by Mona Flynn, MS, RYT-500E
Whether or not you are new to the practice of yoga, you are in fact new every time you step onto your mat.
Novice students these days recognize the fact that since yoga has been quite popular for the past decade, since it seems not to be a trend anymore, but here to stay, that “catching up” to everyone else seems overwhelming. It is actually refreshing to have new students in group classes. The energy of new students reminds everyone to embrace the learning opportunities of what can be renewed, and to be willing to learn something new everyday…especially about yourself. Today is a new day.
Where and what you came from doing just before your practice brings you with a different energy, a different need, and a different mindset. My first teacher, Lillah Schwartz, used to say, “trust the yoga.” What she meant was that the practice provides answers, so that you will begin to understand the lessons all in good time, if you stay consistent. Your body will unfold with its memory of practicing the actions within the alignments/postures, chakras will open, the breath work will begin to feel more natural without having to overthink each step, and you will find yourself beneath all the layers of holding patterns, and misconceptions that are beginning to peel away. Meditation practice will begin to feel more comfortable and then absolutely necessary.
Along the way, the right answers will come because you are growing toward becoming more open in mind, body, and spirit, and thus ready to receive those answers. Your sense of intuition will show itself more readily, you will start to sense what is right and what is wrong with clarity, and you will learn to live in the present, not just to savor fleeting moments. Furthermore the practice does not judge you. You will leap, like Hannuman, over hurdles, and arrive to where you are meant to be today.
The key is consistency. Sounds like a huge promise? It is a tall order, but a consistent yoga practice delivers all of this and more.
Come to the front end of your mat, with hands in Namarcarasana (prayer position), held at your heart, bring your focus to your breath and feel grounded with each exhalation, ready to take on life with each inhalation.
Do your own intuitively led practice or, if you only have a small amount of time, do Warrior I, Warrior II, downdog, a twist and savasana. Again, bring your focus to your breath, feel what is now different, not just in your body, but in your heart, because you have taken time to “open up” to the possibilities for today.
Om, shanti, shanti, shanti (peace).