Do NOT try this at home, kids! Top 3 reasons to try a Yoga class
Disclaimer: The opinions stated in this blog post is meant to persuade you to try something new and is completely biased and based on personal experience. And yes, I am a closet purist who believes that certain things can be sullied with the modern propensity for quick fixes and DIY ers who, even though filled with good intent may cause long term harm to their bodies.
I have had friends and family ask me what I think of a Yoga DVD, or Youtube videos and if they can do yoga at home. I know that these things are a gabazillion dollar industry, but am of the opinion that its a great supplement for those who know their Pincha Mayurasana to Utthita Trikonasana i.e, those who know their Yoga, their bodies, have been to classes at least long enough to know when and how to modify according to their individual need. But for the rest, here goes:
One size doesn’t fit all: Each of our bodies has a story to tell, and the stories may be written in tight hamstrings for some, a weak lower back for others, carpal tunnel for a few and so on. When we follow the DVD, the tendency is to follow the instructions and try to twist and bend and basically force our bodies to look like the instructor and in doing so, may cause short-term or long term injury. Yoga is not about doing the poses in a PERFECT way, it’s about figuring out what is coming in the way of doing the pose and then working on either removing, reducing or working around that obstacle. And a well-trained teacher helps.
Sequencing and Construction: As Jason Crandell, named one of the next generation of teachers shaping Yoga’s future by Yoga Journal, states, “Sequencing is simple when you know what you’re teaching and why you’re teaching it”. This is important, a careful construction of a yoga practice is key, how the asanas are sequenced and flow into each other are as important as the asanas themselves. The time of day, the energy level, even the weather outside can dictate the sequencing, a concept that I learned in teacher training.
Synergy, synergy, synergy: I love the feeling of community, and have begun to form friendships with my yoga peeps. More importantly, I am motivated to stay longer and breathe through an advanced pose thereby optimizing the effort and action . Its the coming together of intent and effort in a collective that is energizing and rejuvenating. In other words, you may push yourself a bit harder (under expert guidance) if you go to a class.
So go ahead and try a few classes from a good teacher and who knows someday you may start climbing that elusive wall!