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5 Reasons to Get Back to the Basics

Everyone comes into yoga wanting to nail that perfect yoga pose. You’ve got to get that killer shot for Instagram. As someone with a background in ballet, I came into the practice with a lot of pre-existing strength and flexibility. Because of that it was way easier for me to achieve the hard arm balances and intense backbends relatively early on in my practice.

But now, five years later, I am finding myself slowing my practice down more and more, and taking the time to stop and breathe in poses. I’ve backed off the crazy balances and bends, and I’ve picked up on the details and basics.

It is important to understand that a Fundamentals of Yoga class will help your practice grow, rather than hold you back. Here are five reasons to get back to the basics.

You Get Answers
All the questions you’ve ever had cross your mind that, for whatever reason, you didn’t ask will probably be answered in a Fundamentals of Yoga class. The instructor breaks things down slowly, and gives detailed cues on how to move your body. You’ll likely encounter a teacher who gives you new perspective on a certain pose, sharing with you an entirely different approach to entering or exiting or deepening that you hadn’t thought of before. If your questions aren’t answered right off the start just know that these classes are exactly the time and space to voice your questions or concerns.

Improve Technique
With better technique comes deeper opening and more efficient strengthening. A diligent practice can lead you to access more advanced postures while remaining supported and injury free. Getting that perfect pose is NOT the point of the game. The point of the game is to keep breathing. With better technique you will learn to breathe into and from different parts of your respiratory system, depending on where the body is active or engaged. Thus allowing your body to sit (get it? because asana means “to sit”) in a complicated expression of a posture with calm and focused breath.

Put in the Work
Though I did say you might be able to access deeper postures, you’re not necessarily going to be doing all the crazy cool things in a basics class. Sure, it’s definitely easy to focus on not dying while you’re trying to hold yourself up in a Pincha Mayurasana or Urdhva Dhanurasana. It’s the simpler, more easily accessible poses where our brains start to wander off to what’s happening on the Bachelorette or what’s for dinner (#nojudgement). No, you have to really work to keep your focus on breath, and maybe an intention, if you set one. It’s in those moments of hyper-focused breath, after all, where the best feelings in yoga come from.

Build a Home Practice
Okay, so let’s face it. Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to actually get in to the studio. Have you ever been really sick, and wanted nothing more in the world than a really lazy restorative practice? Or what about when you’re on vacation and you just want a little movement to get your body open in the morning. Taking the time to learn the basics will help you to build your own practice outside of the studio. You’ll have the skills to practice on your own anywhere you please. In a sense, you can become your own teacher.

Keeps You Interested
Our society has come to a point where most of us have really short attention spans. We tend to get involved in activities that seem really appealing, and then get bored and move on. As much as any of us love yoga, this is still a huge road bump to think about. Once you’ve mastered that handstand, what’s next? Allow yourself the time to step back and reassess your foundations and you will begin to discover new things about your body that, perhaps, were previously way out of your reach. It’s honestly so empowering to look at how far you’ve come in your practice. It’s that thirst to learn more about your own self that keeps you coming back.

The great thing about knowing the basics is that you can take your practice at your own pace. You know where you can go, but you also start to become more aware of where your body wants to go. You can relax, and breathe, and get there when you get there.

If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, then come take a class at Joy Yoga Center! With our beginner yogis in mind, we’ve put together a Fundamentals of Yoga package that will prepare you for your new found love of yoga. These Fundamental classes are perfect for every yogi of every level as well - not just for beginners! So come on in and get your yoga on!

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