teacher feature – dave kidney

favorite and least favorite yoga poses?

great question! i think my favorite and ‘yeah, not so much’ poses happen to be the same – utthita hasta padangustasana (big toe stretch). for the longest time, i believed i was genetically forbidden to find the simultaneous length, openness, and balance for any semblance of this pose. recently, kevin and darren main assisted me into it during a workshop, and my yogic worldview was rocked! i felt so powerful when i realized it wasn’t necessarily out of my reach. of course, i have a difficult time without a deep assist, but i love the challenge of core strength, muscle release, balance, and breath that frame the pose, and how it forces me to focus. i also think it’s a truly beautiful, elegant expression of energy and grace.

how do i take my practice off the mat?

taking the practice off the mat can be a tall order for a notoriously hotheaded ginger like me. the challenge of yoga is learning to simply work with what is happening at the moment. good life lesson. i recently left a challenging job and work environment for grad school, and my practice has grounded me through the transitions. if you ask the people around me now, i tend to talk a lot about energy and intention, and learning to work with conflict that arises from change. i think my practice asks me to reconsider saying or doing things i will regret later. am i acting with meaning? what will this look like a year from now? do i recognize that my words might hurt someone else?

my practice teaches me to find joy in the small victories, and gives me the courage to tackle some of the scarier, bigger things in my life.

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