by guest blogger and teacher Naomi Sturdy
From meeting everyone coming to classes so far this year at Yoga Dublin, I can see there has been a great commitment and effort to yourselves and your yoga.
And now we are here, the initial rush has calmed, the air has settled, and our routines may feel a little more familiar.
‘Atha yoga anushasanam’ And as Patanjali begins, now is the time for Yoga The practice keeps going…..
We are often great at starts, at new things, about getting going, and then maybe the novelty wears off! The weather is still a bit grim and that box set is screaming to be watched! Students say it to me all the time, ‘Oh I really didn't feel like coming to class today’ but they did, and the magic happens and they feel grateful afterwards that they made the effort. In class when you move together, breathe together, there is a shared experience that soaks into your bones and you cant deny the positive effect.
And then you would like to progress….you have taken a bite and you'd like some more, to learn more, to experience more. A positive desire towards progress is healthy and keeps you going forward.
Progress is completely subjective, it can mean for you to experience calm through your breath practice. It could mean to get that new arm balance you've been trying or stand on one leg. It could mean to move freely after an injury and it may mean being able to sit in stillness for 5 minutes. Your version of progression is completely yours.
If your journey is through Yoga and you want to progress, here are some ideas that may guide you along.
Talk to your teacher
Take some time to speak to your teacher before or after class. Tell them what you love, what you are working on, ask them for any tips that they can see would help. I love when students talk to me so that as a teacher I can feel I know your needs better.
Narrow it down
There is nothing more overwhelming than taking in the huge big picture of Yoga and thinking ‘Oh I’ll never get any of it’! Pick one asana, pick one book, again ask your teacher for tips and narrow down your progression into chunks.Attend some higher level classes
Crow pose/ Bakāsana
Crow pose/ Bakāsana
Yes! It can be daunting but when you immerse yourself, you will quickly realise how much potential you have. Again ask your teacher if you have doubts and open up the idea of raising the bar for what is possible for you. Before you realise it, you'll be ready for more!
Workshops are so great. They are longer than drop in classes and usually focus in on particular themes or areas of Yoga. They give you an experience to learn more, to break things down, to ask questions and to get to know other students. Like the higher level classes they can seem daunting but really they are fun and open to everyone to learn and develop.
Remember the Love
Sometimes it can be intimidating to consider progression, or it may be scary to think of going to the next level, but if you remember your own love, if you connect to your own joy, you can feel supported and find the courage to keep taking those steps.
Progression is not linear, it is not a destination but rather a guiding post to yourself of growth and moving forward.
If we can use Yoga as a medium for getting to know ourselves, for loving ourselves and others, for loving our lives then that truly is Progression.
‘For what we seek is within, and in yoga, this is where we dive headfirst.’ ~ Max Strom
About the Author:
Teacher Naomi is teaching a Progression Session Workshops this April in Ranelagh.
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