Every day new students arrive to Yoga. This article aims to bring some tips for those who find themselves a bit lost among so many different methods.
Despite Yoga also cover meditative, mantric and devotional methods, the ones that have attracted more new practitioners are those involving the practice of asanas. As there are many differences between each method and the practitioner tends to experience various practices, he tends to get a bit lost. Often he practices a different method per day, on Monday a teacher asks him to relax the belly, on Tuesday, another asks him to contract it. On Wednesday, a teacher instructs the activation of muscles during postures, on Thursday, another asks the relaxation during the practice and so on.
With so many differences, there is the risk of the student get confused and start contracting the belly in that class of who asked to relax and relax in the class of who asked to activate it. To avoid these misunderstandings I suggest that, at least for some time, the student practice only one method. Let’s say with about 3 months of practice it is possible to internalize some techniques and depending on the case, noting progress.
To better enjoy the knowledge that the teacher has to share, it is interesting that the student allow himself to try that proposed method. A good student is one who tries with some enthusiasm to try the exercises. Demonstrate commitment and interest is a yogi attitude. Even if the student does not perform the exercises with perfection, is cultivating yogi attitude to try to make them with nice interior mood. Remember that Yoga is not postures, but the mental state that can be achieved by practicing them. The focus is more to the attitude then the shape.
After having experienced some methods, the student will have better idea of its effects and will be better capable to decide which one really works to develop things he needs at that time. I have noticed that there is a tendency of students choosing what they like most or finds easier instead to choose what they needs to work.
My tip is that the student chooses a method that works his weaknesses, helping him to go towards his plenitude. For this and other reasons it is so important the dialogue with the teacher. Traditionally, the student establishes a relationship of closeness and trust with him, so it’s easier to take questions and better adapt the practice to his possibilities.
Nowadays, there are many students who do not even know the name of the teacher. This distance does not help the teacher to supervise their journey towards Yoga.
In short: Try different methods and allow yourself to experience the activities proposed with a good mood. It is not very polite attend a class trying to do the opposite of what the teacher recommends. Establish certain closeness with your teacher allowing him to observe your journey and progress. So, without doubt, regardless the chosen method, you will better enjoy your practices.
I was born in São Paulo, Brazil and I teach since 2001. I studied in India with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
Living in Europe these last 10 years, I teach regularly in Croatia, France, Portugal and in Denmark, where I am currently living.
Besides Yoga, I am Bachelor in International Relations with specialization in Political Science at Sciences Po – Bordeaux.
I think my diverse education helps me to see yoga as lifestyle that can balance the individual and result in a healthy society.