Nevine, one of my favorite teachers and mentors whom I’ve been studying with since 2001, always says, “if you want to change a habit, become a lefty.” (assuming most of us are right hand dominant). If you are a lefty, go right! Do everything you can with your non dominant hand for the next couple of weeks or even months and you will start to notice changes in your thought patterns, habitual actions and the way you do things.
I did this for a while after an amazing private session I had with Nevine on my 37th birthday. It was quite difficult, I must say. When I wanted to rush in the morning and had to use my left hand to brush my teeth and eat my breakfast, it slowed everything down. I had to constantly remind myself every time I used my right hand to switch to my left. The frustration set in and after a few weeks, I gave up.
Then, last weekend in Paris, in between my first and second week of shooting the 30 yoga/Pilates DVDs for CoachClub, I did my own practice on Sunday afternoon. When I shoot a video, I am mirroring for the camera so every time I say step your right foot forward, I am using my left foot instead. Every day for those first 5 days of shooting I got used to using my left side as my dominant side. For over 18 years, I’ve been practicing yoga and it’s always common to start with your right foot. Deep in my practice and following my breath, after completing 4 rounds of Surya Namaskar A (sun salutation A), I moved in to Surya Namaskar B and without even realizing it, I stepped my left foot forward first in to Virabhadrasana I. It came so naturally and set an entirely different tone for my practice. I continued to lead with my left side for the duration of my practice. I slowed down, I really paid attention to each posture. I did less postures and held them longer. I ended quietly and sat and meditated for quite a while. I had to smile to myself as I thought of Nevine’s words of wisdom.
Back in NYC, I am determined to take my time and cherish the moments in my life. I will use my left hand more often when I’m doing things to remind myself to be present. I will settle in to the postures in my yoga practice and the positions I am in each day.
Pic of me at Nevine’s Pranayama class
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!