This afternoon I attended a workshop on acupressure. While acupressure is body work, and does align with various yoga concepts like chakras and kriyas and the like, it still isn’t the same as yoga. So it felt a little strange (okay, a lot strange) to go to the studio and not do any yoga. But while this change felt a little bizarre, it also felt a bit refreshing; it was nice to do something completely different and new.
The teacher of this workshop was incredibly well-prepared. She brought a handout listing 12 acupressure points that address a variety of common ailments (such as sinus congestion, back pain, anxiety, sore throat/cough, wrist pain…), along with a detailed description of where and how to locate each acupressure point. We used the handout as the outline for the class, and spent 95% of our time doing hands-on work – applying pressure to ourselves, or to a partner in instances where the acupressure point was difficult to reach on one’s own body (like the shoulders, back, and spine). After we all attempted to stimulate each acupressure point, the instructor checked in with each of us individually, confirming that we really were pressing on the right spot. After each of us felt the effect each treatment, we asked any follow-up questions we had, and then moved on to the next acupressure point on the handout.
This workshop was on the small-size participant-wise (there were 12 students total); and I really appreciated the detailed attention we were all able to receive as a result. Additionally, the teacher was very knowledgeable (she immediately found the exact spots in my body that were crazy-tight; no “hunting” or searching at all), AND she was able to communicate her knowledge clearly, concisely, and confidently – all attributes I admire and respect. She was also very encouraging; she had a strong, grounded presence about her, and a direct, solid tone in her speech, but she also had ample amounts of kindness, and an overall welcoming and inviting sense about her – she had a really nice blend of “serious” and “fun”, a healthy balance of “get-with-it” and “this-is-meant-to-be-enjoyable”; qualities that I personally really appreciate.
So while it felt a little unusual to do a non-asana workshop as part of a yoga teacher training program, I did learn a lot of interesting, helpful information; and I’m happy I got to have this experience.