The most advanced yogis, even the famous ones like Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar, Sharon Gannon, David Life, Shiva Rea, Rodney Yee, and Duncan Wong were once beginners. Often, they were drawn to the mat due to illness, emotional upheaval, or even addiction. They used yoga as a functional physical and psychological tool to mold their bodies and minds to become more flexible, strong, and resilient.
Feeling like a beginner in yoga is a good thing. It’s helpful to remember that hardly anyone attained single-minded focus or wrapped their legs around their head all at once.
To keep you inspired and eager to approach your daily yoga practice with a beginner’s mind and heart, here are 10 “mysteries” you can look forward to realizing as your yoga practice matures:
- We can’t do every pose all the time, every day. Everyone’s bodies are built differently. Some of us carry our stress in our shoulders. Some of us carry our burdens in our lower back and hips. Since we are all individual creatures, our practice must be tailored to those differences. Advanced yogis knows this and don’t expect to find every asana easy. Practice makes perfect, but go slow, honor your daily rhythms, and let your body and mind find the poses you need each day.
- True yoga is more than asana practice. We practice karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, pranayama, mudra, meditation, yamas and niyamas, and try to eat a yogic diet. The physical practices of yoga are just a small part of everything that is yoga.
- We enjoy the fruits of our practice. Advanced yogis not only look flexible, but their minds are often more pliant than regular folks, so they can bend with the upsets and trials of life more easily. Advanced yogis still lose their tempers and hope for change in certain areas of their lives, but they are comfortable ‘surfing the void,’ and just being o.k. with whatever is right now.
- Experienced yogis naturally draw other like-minded people to themselves. We eventually realize that our practice has changed our bodies, our personalities, and our energy. We tend to draw people to us who are energetically charged, positive, and loving. That is why our world seems so fabulous and serendipitous, but obviously not without challenges.
- There is that one pose we’ll be working on forever. While we honor our bodies and know we can’t do everything, there is always a new posture that we would love to master, and that is partly what keeps us engaged in the practice. We always look to accomplish something new.
- We enjoy a better mood and more serendipitous meetings with situations and people because we have trained our neuro-receptors to seek and find happiness. It is called unconscious mastery, but it started with a conscious struggle.
- We use things like saucha or yogic detox to further our practice more expeditiously. When the body is cleaner and the organs are healthy, we can stretch further and maintain practice longer because we are full of energy.
- We come to discover the secrets of the chakras and kundalini awakening, which are not often referenced in a yoga studio class.
- As much as we enjoy becoming more enlightened beings ourselves, our growing awareness of our universal oneness makes watching others become better yogis is super fun too!
- We realize that yoga is all about cultivation and control of prana – all yoga practices lead back to this little gem of wisdom.
[Editor's note: This is a guest post offered by YOME - The Yoga Portal for Wonderful Life found at http://YogaMeditationHome.com].
YOME is an online channel dedicated to exposing and spreading the message of yoga throughout the world. To support its goals, YOME provides yoga instructors the tools and means with which to offer yoga practitoners the benefit of their knowledge and experience. YOME offers its readers a selection of quality videos, categorized by style, age, gender, medical condition and more. YOME also features a collection of professional articles, written by yoga teachers and industry professionals.