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!
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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It’s incredible how was can think we know our bodies so well, and yet keep uncovering more blind spots the deeper we go. Thank you for sharing your journey. As a student to our bodies, to our students and their bodies, the learning never ends! It’s equally as intimidating as it is exciting, and important to remember to keep coming back to our Sankalpas when we begin to feel overwhelmed or more intimidated than excited and intrigued. Remembering we are also constantly learning, as our students are, we can better support our students in their self-discovery and help them to gain better self-awareness and proprioception.
I appreciate the honesty that sometimes it takes the students a while to get where you need to get them, mentally speaking. We don’t know what we don’t know. Comparing it back to your own journey is helpful, because a lot of us actually went through the same thought process with your current students. I think as you reflect on your journey and realize what that made everything click may or may not be helpful to your students. Some may be able to resonate with it and bring them closer to their wellness journey, some others may need different “stories.”
Thank you Corey for the post. Your article has given me the insight to really look during my classes and explain more thoroughly about blind spots and dissect down what they are.
I finished my YTU Level 1 training recently and this article speaks to me. I’m wasn’t sure if I was going to certify when I started, but I’m committed to completing the homework and adding it to my teaching practice. Thanks for highlighting the transition from discovering your own blind spots to helping other people find theirs!
I just completed my week of Level 1 Yoga Tune Up training and this really resonated with me! I look forward to uncovering not only more of my blind spots but my students as well. I can’t wait to help others feel better in their bodies!
I find the more that I practice the more blind spots I uncover. Also, the more I introduce and share my knowledge with others the more I realize I have to learn. As you said “We are always students and there are always opportunities to learn”. Thank you for sharing your journey.
Thank you for this article as I am in Level 1 right now any questioning how I will teach this and you are right it all ties back to I am a student of my own body, I am a student of my students, I study my students. Like them I too will learn how to articulate as I start to uncover the mysteries of the blind spot and more on myself and of what I observe of my students. We are always students as we will never know enough and I will interpret my training more as what knowledge I can share from my experience and encourage them to share with me how they feel. Thank you!!
This is so encouraging to me as a Level 1 trainee about to embark on my journey guiding students to get curious about their bodies. I love how you are expanding the concept of blind spots beyond your body and into your perceptions about your teaching, your students, and your perspective. I love the sankalpas from training and in seeing how you’ve carried them with you beyond training week. I look forward to exploring how these themes will come up for me after this week and will certainly think back to this article and your insights. Thank you for sharing.
Great process – student – teacher – student!!!
Blindspots I am continually finding new ones. I had really bad car accident back in 1998. I had my left leg immobilized for an extend period of time. I did recover and no longer wear a brace for my knee. I was an interesting case because most 30 yr old don’t break a knee cap in half. Common injury for the elderly. I have been doing Yoga Tune Up work on my own body for the last 9 months. Now at Level 1 Yoga tune up training I have discovered even more in my left leg. I am always say to myself I am a student of my body. My sankalpa here at training is I am creating balance in my life and body. By the way I love what you wrote, it takes time to get it. Good luck on your journey.
Thanks so much for your insights. I just finished my YTU level 1 training, and am so grateful for the tools it gives us to not only become aware of these blind spots, but how to address them specifically. This method gives you permission to think and feel through your experience instead of outsourcing your body to so called “experts.”
Convaincre des personnes, qui pratiquent des sports de façon régulière et intense, que le YTUP peut les aider à améliorer leurs performances et éviter de se blesser en identifiant où se situent leurs faiblesses ou les “zones endormies” de leur corps est tout un défi ! Sans avoir même commencé à enseigner, rien que d’expliquer pourquoi j’utilise les balles d’automassage à mon entourage, ou mes collègues de bureau (oui, j’ai mes balles au bureau !), je note leur questionnement et combien, surtout parmi les sportifs, ont du mal à envisager une possibilité de changement dans leur corps grâce à des balles.
Thank you for this article, it is a great reminder for me to always adapt my teaching to my students. As we learn in Level 1 training, there is no universal cue, so observing students and seeing what cues they need and also which ones get the message through is an important skill to teach efficiently and effectively.
Great words of wisdom, Corey. I’m currently in Level 1 Teacher Training YTU. What an awakening this is for me. And the journey continues…
My new favourite quote is from Jill Miller which I recently heard in the YTU training: “The advanced yoga practitioner is one who becomes aware that they are unaware.” So I very much relate when you say we are always students. If we stopped learning, life would really have no meaning.
I feel like this was written by me! After attending a myofascial workshop using tennis balls two years ago, I had to learn more – and that’s where I discovered the therapy balls. I ordered a set and never looked back – and have managed to convince a few others from my spin class that these are absolutely necessary. I also waffled on the optional homework for the Science of Rolling, also having a corporate desk job. I did ultimately do the homework, thinking maybe, just maybe it’s my way out of corporate desk job life! If not, I’ve learned a ton and am much more aware of my blind spots – and can speak more intelligently to them.
Congratulations on finishing teacher training and becoming a YTU teacher. I am taking the training now and it is definitely showing me my blind spots! I also have a desk job and hope to be able to teach my co-workers what I have been learning.
what a great blog- blindspots are so important to explore and i love the honesty in which you are able to look at the whole picture.
Thanks for sharing Corey! I’m now taking my Level 1 and definitely agree that we are always students and there are always opportunities to learn! So glad to hear that you’re teaching!
Thanks for sharing your story. I can really relate to your experiences as after my wife became a massage therapist she kept telling me how inflexible I was and needed to work on these areas (Blind Spot), I insisted I don’t have any pain there! After I started working on my body, I became acutely aware and continue to become more aware (Taking off the blinders) of my limitations.
Thats great you were able to find your blind spots. I find the typical blindspots are weak glute medius, contracted pecs, iliopsoas and lengthened rhomboids, glute maximus but I struggle with distinguishing peoples blind spots outside the usual. Any tips on how to determine my participants blind spots?
Love your story Corey! I admire your persistence. Im currently in TT Level 1 now. I decided to sign up for the training because I was so moved by the therapy of the balls in a class I attended. Being fairly new to practicing yoga and having very little knowledge of the anatomy of the body, it has been a little overwhelming. I too have found many blind spots and realized that I will ALWAYS be a student of my body. Im making the process my goal! Thanks for the inspiration!
That’s why I’m in TT level 1 right now, finding those places I didn’t want to go. I love the ever learning process of asking how we can be better to help others understand, instead of expecting them to understand us. Thank you Corey.
Thank you for being persistent. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I am in awe of your process.
I have a lot of blind spots. Physical, and psychological. But the psychological ones are the ones that keep me the most from going further. I am glad I was introduced to the sankalpa pratice, it has changed me a lot.
Now I will soon be certified and I am totally scared and excited of where my practice will take me!
This is awesome!! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Corey. Love your blog. It comes at such a good time for me. I am 10 days from teaching a Movement Lab using Yoga Tune up Therapy Balls and some of the Yoga Tune Up Poses I learned in my Level 1 Training. Your blog reminds me that just because I get it doesn’t mean my students will. I have practiced Yoga and been an avid gym rat for years.,I still found more body blind spots. Finding these blind spots doesn’t mean your broken, it just means you are becoming a better explorer of you body. Your hindsight will be a great tool as I teach my first class wanting to empower people to try some self-care healthcare.
Thank you Corey, for sharing this. I, too completed the Level One and The Science of Rolling and these trainings have really expanded my horizons. Although I have been teaching and practicing yoga for a number of years, I still had my own body blind spots…and what a great feeling to become aware and having the tools (and YTU therapy balls at hand!) I can only imagine what it must have been like for you! I find many people are so thankful to be shown that they can take health into their own hands, many of us have been told as kids or teenagers that if we are not “getting” it now, we never will, but that is not true! You can learn to feel your body, to control it better, to change it if you want or need to. The Yoga Tune Up shows us how. Sandy
Corey, great blog. I teach YTU at a training facility and it has taken me a LONG time to get the trainers on board with YTU balls and not hard lacrosse balls. The “blindspot” of more pain because of hard balls is hard for athletes to “get”. The funny thing was I used only YTU on their clients but the trainers lacked information. Once I did a workshop with them, light bulbs of awareness flashed everyone and now the lacrosse balls have vanished and its YTU all the way. Also introducing the Courageous ball to them was huge. Thanks for sharing your story. I will be sharing it.
Thanks for sharing some of the story of your journey Corey. I look forward to hearing more.