Our Absolute Beginners ten week workshops has kicked off this week. . . and what a great bunch of students! You’re all very positive and brave. I feel honoured to be teaching you all and look forward to the next nine classes together.
Take stock of where you are now. Remember that. Then after ten classes you can look back and see if you've achieved your goals, if you have more work to do, or if you've even surpassed your own expectations.
Yoga is not about self-improvement, it is about self-acceptance.
Honour where you are at right now, and try to find a sense of peace with that. You have all taken the first step to changing things for the better, so you should be very proud of yourselves. The only way is up!
For some of you, our practice this week may have been physically challenging. And of course, that tends to introduce a mental and, perhaps, emotional challenge. Just sit with it. See if for what it is ... a challenge.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” Albert Einstein
You've been introduced to Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations A) this week. This sequence of asana (postures) is a fantastic way to warm the body. We use so many muscles in this sequence, it could be used as an all round exercise for the body every day.
With Waitangi Day next Tuesday, remember that our second class will be the following Tuesday. It's an eleven week term, so we will still get our ten classes in for the workshop. You each have a printout of the Sun Salutation poses, so how about giving it a go at home? Maybe someone could read the instructions to you ... a little easier than trying to read while you practice.
Just remember to take 3-5 minutes at the end of your home practice to lie quietly in Savasana. Simply lie on your back, with feet apart and arms away from you sides, palms face up. This really can be the most challenging pose in the practice of yoga. The 'monkey mind' tends to take over when we are still and quiet. See if you can turn your mind to your breath for a few minutes.
Ten Week Commitment
As you know, this workshop comprises ten classes. Each class builds on the previous one, so it is important to do your best and try to attend each class. A couple of you were unable to attend the first class, and there are another couple who had prior travel arrangements which mean they will miss one or two classes. For those people, I suggest you contact me at least the day before your next class to see whether its suitable for me to meet you in the yoga room half an hour before normal class begins so I can either introduce new poses to you that you may have missed, or do some revision with you.
See you the week after next. You'll get a reminder email the day before.
Total self acceptance is empowering. It means allowing others to see you as they choose, without being offended.