My introduction to mobility techniques was in an effort to limit muscle soreness from strength training and daily CrossFit workouts. After being introduced to Kelly Starrett’s Mobility WOD by members, I immediately began using lacrosse balls and foam rollers after workouts and while watching TV to boost my recovery. I thought all the pain I was putting myself through was helpful and a part of the proccess. What I didn’t know at the time was that I had fallen victim to a very common blind spot – I didn’t know my own body.

Thankfully, I kept searching for more information and decided to attend The Roll Model® Method: The Science of Rolling Teacher Training. I spent the first part of the day convinced that the lack of pain I was experiencing using the YTU Therapy Balls meant they were too lightweight for a bigger guy like me with a lot of muscle. Spoiler alert! Another blind spot!

The Level 1 Teacher Training encouraged me to step far outside my boxana and begin teaching publicly!
The Level 1 Teacher Training encouraged me to step far outside my boxana and begin teaching publicly!

During the training, Jill Miller opened my eyes to both my mental and physical problem areas, referred to as blind spots in YTU. I was surprised to find a ton of them! I learned a lot in my first training and started to formulate my current goals of learning and understanding my body to find and eradicate my blind spots. At the end of training, I decided not to do the optional homework — I already had a desk job and would never be teaching this! Blind spot, anyone?

One year and a significant amount of learning and exploration later, I mustered up my courage to sign up for the Level One Teacher Training where my eyes were really opened to what was truly possible. It took me a long time and the support of the YTU community before I was ready to take the next step in my journey – teaching.

I started teaching with the expectation that people would just “get it” and understand the messages and techniques I was sharing. I told them the benefits and talked about body blind spots. My studies had helped me become aware of my own physical blind spots but I knew they were still there. I hadn’t even considered that as a teacher I’m not just looking for my own blind spots but also continually helping students uncover their own. It took me over a year and some intense training to get to where I was, how could I assume my students would just intuitively understand the process?

That realization served as yet another reminder: We are always students and there are always opportunities to learn, just as the sankalpa we use during the Level 1 Training. I am a student of my body; I am a student of my students; I study my students.

A recent post on the YTU Teacher’s Facebook page made me step back and evaluate with these questions: What could I do to better reach my students?  What can I do to be more inclusive?  How can I bring my experiences into my teaching and give more to my students?

Come back later this week as I explore these questions and share my strategies for constantly identifying and eradication not only just my personal body blind spots but also the blind spots of my students.


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