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How to not suck at yoga!

Posted on Aug 12, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

Albert

First of all, you don’t suck at yoga.  Of course, I would never say that to anyone.  :D However, often times, one of the first things people say to me when I tell them I am a yoga teacher or invite them to a class is, “I’m not very good” but what they are thinking is, “I suck.  I don’t know how to do the poses or I’m going to do them wrong, everyone else in the room is going to be better than me or be doing all of these “crazy” things that I could not and will never do!!! Baggaaaaak!

So let’s back up here.  Yoga doesn’t actually mean “put your leg up and behind your head”, or “flip your dog”, or do a headstand… The word yoga actually means to join.  To join the mind, body and spirit thru physical postures, breath and mediation… and a few other things that we will get into in another conversation.

Yes, postures have shapes and proper alignment that we work towards and the physical practice is beautiful and important.  But it’s not the most important thing.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve been practicing for 1 day or 20 years.  What’s important always remains the same…start where you are.

Here are 5 ways to “not suck at yoga.”

1.  Show up. Get on your mat consistently.   This does not mean 7 power yoga classes in one week.  Maybe it is once per week for now.  Pick a day and a time and show up for yourself and then build from there.  This can mean just sit and breath for 5 or 10 minutes. Check in with yourself, your body, how you are feeling and your breath.  Begin to practice awareness.  There are many ways to get on your mat.  If you are not comfortable going to class yet, sign up for a few private yoga sessions with your favorite teacher, take on-line class, (I love yogaglo – http://www.yogaglo.com/) or practice at home.

2.  Be open.  No matter what kind of setting you are in, be open to what is about to happen.  Doing yoga for and hour or so is like a little mini tour thru your inner Universe.  You have no idea what feelings may arise, what the teacher will ask of you or the mood of your body.  Yesterday your Tree pose may have been completely solid and the next day a little wobbly. That’s okay. Let go of any expectations you have of yourself and of your practice.

3.  Be present.  Now that you are open for anything, connect to energy level, your emotions, the area’s in your body that feel tight or uncomfortable.  Move towards the discomfort.  Notice when your mind starts thinking about your grocery list or about that pumpkin loaf at Starbucks that you are going to eat after class.  That is totally normal, (how do I know this?) just keep bringing your attention back to your breath and back to your body.

4. Be compassionate.  Now that you’ve started to notice how your are feeling, where you might feel uncomfortable, or challenged, let go of any judgement that might be coming up.  “Oh if I would have started 10 years ago, I would be so much farther ahead” etc.  These thoughts are also normal. Now here’s the trick, don’t judge your judgement.  Simply observe it and bring your attention back to your breath and back to your body.

5.  Be mindful.  Now that your are on your mat all open and free of expectations, totally in the moment and completely in love with yourself and everyone around you, be mindful.  Discomfort is okay; Pain is not.  If you see everyone around you doing, for example, a squat or pigeon pose, but those poses hurt your knee’s STOP doing them right away.  I don’t care if there are 60 people doing it that way.  If you know how to modify it do it your way.  If you don’t know how, ask the teacher. If they are not available, do childpose or lay down on your back.  Yoga is a delicate balance of knowing your limitations and stretching your current boundries.  You must to listen to your body…breathe

…and just go.

2 Comments

  1. Excellent.

    • Thank you Patricia. I miss you. Hope you are doing well!!!

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