I’ve mentioned before that I am a part of the Assisting Team at Firefly Yoga and I just love it. Love love love! It was my favorite weekend during Yoga Teacher Training (as physically exhausting as that was) and I enjoy being part of a person’s practice in a unique way. I still look at it as teaching and being in the practice, just using my hands and connecting with other yogis. I just completed the Baptiste Assisting Course at Lyon’s Den in NYC and it kicked my ass hard but I loved every minute of it.
It’s pretty crazy because when I was younger and newer to my practice, I HATED anyone touching me during yoga class unless you were the instructor. I dreaded any kind of partner work, and if there was someone assisting, I did not want them to come near me. This had a lot to do with my own insecurity about my body and my weight. I thought that unless you were a teacher, you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re either going to hurt yourself because I’m heavy, or you’re going to hurt me…because I’m heavy. I’ve also had not the greatest experience receiving assists from others.
Looking back now, I allowed my insecurity to keep me from growing and getting stronger in my practice so I was stuck. Then I took my unexpected yoga hiatus which made me feel even more insecure and self-conscious when I finally did get back on my mat. It took some time to really let go and trust other people. There’s just something special about practicing Baptiste Yoga when you really dive it into it and see that it’s more than just the physical asana practice but also meditation and inquiry. It was through all of this I was able to not only trust my community, but to trust and love myself enough to allow my practice to go deeper with the help from others. Now I love getting assists during class. I’d be lying if I’d say there weren’t poses where I think “Stay the fuck away from me!” but that’s my ego trying to block me from growing and letting go of that resistance.
When I’m assisting, I’m not looking for what’s wrong. My purpose is to empower you and open up the pose to you in a new way. If you’re scared to try something new or go deeper, I’m there to support you and keep you safe. How do you feel about getting assists during your yoga practice?