Re-posted with permission from Ariel Kiley. Original post: https://arielkiley.me/2017/03/25/my-3-favorite-lessons-from-jill-miller/
Back when I was just starting out as a yoga teacher, I was faced with what you might call a “quality problem.” My classes were getting really popular. The problem was that although it was great they were getting popular, they were filled with a vast array of students. All ages, body shapes, and injury/disease statuses were showing up for class.
Students were eager to practice with me, but at the same time telling me about herniated disks, neuroma in the feet, osteoarthritis… and I had no idea how to help them modify their practice. Let alone how to offer specific techniques that could help heal their conditions. In many ways, I was teaching in the dark.
Around that time my friend Clio took me to one of Jill Miller’s Core Integration workshops.
I admit, it was way over my head. She was having us roll on little “therapy balls” that felt like river rocks under my (surprisingly tight) back muscles. She talked about the core as this whole integrated system – the coreso she called it. Her reasons for getting fit weren’t superficial. She said we’re trying to get “pretty on the inside.” Huh?
I left that workshop confused, but curious. I knew I needed more education in biomechanics and anatomy. I knew I needed to learn from someone energetic and passionate. I liked the idea of learning from a younger woman instead of the older gentlemen who were leading many of the yoga therapy programs.
So a few weeks later, in September 2010, I found myself in the Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Training.
YTU Level 1 Teacher Training.
Adventures in Assisting Jill
Although I learned a lot in the YTU Teacher Training, the main thing I learned is that I didn’t know jack. But my evaluation at the end of the grueling week showed promise. After much studying, I got 100% on my written test and Jill and the assistants (Sarah Court and Tiffany Chambers-Goldberg) said if I just get my anatomy down, I’d soar.
They gave me props for the talents I had. And they gave me hope for what I didn’t have yet.
Jill made it clear that she welcomed having assistants join her at YTU workshops and trainings around the country. Nowadays, approximately a million people want to assist Jill when she leads trainings. But back then the operation was a little bit leaner, and she was always grateful for extra hands, eyes, body parts to demo with, and brains of course.
Just after I completed the training I got my arse to Ojai for the Ojai Yoga Crib festival and assisted Jill teaching a “Retrofit Your Down Dog” workshop in a carpeted chapel.
That was just the beginning. For the next couple years after that I followed her wherever I could, and wound up in some of the most hilarious and illuminating situations.
Teacher Trainer, Anatomy Nerd, Pro Poster Illustrator!
Read the rest of this blog post »