Home Yoga Practice As a Chance To Grow

I am writing this article during the global quarantine - the first in the history of mankind. You can not leave the house without good reason. No shops except for grocery ones are open. People were moved to the home office. Closed cinemas, gyms and ... yoga studios

That means - there are no familiar things we usually use to fill up our days not to meet… our own selves.
People understand what is important in their lives, and what they can live without. Re-considering their values. For many, this also applies to yoga. The responsibility for your practice now lies only on yourself.

I practice in the tradition of ashtanga vinyasa yoga, so I will consider the situation through the prism of this particular style

Ashtanga should be practiced 5x a week in mysore style plus one led class. Mysore style is a self-practice in a group with a teacher

First, let's look at the main reasons why people come to Mysore classes to the shala.

  • to feel the general energy and presence of the teacher
  • to get adjustments
  • to get advice from the teacher
  • for discipline and motivation. It's hard to make yourself do your practice at home. There are too many factors to distract your mind like spider net under the couch you suddenly noticed being upside down or dirty dishes «asking to be washed» just when you are in the middle of your practice
  • to show their progress to the teacher, receive «recognition»
Let's go through all these points and understand how the absence of at least some of them can be considered as a temporary advantage
  1. The energy of the group and teacher
Yes, during quarantine this can be forgotten for a while. Live energy will not be replaced online. As a teacher, I do everything in my power to support the community at least at a distance. I have created a special chat support group and teach online classes. This is an opportunity to feel the importance of the community and gratitude for belonging to it.

2. To get an adjustment

Many do not understand that a teacher gives you physical adjustment not olny when you are doing the "wrong thing". Let's look at the functions of adjustments:

  • Technical. The teacher makes it clear to the student how to make a position, guiding him with his hands in the right direction. Correcting mistakes.
  • Physical. This function is meant to help a person take a position that he can't do on his own. Or help getting deeper in those you are already able to do
  • Psychological. Sometimes an adjustment is a pure manifestation of care and attention. And sometimes that's how a teacher makes it clear to a person how much more his body can do
The main task of a good adjustment in the long run is to make it unnecessary. So that a student doesn't need it anymore and can do the posture on his own. Becoming stronger and more independent

And sometimes the best adjustment is the absence of any adjustment . Sometimes, teachers do not do a particular adjustment on purpose.

In psychology, there is the term "learned helplessness syndrome." This is when a person gets used to getting help in something, and then thinks that he himself can never do it. And therefore does not even try. Easy example: if parents do everything for a person at an early and not very early age, then it is difficult for this person to achieve something. He was not even given a chance to try. And he resigned into this idea he is supposedly helpless and good for nothing. However, throw him overboard, take everything from him - and the person will have to start doing something on his own. And grow due to this.

Now, in the aspect of yoga practice (and not only that), many have the feeling that they were thrown overboard. And you can either let your practice drown, or take it to a new level.

The temporary lack of any adjustments teaches you to try asanas yourself, to study their mechanics, watch instructional videos, and rely on yourself. Perhaps you will see that you can do on your own some asanas you always "needed help with" before.

The main task of a good adjustment in the long run is to make it unnecessary.
And sometimes the best adjustment is the absence of any adjustment

3. Teacher's instructions and recommendations

See point 1. Personal presence cannot be replaced. But we have online one, thanks to modern technology

4. Disciplines and motivation

If you need a studio as the only way to practice regularly, you are handing the responsibility for your life to someone else. It is your choice to practice or not. It's time to figure out if you need it. And why. When there is a clear understanding of why, it is easier to unroll the mat every morning

5. The need to show the teacher your progress and get appreciation

I put this in a separate paragraph, because we can talk a lot about non-attachment, but we all have it to a greater or lesser extent. And this is a strong, albeit not always fully realized, motivation to come to the shala.

Now we can impress the maximum of ourselves and family members. And there is reason to ask yourself the question for whom you are actually doing the practice. Why do you need praise and recognition. Do you want to do the practice even when no one is looking at you?

....And also, when you practice at home, you have time to try the asanas that are hard for you 10 times, fall with a loud sound and yawn between sun salutations :)
Оne can feel the yoga practice as an island of stability in a crazy world like never before. Our support and anchor.

Let's take this time as a chance

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