Are you a student who always takes Basics classes? Are you curious about whether you are ready to try other classes? Do you have questions about foundation postures and concepts of the practice such as proper alignment of the up-dog and push-up, breathing, locks, anatomy, and more? Do you find O2 Yoga practice fun and you want more?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may be ready to take your practice to another level. Breaking out of Basics does not mean we are kicking you out of Basics. Quite the contrary, Basics class is appropriate for all levels of students—including those with more experience. Basics is where you return to really focus on the foundation. However, this month’s focus is for those of you who are wondering when you should try different classes and how they might be different.
At O2 Yoga, we have essentially 3 levels; Basic, Intermediate, and Power (and the Astanga classes which are really appropriate for Intermediate and above). In Basics, we set the foundation for the practice. In Intermediate, we begin to give more stages and build towards more challenging poses. We do that as well in Basics, but Intermediate will give you even more options. In Intermediate, we also begin to introduce headstanding and shoulder standing, more inversions (often using the wall), and get closer to arm balances.
In the Astanga, Intermediate, and Power levels, there is less breakdown of the basic postures and more flow. There is an understanding that you have already learned how to modify your push-up for example. This doesn’t require you to have mastered the basic postures before moving on to other levels. Quite the contrary, no student ever really masters these poses. Every single practice is a new a different opportunity to learn. Every practice is an opportunity to deepen your understanding and quiet the mind just a bit more.
This month’s focus is not about moving up, down, or sideways. It is really about learning your options and trusting your instincts and your body. It is about getting empowered. It is about finding your path. Remember, your yoga practice should always be part humility, part exhilaration, part fun, and part centering. These percentages will change every time you get on the mat, but there should always be elements of each of these within!