The beauty of yoga lies in the fact that, as you make your way through your practice, you begin to realise that this journey is never-ending. Whether you're a teacher who completed their yoga teacher training years ago or a newbie in that first downward-dog, there is always something to discover, feel, and experience on our mats. That's why even the most advanced yoga teachers consider themselves first and foremost students.
It is a journey that teaches us how to move through the world with grace, strength, and compassion. No matter what your level, age, or ability may be, there is a place for you at the yoga mat.
With this in mind, here are some top tips to bear in mind as you navigate this path. These are things that I've learned over the years from my own mistakes and from other teachers in the industry who have offered their wisdom to me on my own journey:
- Start where you are today - don't try to reach for anything more than where you are today. If you have one foot in warrior 1 pose right now and one foot in child's pose...then that is enough! Yoga is an ever-evolving practice - so don't worry about getting it perfect right away! Just focus on doing your best today and tomorrow will take care of itself.
- Don't compare yourself to others - we all walk our own path and our own journey through life will look different than someone else's. The only person whose journey you need to compare yourself to is your past self - so try to challenge yourself each time you step onto your mat by making small improvements and changes along the way. This way you can feel proud of what you did accomplish rather than feeling defeated because of something else that you "should have" accomplished.
- Try not to judge yourself - it is so easy to beat yourself up when you don't feel like you are performing a pose perfectly...but remember the more you criticise and judge yourself, the more negative energy you will be putting into your practice. Instead, try to focus on what feels good for your body, even if that means just focusing on doing the best you can with what you have today.
- Use encouragement rather than judgment - whenever I find myself judging myself during my practice I try to find a friend who will give me encouragement instead of judgment. It is much easier to hear positive words of encouragement from someone else than it is to tell yourself what is right or wrong about your own practice. So when we judge ourselves in our practice, we should seek out someone else who can help us build our confidence by giving us positive words of encouragement!
- Practice gratitude - instead of focusing on how hard yoga is or how much yoga doesn't work for your body type - focus on what you are grateful for during each pose. For me, being grateful for my ability to walk and move freely through my day helps me push through those days that I only want to stay in child's pose! We often take for granted all the things our bodies allow us to do without even thinking about them...so try practicing gratitude and see if it makes a difference in your yoga practice!
Published on Monday 6th June 2022 at 15:00