Key Fundamentals of Your Yoga Practice – ON THE MAT
In this series, I want to start talking about the Key Fundamentals of Your Yoga Practice…ON THE MAT
So I think we all get anxious and nervous when we first start our yoga practice as a beginner and also if we have missed in a week or a month or a few years… this feeling is normal.
The most important thing to do is not judge yourself when you are on the mat.
Remember no one in the room is judging you are falling out of a pose only you are… Yoga Teachers are very aware that you are going to fall out as the poses are all about balance, and they can be tricky so never think that we are judging you.
We come around to adjust but also try not to make adjustments as you may not like them or you might want to focus on doing it yourself. As a teacher, we are always trying to understand and see where you are at.
I know for me… if I have just met you for the first time, I am more than likely to leave you to be for a few classes to get into your groove before showing you how to get into poses once I have built a relationship with you.
There is nothing worse than going to a class for the first time and the teacher centres you out and corrects your pose…when, of course, you have no clue what you are doing.
For beginners the best thing just fall and try again and fall and try again…because I too was once you at that beginner stage falling out of poses… and it took me a lot of practice to get to where I am today…so always take comfort in knowing you are where you are right now on your journey… you don’t have to be a YOGi Master on the first few times you show up.
We all have bad days… be more gentle with yourself on days you feel like was a bit rough. It’s so awesome that you have shown up to the mat and just being in class is amazing because sometimes you just want to go home. If you do come to class maybe don’t go to your full 100% and maybe do 50% of what you would usually do in class with challenging poses you know are hard for you. Learning to be gentle with yourself is a KEY FUNDAMENTAL in your yoga practice. This includes not judging yourself in your mind and not judging your body. The last thing you want when your having a bad day is to come to yoga class and beat yourself up because you keep falling out of poses…so if you have to sit and relax in Child’s pose for a few breaths and catch up later then do so.
Remember that your practice on the yoga is your own. I am telling you to go into poses, and if you know you can go into another pose, but I haven’t instructed you too… then just do it. Don’t feel like if you do a variation in class like Bird of Paradise or Side Crow you are showing off… if you are practising a lot at home and can control your poses to move into to them, by all means, do them. It is your practice! Most of the people in the class don’t notice or if they do… they are admiring your abilities which are sparking inspiration in them to keep practising. It’s important as students to understand we are all at different stages in our practice and we are all have different strengths so admire your neighbour for their abilities vs comparing yourself to them.
Remember your body type is different to everyone… so you may not be able to do the posture that the Yoga Teacher is doing or like the person on your right doing Mermaid pose… their flexible, strength, balance is completely different than yours. There are a lot of factors that go into why you may or may not be able to do a pose. If you want to understand more just ask the teacher after class or during class if you are in my class. I don’t mind as some other student might have the same question but too scared to ask it. I also teach a lot of different students from beginner to experienced yogis…so I am always shifting classes to what abilities are in the room on that given day.
Like #1 Tip if you are injured… be even more gentle in poses that will affect your injury, or just DON’T DO IT! Skip the pose and move into something else that feels better. Learning to not like your “EGO” tell you to push yourself harder when you need to go softer. Pulling back is way more effective for your overall wellness than letting your ego think you need to go harder. I can’t stress this enough… sit in Child’s pose whenever you need a break.
It’s essential to always to bring GOOD VIBES to your mat! So space is free from judgement so make sure you try to let go of your day before walking inside the Yoga Tent or even before you step onto your mat. Maybe come early if you need to get into the zone and hang out on the sofa but know that whatever you bring inside the Yoga Tent will affect your practice and others around you. We are all connected… even though we like to think we are all separate we aren’t… we do all notice if one person doesn’t have a good class or if someone has a great class. Our vibes are spreading through the Yoga Tent whether you notice it or not. Sometimes it cannot be helped when we are having a bad day, and it does flow us to the mat, and we try to work it out on the mat and hopefully by the end in savasana it is all sorted it. But whether you are in a big studio filled with tones of people or you are in my small Yoga Tent your vibrations will radiate. This is something just to be MINDFUL of and is a KEY FUNDAMENTAL that must be learnt by self-awareness over time.
Because I teach such small groups… I have created a safe space for my students to open up about their life. So just know that we all care about each others wellbeing which makes the small group classes so unique. We care about you if you lost your laptop or you got into a car accident, or you had a bad day at work or school. We care because we can relate to it because we have probably have had those days too. Life off the yoga mat does affect you on the mat unless you start training yourself to be more focus on being present on the mat and not allowing the past or future affect you. That is the KEY FUNDAMENTAL you are trying to achieve every time you step onto the mat.
Remember to have fun, SMILE and laugh… yoga isn’t about being serious… it’s about enjoying being in a moment in time moving your body and letting go of your mind.