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What You Can Expect When Starting a Yoga Practice

February 1, 2010
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My friend Dan Colen's bubblegum art.

I am so grateful because I have lots of new clients right now.  Everyone wants to better themselves, and they want a yoga practice to help them do it.  Any period of transformation, introspection, or newness is imporoved by the addition of a yoga practice.  It helps us see clearly, stay in touch with our bodies, and stay focused on what is important amidst whatever is going on.  It connects us to ourselves and makes us feel empowered when we might otherwise feel intimidated.

Of course, starting to practice yoga, when we have never done it before, is challenging.  It can make us feel vulnerable, challenges our ability to stay focused, and, of course, challenges our bodies.  Coming into the asanas in the physical practice can be seen as arbitrary and awkward.  Why am I taking my body into these wierd shapes?  I take solace in the fact that these shapes, poses, and seats have been practiced for thousands of years.  They are more than just shapes and there is ancient power and wisdom in performing them.

When we are first doing the poses, we have to get used to them.  We have to get them into our bodies.  Once we get more comfortable coming through the vinyasa and holding poses, we can begin to subtly refine our physical bodies.  We can begin to breathe deeper during our practice, quiet our mind for longer, and focus our attention more directly.  I used to be afraid I would “lose” my practice, suddenly regress if I had to miss a week or 2 of class.  Now I am confident the poses, the entire practice is within my body.

My teacher in India told me, “at first, the practice is effort-full, and then it becomes effort-less.”  I still have to work on the mat, but I am no longer afraid that my practice will slip away.

When you are starting out on the journey, remember that in order to reap rewards, you have to work hard.  Stay with the practice and soon it will be intrinsic.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2010 1:29 pm

    I am starting tonight at a new spot (Hindu Jain Temple of South Jersey) teaching a beginner’s level course. This post will surely help me out tonight. Beautiful. Love it! I would love to read more similar posts!

  2. February 1, 2010 6:49 pm

    thank you so much! good luck teaching tonight! xxxxxxxxxxx

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