A few weeks back, I sent out an online survey to grab some feedback from my regular Yogis, asking what kind of workshops, classes, events etc Yoga folk would like to see on the timetable over the next few months.
There was quite a solid response from people wanting a workshop “for people wanting to be better at Yoga”, or for anyone “wanting to move up from a beginner’s slow flow class”.
Which was a pretty good call really.
We all like to feel a physical change through our Yoga practice, right?
Whether that means feeling more flexible, having looser joints, being stronger, or even noticing more muscle definition.
^^ all very enjoyable side effects of Yoga asana ^^
Here’s the thing….
Slow flow classes are NOT necessarily easier.
Yes, they are a good place to start when you’re learning the postures and the most suitable technique for your body, BUT, not actually easier.
If you have an anxious mind, slow flows can feel very challenging (and let’s not forget, rewarding), as you have to work quite hard sometimes to bring your mind into stillness.
If you’re used to strong, athletic workouts, a slow flow will challenge your body AND mind to slow the eff down.
And let’s not forget that holding poses and transitioning slowly uses a hell of a lot of muscle control!
So, being more physically capable of trickier Yoga postures doesn’t necessarily mean you’re “better” at Yoga.
Remember that Yoga means ‘union’. The union of body, breath, mind and soul.
Therefore, if you want to feel you’re becoming “better”, do you include body, breath, mind and soul in your analysis?
(pssssst…. Make sure it’s not your ego asking you to compete with yourself to improve)
Maybe you can’t quite touch your toes in a forward fold – But are you fully present with your mind, and focussed on your breath while you reach for a block?
Maybe you don’t feel like you can plank as well as others in your class – But if you stop allowing your mind to wander away from yourself, you soon will be able to.
Maybe balances are tricky for you because you’re not in quite the right position for YOUR body – So make sure you’re always scanning your bod to make a posture work for YOU, and that you’re not attempting to look the same as someone else in the class.
Seemingly more advanced postures are a natural progression when your mind and body move as one, not a box to tick or a really good shot for Instagram :)
On a final note, the only way to really start to ‘get’ this Yoga thaaaaang is to PRACTICE.
It won’t necessarily make perfect, but, with a little dedication, it might just start to feel a bit easier over time.