Have you ever felt put off yoga or not good enough when you see the fancy shapes in class or on social media?
I know I have, and sometimes still do!
No wonder so many of you feel like yoga isn’t for you when the common perception of a ‘good’ practice is being super flexible, being able to perform picture perfect shapes or having a physically strong practice.
Going upside down, sliding into splits or putting your leg behind your head is often packaged as an advanced yoga practice, but the problem with reducing advanced yoga to physical performance is that it becomes a niche club. Without entry to the club, you’re left feeling not good enough.
But what if I told you that being able to tie yourself in knots doesn’t make you a more advanced yogi?
Yes, poses that are physically and mentally demanding are great at increasing your stress threshold, stamina and capacity to face challenges. But an advanced practice is also having the experience to know when these poses don’t work for you, and the mindset to be comfortable with that.
Sometimes, a more advanced practice is learning to do less, not more.
I want you to have the confidence in your practice that you deserve so here’s my TOP 3 ways to take your yoga to the next level, both on and off the mat:
1. Respect Your Limits
Let go of how you think your practice should look and become comfortable working with your own limitations. Remember, a restorative yoga practice is just as beneficial as a dynamic one, and snatching 5 minutes of your time to consciously breathe is just as valid as going to a 90 minute studio class.
2. Use props and modify
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and use support - it doesn’t make you bad at yoga! In fact, using props and taking modifications allows you to build a greater bodily awareness and approach more challenging postures in a safe and supported way.
3. Practice what you resist
Do you get swept up in endless to-do lists and work stress? Try a practice of stillness such as breathwork or meditation. Growth happens when you step away from what feels most comfortable and find ease in not being the best at something.
It's time to take it to the next level, so which of these will you be putting into practice first? I'd love to know so let me know in the comments!