Rocked to my Cahillian core by Krista and Brock

I let Krista and Brock Cahill have their way with me over the weekend, and my shoulders still ache in the most glorious way.

Krista and Brock are L.A.-based yoga teachers, and they traveled to Seattle for a weekend workshop. They are, basically, sensational. Not only are they gorgeous, fun and mesmerizing to watch, but they, to quote Brock quoting a student, also make "what seemed impossible merely challenging." (Yoga is so much the same as life, LOVE IT.) Leaping into handstand from downward facing dog, jumping into crow from down dog, taking crow to handstand, taking one legged crow to handstand (see a theme yet?). For the first time, those impossible transitions seemed possible. I've been working on my jump forward from down dog for a few months, focusing on engaging mula bandha (root lock) and thinking it was mostly time to increase my strength to land like Holly Golightly. But after two intense sessions with them, I am leaping so much more airily, with so much less fear and so much more joy. I feel like I will have it in no time at all. Crow to handstand? Sure! Some day.

I was grateful to hear it took Brock one year (of obsessive practice) to hold handstand; Krista five. It took her 12 years to master the jump-through. It's an inspiring future.

But it's not just the graceful lifts into handstand (and down to crow and back up and hovering in between). It's the way their words landed in my body. Krista in particular has such a clear understanding of physiology and way of communicating what to do. One of my studio owners said the difference between good teachers and great is how their words translate, and that's absolutely true with the Cahills. Other teachers have taught me the jump forward, but Krista explained how to keep the spine straight and the shoulders integrated into the sockets when still in down dog, knees bent deeply, positioning the body perfectly for handstand alignment before springing forward. After a few powerful bursts, all of a sudden I was flying and holding myself up, if only for a few seconds. Yowza! I can't wait to get back on my mat to do it again, and again, and again.

Their class also was a blast back to my first year of practice. I practice Baptiste power vinyasa flow yoga almost every day and my body has adapted to the strength required for that flow. But Krista and Brock pushed me to entirely new levels of physicality, and I found myself getting incredibly tired, resisting their instructions and dropping my arms out of exhaustion during Warrior II, something I haven't felt the urge to do in years. I woke up aching all over. The experience was a powerful reminder about empathy as a teacher and also for my own practice, for how far I've come and how far I still have to go.

Krista and Brock were at yoga festival Wanderlust the last two years, but I wouldn't say they're household yogi names like Shiva or Seane Corn. Yet. I have total confidence in their ability, like the good yogis they are, to change the world, one handstand at a time.


Haley said...

Wow. Krista and Brock sound amazing. After reading your post I got excited and tried out down dog to handstand (the one I thought sounded the easiest?) and my stomach muscles were like, "Um? Who do you think you are?"

Twelve-year goals, here I come!

Keep the blog rollin'. Loving it.

K said...

This was super inspiring!

N said...

H, we'll practice down dog to hand stand in between meditating while you're here.

K, yes, still trying to tape into that inspiration every day!

Post a Comment

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr