Yoga practice can be a tricky thing. The balance between striving and self-compassion, expansion and non-attachment. Wherever you explore yoga, there are paradoxes abounds. It is human nature, however, to want to improve at whatever we undertake, and yoga is no exception. So, how do we ‘raise the bar’ on our yoga practice?
The most important ingredient in improving our ability in anything is consistency. Just showing up consistently to class three times a week – over the course of a year, there is no choice for you but to improve. You learn more, you hear more and experience more of what yoga really is – both physically and mentally. The Elemental-series, always being the same sequence creates fertile ground for rapid improvement and the rare chance to master postures and build patience, focus and mastery of those vital postures.
Secondly, any great coach will tell you, modeling is a powerful accelerator when you want to learn or improve any area of your life. Find someone who can already do or has already mastered the outcome you are going for. For some of us, we dream of the perfect arm balance or standing split as we see on Instagram but perhaps you just want to work out how to benefit from padahastasana (hands-to-feet pose) whilst dealing with a pesky hamstring injury. Of course, you can ask your teachers for their input from their experience. More effectively, ask someone who has been there before. Perhaps there’s even a video tutorial online. It pays to become curious and always have that ‘next level’ to aim for. This will prevent stagnation in your life-long
practice and even better, an enthusiasm for ongoing growth.
The third factor is invest in yourself. Take the time to attend classes lead by expert teachers even if their experience and practice seem so far off your current level of skill. These ‘gurus’ did not start out as such and often have worked hard to get their practice to its current level. In their passion, they discover new things about the workings of the human body well beyond the standard instructions in a class. Through their journey, they can offer valuable insights into the postures, where people most commonly make mistakes and how to modify things for different body types, sizes, ages, skill-sets and even, injuries.
During a regular class, it can be tricky for teachers to divert from their sequence to assist every student so Masterclasses, Posture Clinics and Workshops provide the perfect environment to explore, ask questions and dissect the postures to be more effective. I have never attended an event with a guest teacher and walked away none the wiser. Even to this day I feel so inspired to have practiced under the great teachers such as Craig Villani, Jenelle Leat, Lucas Miles, Gregory Dunn, Esak Garcia, Emmy Cleaves to name just a few.
Watch our events for all upcoming Masterclasses and events, including some international guest teachers.
This November, Jenelle Leat is presenting over 3 amazing workshops – not to be missed. Click here for tickets.
Can’t attend all three? – No worries, you can purchase one class at a time HERE.