One day I came across Dylan Werner on youTube and then I stalked him on Instagram and Facebook. I was blown away by the control of his movements and inspired by the strength in his practice. As yoga teachers and practitioners we sometimes become complacent. We get to a point where all classes seem easy and we find ourselves doing the same thirty poses over and over. And then we see a practice like Dylan’s and we wonder why we aren’t challenging ourselves enough. At least that’s how it went for me. There is beauty in the endless expressions that this practice has to offer and we should all continue to explore what we’re capable of. I caught up with Dylan in LA a few weeks ago so read what he has to say and enjoy the video of him teaching how to do a press-up handstand. Stay tuned for the July 100 Days of Heat Challenge – commit to doing something for 100 days and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
How long have you been practicing and what inspires you to get back on the mat day after day?
I am always asked how long have I been practicing. I think it’s a silly question and not one that has much relevance. Someone who practices three hours a day but has only practiced a year is going to have a practice much more advanced over someone who has practiced once a week for ten years. It’s also about quality, not quantity. I wish people would stop concerning themselves with this detail. It’s irrelevant. Yoga teaches us to live in the present. How your practice is today is all that matters. But to answer an irrelevant question, I first started yoga in 2001, but the past four years I’ve truly been dedicated to my practice. What you do today is what matters. My yoga is so important to me that I need to do it everyday.
What is your favorite pose and least favorite pose? Why?
Hollow back (pictured above): It’s a pose that feels great in my body. It requires a lot of balance, focus and flexibility. I also love being upside down. I don’t have a least favorite pose or even a pose that I really dislike. Every pose has it’s advantages in building the mind and body. The poses that are difficult for me, I tend to love more because I need to work so much harder at them. It really makes me appreciate the journey.
How do you think yoga can be applied to daily living?
Yoga teaches us mindfulness, clarity of thought, awareness, non-judgment, not to harm, not to steal, it teaches us balance, focus, self study and a path towards enlightenment. Yoga IS daily living.
Do you have a dance or gymnastics background?
I do not have a gymnastics background or dance. I was a wrestler and did martial arts for a few years. It was actually through martial arts that I found yoga. My ability to do handstand, to transition from pose to pose, my balance, strength and flexibility have all come from my practice of yoga and no where else.
How did you achieve all those challenging poses? How did you start? Where do you get all the ideas for the crazy poses you do?
What is easy for me might be challenging for you and what is easy for you might be challenging for me. For me, the splits are very challenging. I try to stretch those muscles and ligaments everyday. Handstands are not challenging for me, and never have been. We all have our own limitations that we work against. Like anything in the universe, if you want to get better at it, you have to practice, and practice a lot. I get my inspiration from anywhere I can – fellow teachers and students, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook. Most of it comes from my own practice and trying to discover what I might be capable of.
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