You’ve heard about the benefits of yoga, and you want in. And who wouldn’t? I know I’m not about to turn down a calm mind, less stress, and so much more. But what do you have to do to get this?
I hate to tell you this… actually, not really… but the only way to benefit from yoga is to PRACTICE yoga. And this isn’t some “one and done” practice either. You can’t just show up to a drop in class once and expect magic to happen. It’s a continued practice over time. What does this mean? It means keep going to classes. Keep going to class for more than a couple weeks and for more than a couple months. This stuff takes time, and it’s on a different timeline for different people.
So if you’ve attended one class, and didn’t “feel anything”, keep your head up, keep your heart high, and KEEP PRACTICING. If one teacher didn’t work out, find someone else to learn from. Just as every person is different, every teacher is different. There really is a teacher for everyone, you just might not have found him/her. Keep showing up... just not to the same person. There’s honestly nothing wrong with you.
Remember, we didn’t learn to walk straight from the womb. It took time for us to become mobile and gain the strength to lift ourselves up off the ground. What makes this yoga thing any different?
We learn to lift our heads and look around at the world. If you’re yoga curious, be yoga curious. Feel free to watch some videos online and maybe even practice along.
We learned to sit up. Go to your first class. Sign up for a beginner trial pass and try everything to see what works for you.
As we gain more strength, we start moving and crawling. Make the commitment to yourself or whatever other why or benefit that got you started, and continue practicing. Continue learning.
Eventually, you’re walking. You’ll obtain these benefits and so much more.
Another thing to keep in mind, especially when looking for flexibility, is that there's also a lot of undoing of movements and habits that have been ingrained in the body for so long. For example, if you work at a desk job and sit for 40 hours a week, it's going to take more than a one hour yoga class to even that out and give you more movement in your hip flexors. It'll take time and continued practice --- more than one practice a week. It doesn't have to be a whole hour of practice each time, but I'll go more into that in a different blog post.
The point I'm trying to make is that in order to see and experience the benefits of yoga, like any other thing in life, you actually have to show up on your mat and practice. There isn't some magic pill you can take. The magic is in you, and it requires work and dedication to extract it.
Do you know any other way to benefit? Where are you along the way of finding your magic and growing your yoga practice?