No matter how long you’ve been Namaste-ing, your practice will continue to teach you new things after every class. And with a yoga studio accessible almost anywhere in the city, it's a great time to start a beginners class as well if you're haven't tried or have not fully invested in your practice. Here are 7 things that I've learned and am learning through my practice that have made it very rewarding:
1.) It’s okay to be a beginner
Every yogi (and even your teachers) started out as beginners. The things you learn in your beginner classes will be the core and foundation of your practice. So take the time to enjoy learning the basics.
2.) It’s okay to skip a Vinyasa
This is one lesson that you have to keep on learning every class. While it’s good to push yourself, it’s better if you listen to your body and give it a rest when it calls for it. Staying in downward dog is okay and is better for your body than rushing through a forced vinyasa.
3.) Child’s pose is your best friend
It really is. Go back to this pose and rest if you need it. It does not make you weak nor does it lessen the authenticity of your practice. If anything, it shows you are well in-tuned with your body and know how to listen to it when it needs to dial back and recover.
4.) It’s okay to use props
Props are not only for beginners. They give everyone the benefit of a deeper stretch and making your chest more open in your triangle, side-angle pose and the like. It will also help you transition into more difficult poses no matter what level you are in your practice.
5.) It is not a competition
Not even with yourself. Yoga is a journey that you and your body and mind take together and there is no timeline for you to achieve a certain pose. Every body is made and created differently so every yogi’s practice is unique and incomparable to any other.
6.) Breathing is key
It really is. This one is also applicable in life. We tend to hold our breaths in difficult situations and also in difficult poses in yoga. They both get easier when we inhale and exhale deeply and with intention.
7.) How to let go
There is nothing more challenging for me than clearing your mind after every class during savasana. But learning to let go of thoughts or concerns that enter your head at this time is very rewarding and very relaxing. In class, when you are not able to achieve a certain pose, that is okay. It will come. There is no room for hang ups or frustrations in your practice, just let it deepen in it’s own pace and let go.