Yoga Basics

What would it be like to start all over again?

I can remember how it felt when I went for my first yoga classes at the studio.  My only experience up until then was from an article in a magazine.  I would’ve taken the Saturday morning beginner course but unfortunately my schedule at the clinic meant I’d miss half of them.  So I just did it.  Eastside seemed like a safe place to start out.  I had nothing to lose.  The only important thing was to keep moving, not give up and do my best.  That was 2 years ago!

I got a little reminder of the Beginner’s Mind when I went to assist Dianne in a Basics class, as part of my teacher training.  Actually, there were two of us from yoga school helping out that night.  Good thing because the studio was pretty full, with several familiar faces but also a lot of newbies.  It was great to see so many people interested in practicing yoga.  A sign of the times, I think.

A Basics class includes poses like Triangle, Warrior 2 and Tree pose.  No crazy headstands or twists.  For someone new to yoga, it can be a lot to take in.  Placing a foot this way, with an arm extended that way and hips facing forward…it’s overwhelming.  I was inspired to see that people were trying their best.  Ideally, an asana or pose is supposed to have a certain shape.  But some physiques aren’t able or ready to do it that way so an assist, or enhancement, can be helpful.  Like a verbal reminder to help the student move their feet a little further apart in Bridge pose.  Or providing foam blocks to support the hands in Standing Forward Bend rather than straining the body to reach the floor.

When starting out, the asana doesn’t have to be picture perfect like all the magazines, books and videos.  Better to be mindful of the intention, or purpose, that the pose was trying to elicit.  That’s when the real yoga begins.