personal alignment to an advanced inversion series – or on the philosophical, history, or spiritual. And they may happen over two hours or two full days. I have learned so much from workshops I’ve attended in the past, and am always on the lookout for more. And maybe you’re like me and find yourself leaving the workshop excited with pages and pages of notes, but then find yourself wondering now what?
My pages and pages of notes can sometimes start to feel overwhelming. Where do I go from here? And oh there’s so much information! How can I possibly start integrating everything that I’ve learned?
One secret? I don’t have to. At least, not right away.
I will break up my notes and take a few pieces first. To start, I’ll look at one thing that really resonated with me that I can begin putting into practice. Depending on what that first thing may be, I can take another and another and build up through my notes. Or maybe I’ll take one idea every few weeks. If at a asana-focused workshop, was there a cue or a piece of advice that clicked with me and in my body? Maybe it was a different way of coming into Warrior II or a way of tightening the core and placing my legs in an arm balance like crow. Then I’ll work on that in my practice and see if it continues to resonate with me.
Another idea is that if you happen to attend a workshop with a teacher from whom you also take a yoga class, that can also be a great way to revisit information from the training. I have found myself in classes a week or so after the workshop and my teacher will start to cue a pose or explain an alignment by referencing one of their take aways from the workshop. This offers a couple of a benefits to you, the student, as 1) you may come across something either forgotten or not yet revisited and 2) you can also see how the teacher is incorporating the idea, which can further assist you in integrating topics learned from the workshop.
But maybe the idea that resonated was not alignment or flow related. Was it a meditation workshop filled with so many great scripts that it can be daunting to be at home and thinking about having a daily, 40-minute meditation practice. The same principle applies, take a little bit at a time. Maybe start with a five minute sit period, or review the meditation scripts and find one that spoke to you more than the others to try that for a few days in a row. You might find the few days grow into more days, or the five-minutes may begin to stretch.
I also love making notes of any book recommendations, or even get thrilled if there may be a recommended reading list. This is especially true for me in workshops that may focus around yoga’s history or philosophies and texts. There are also some great books on the asana or teaching yoga into which to dive further in one’s studies.
I have more workshops I’m attending on through the summer, and I’m really looking forward to the notes I’m certain to take. And then I’m also looking forward at starting with some pieces of information that really seem to fit with me into which I can dive deeper. Another good thing about those pages and pages of notes? I can always come back to them for more.
This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat yoga studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only. The views and opinions are my own.