“I took from Paulie Zink one Yin yoga workshop
and I learned more in that one weekend
then I did in all of my yoga teacher trainings!!!”
“I was taught at a Yin yoga workshop that everyone’s bones are different, and my bones aren’t meant to bend in a way that would allow me to do certain poses. They told me I will never do the splits, but it’s not my fault, it’s my bones. They showed me other ways to practice, and I trusted them. I continued doing my daily yoga practice, becoming more flexible then I have ever been, but with a belief that there was a limit to what I can do.
Then I took a workshop with Paulie Zink. He reminded me why I fell in love with yoga in the first place. At his weekend workshop he told me I can do anything I set my mind to, and that there aren’t any limits to what I am capable of accomplishing [within reason]. He showed genuine care and interest, and had an energy that just radiated throughout the room. He is an example of the type of teacher I hope to be: one who inspires.
And one day, I will do the splits!”
“It is not possible to predict what a person may physically accomplish by observation, medical examination, X-ray of skeleton, MRI or other imaging devices.
(This of course assumes we are not talking about ever being able to bench press a tractor trailer!)
This may not apply to someone who has a congenital physical deformity or a post traumatic physical deformity. The question of being able to perform any physical posture is not dependent on bone structure for the most part, but far more on the amount of time devoted to practicing.
I strongly discourage any concept by teachers or students about what can and cannot be accomplished. The heart of the practice of yoga rests completely in the word ‘practice’, it is not measured in what external physical form is demonstrated. We have all seen individuals who through genetics and practice can do outrageous physical contortions, but have no spiritual awareness and we have seen individuals whose wisdom, compassion, and love are endless who have never heard of downward facing dog.
My response to a student who would ask if he/she would ever be able to do a particular asana, would be practice from the heart with compassion, diligence and persistence and ask me that question in another 20 years.”
Joe Lanzarotta, M.D.