Ask yourself, how can I use my yoga class better?. This might seem a little odd at first, but it’s a brilliant question when you think of it. First ask yourself why you go to a yoga class? Is it just to spend time in a class and you like the benefits? Maybe your not concerned about progression/healing, just happy to turn up join in and mix with people. Thats fine, just a good a reason as any other. However, if your at the point where you think you need more from a yoga, the class, or maybe a different class/teacher, first ask yourself “am I making best use of this class?”.
Are you making best use of your yoga class? What do I mean by this question. It’s all too easy to get bored, to decide its time to stop, move on or make a change. But have you really thought about why your at that point with that mindset? Most yoga teachers want to engage with their students more, they want them to ask them questions. Yoga teachers generally want to help you with your practice/body/issues etc. Do you give your yoga teacher (or teachers) the chance to help you? In a class they only have so much time, generally a yoga teacher will help the person they see at any moment as needing the most help. They will spread this help around. A teacher can help you before/after the class, or during if they know what you need/want from them and the class. They might create a new lesson plan, maybe when teaching certain postures they can pop over and help you. There are alot of ways a yoga teacher can help you, but only if they know you need that help. A teacher might not seem like they can help you, but how do you know, until you engage with your teacher to find out what is beyond your perception of their abilities, if there is more the teacher has to offer?
Here are some suggestions for getting more from your teacher and/or class.
- Instructions: As you get more adept at the postures and being in a yoga class, feel free to ignore instructions. Pick up on the instructions that are relevant and focus on your own journey whilst being taught. Maybe the last 3 instructions wern’t relevant, but you could have been focussed on say your awareness and control of shoulder muscles in a posture and learnt experienced something more important for you in that moment.
- Pain in muscles – Adjusting practice, or practicing certain postures in specific ways may help.
- Where is your body restricted? Which postures would you like to be less restricted in? Once you have some ideas you may know what to do, or you have the opportunity to ask the teacher. They might only need to give you some advice you can work with in class. Or they could help you in class, or show you some postures/moves for home.
- Are there any postures your interested in doing? or need help with? Again, chat with your teacher. They can assist you or teach a class or workshop on it.
- Strength – If you want stronger body, or more strength for certain postures. Ask the teacher, give them the opportunity to help you.
- Tell the teacher – what you need from them.
- Beyond Asana – Do you want to know more about pranayama (breathing) or meditation practices?
- Yogic texts – It’s possible to apply these to yoga practice and daily life.
- Yoga practice for meditation – Try focusing you posture practice to help you sit better and for longer to help your meditation.
- Ashram – do you need to spend time in a yoga ashram like the one in West Wales (Mandala Yoga Ashram)
You might be at a point where the difference will be found by taking control more activly and engaging more with your teacher than just turning up. Most people spend more time planning holidays than looking after themselves, their health or what they really need for a healthy happy life. It might be that you need to become more active and aware in your journey. Taking charge of your learning and become responsible is the best way to make a difference.
Where are you in your journey?
Posted in Hatha Yoga