To an experienced practitioner we understand that the yoga postures, even with their specific names, are only guides along a certain path. They are not finished products. There is no posture to be obtained. The only thing we seek to obtain is to be 100% present within our body as we move through opening, strengthening, lengthening, healing, restructuring, present to how our body transforms. In any posture, there is always something more that can be transitioned through.
To teach this path is a chance for those new to yoga to understand what it is we are actually doing in “yoga.”
Think of yoga asanas, or postures, as a ski hill. We all go down the same hill. Some take the bunny slope and others take the steeper trails. The hill is the same. This is why you see photos of people in Standing Bow Pulling Pose, some with their back stiff and straight and foot barely over their hip and others with their back nicely curved and leg way up over their head. It’s the same pose just different levels, same beauty.
The benefits are the same no matter what level one practices at.
Every advanced posture starts with a basic move. Just like the ski hill, learning to stand on your skis is the first step to conquering the hill. If you’re wanting to learn a one legged posture, then learning to stand on two feet without falling over must be mastered first.
Yoga teachers won’t expect you to reach completion, but rather be conscious of your movements. This is why all levels of practice benefit the same. It’s the process of what you are doing that activates the practice of yoga.
The proverbial man in meditation IS the clear depiction of yoga. One pointed focus. Whether sitting in silence or practicing your body movements with music. It’s that deep inner focus and attention to what is being done now, in this moment which provides your lessons.
I’ve taught beginners who are masters and so called masters who are still beginners.
It’s the path of mindfulness.
Any gymnast or dancer can do “poses” pretty easy. That’s not yoga.
It takes practice….lots of it. By the way, that’s why we call it a yoga “practice.” Keep it up.