Honor Thyself: Why It May Take Awhile to Master that Pose

No one likes to be the newbie in the room; however, pushing your body beyond its limits may result in injuries that could delay your mastery of yoga poses.  One of yoga’s core principles is respect of the body.  Don’t worry if your warrior pose isn’t as deep as the person’s in front of you; nor should you worry if your uplifted root needs to touch the ground for balance during tree pose.  Eventually, you’ll be able to master each pose.

Master a PoseBuilding Strength Occurs Over Time

Yoga exists as a full-body workout.  Many poses require different muscle groups to work together in order to hold the pose.  When beginning yoga, you may find that some parts of your body are significantly stronger than others, or that some areas are much more flexible than others, and that’s okay!  It may take some time for you to create equal strength and flexibility throughout your body.  It’s important to be patient and respect your body’s initial limits.  Over time your body’s strength and flexibility will increase allowing you to achieve a more perfect posture.  The more you practice, the more quickly you’ll master the yoga poses

Building Commitment Requires Dedicated Practice

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will the perfect dancer pose be built in an afternoon.  In order to enjoy mastery of different yoga poses, you’ll need to commit to your practice.  Whether that means showing up once a week at class and then practicing several more times at home, or signing up for several instructor-led classes each week, dedication exists as a core component to a successful yoga practice.  The more you practice, the more your muscles begin to remember the correct postures automatically.   However, perfect poses won’t just appear over time—they will appear when you actively listen to your instructor as well.

Listening Fully Helps to Improve Poses

When your instructor corrects your posture or adjusts your body, listen fully to how he or she is helping you.  Remember: these corrections are not a criticism.  There’s no need to feel embarrassed or self-conscious when these moments occur.  Your yoga instructor is helping you; he or she wants you to achieve the full benefits of each posture, and may have to adjust your posture to make this happen.  Take these helpful moments in stride and use them to work towards mastering each posture.  Listening to gentle critiques is also important as they can prevent injury.  Welcome your instructor’s corrections and learn from them.

Enjoy Being a Beginner!

Just remember this: everyone was a beginner once.  Every individual wobbled through poses requiring balance or struggled to align the body correctly.  Perfect postures are attainable, but require dedication, repetition, and a willingness to learn from others’ experience.  If you find yourself feeling self-conscious during class, take a deep breath and honor your authentic self and know that you are on the road to mastery.  Enjoy being a beginner—it takes courage to learn something new.

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