Getting into yoga can seem like an intimidating experience. Even though it is one of the oldest practices around, the Instagram-perfect poses of today can be a far cry from what was intended. Fortunately, there are gentle and more activity-based approaches to traditional yoga that can help open the doorway to a more nurturing and healing approach.
Mindful movement isn’t about getting into the perfect pose, or even about pushing your body and abilities to the limit. It is about being present with your body, listening to it and being guided by it. This can take the form of active and fluid movements, simply spending a few moments consciously appreciating your physical form, using props or props to support your body in different positions, or just taking a few slow breaths throughout your day. It is a way to work with your body’s unique needs, feel into them and move in a way that nourishes rather than depletes.
It is also important to support your community when it comes to yoga. There are so many yoga studios, instructors, and workshops that often don’t get the attention they deserve. Some great ways to give a boost and connect with people who aren’t always in your circle are to shop small, find an instructor who you admire and see what is coming up, or host an event or workshop that is tailored to your unique needs. Shopping small and connecting with other yogis in your community will help support independent and passionate instructors who are passionate about their work.
Blessings and Gratitude
Finally, it is important to also cultivate an attitude of gratitude and blessings. Unlocking the many health benefits of yoga, and utilizing it in your life, requires dedication and consistency, yet shouldn’t be a source of stress or anxiety. Recognizing and appreciating the moments of joy, comfort, and ease they bring is key. Taking time to give thanks and offer blessings can help deepen your practice and get the most out of each class.
By being mindful of your body and its uniqueness, shopping small and supporting local and independent businesses, and cultivating an attitude of appreciation and gratitude, you can get the most out of a regular yoga practice — no matter your skill level. You don’t need to achieve perfection or power to be truly reaping the benefits of yoga, your body will thank you for simply taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate it for all it can do!