a means whereby something is achieved, performed, or furthered,
Think of all the instruments we use in a day. We use instruments to help us, to make things easier, or even to make something new.
Sometimes we need to learn how to use the instrument.
If we want to gain the ability to play beautiful violin music, we need to learn how to play the violin. ...........I don’t know of anyone who was born knowing how to play the violin.
Yoga is an instrument to help us learn who we are.
The root of the word yoga means to yoke - to unite. Yoga can help us unite ourselves - body to mind - mind to spirit.
If the idea of using yoga as an instrument to know ourselves better is appealing, then we need to learn how to use the instrument. There is always that very first day - you show up and have no idea where to start. But you start. It may not be pretty or easy and may just be frustrating as you see other people who have already been on their journey and are way ahead of you.
If this is something you want - you show up. This is why we call it practice.
And you do it again and again. Some days you may feel like you aren’t making any progress but over time you look back and can see how far you’ve come.
There is no perfect in yoga.
If anything, this is just the thing that yoga teaches us. Yoga reminds us that all we have is right here, right now. There is no finish line, it is not a race. It is a solo sport with no competition. There are many nuances to learn and explore as your curiosity leads you.
Yoga transcends the mat.
I love sharing things I have personally experienced in my own yoga practice. The more I practice, the more I see the benefits in every aspect of my life - both on and off the mat.
You can read some of my reflections in my blog: Off the Mat.
If yoga sounds like an instrument you'd like to practice so you can work on uniting body, mind and spirit, don't put it off. I have several suggestions below for ways you might get started. You can also join me for a practice - see here.
It's a shame that Yoga is commonly interpreted with a very small scope of understanding. If you were peeking through a tiny hole in a wall and could only see a few sleek bodies in challenging balancing poses you might say, "wow, that’s not for me" and keep walking by .... of course, the results of glancing and walking away is forgoing the chance to make the effort to look for another vantage point where you will see the vast and beautiful expanse of the opportunity yoga offers on so many levels.
Take the time to look from another vantage point -
YOU are worth it.
Peace - Michelle
Find a nerby studio and check their class offerings. Most studios offer beginner classes or workshops designed for teaching the foundation poses. Call the studio owner, yoga instructors are always happy to share their knowledge of yoga and will help direct you to the class best suited to your needs.
Practicing yoga in a group setting is a great way to get started and be part of a community of like-minded people.
No time to get to a class? Practicing yoga at home is a fantastic way to give yourself some love. If you are new, start with a small goal of may 10-20 minutes a day. Create a space that you like - a quiet corner, candlelight, a lovely scent, create a space that invites you to your mat. Once on your mat, just do what feels good, a 10 minute child's pose? great! Maybe get started by finding a short beginner series of poses online that you can follow. Sometimes having a routine to follow helps! A slow and steady practice does wonders!
Private instruction provides the benefits of specialized attention that can be focused on your specific yoga goals. Meeting individually or with a small group is a great way to enhance your yoga practice or learn to get comfortable before heading to a yoga class.