10 Things I'd love for my yogis to know:
1. Your yoga mat is your palette. It's your creative space and only yours. Not mine, nor does it belong to the person next to you. Experiment. Don't be afraid to try new things.
2. Yoga isn't a competition. We don't come to class to compare ourselves with others. It's about you. It's about your journey and your practice.
3. The poses are for you. They're about combining mind, body, breath, and spirit. It's not about mastering the postures. It's about their benefits for you, on and off the mat. Don't get me wrong, it's way cool when we finally accomplish the perfect down dog, but striving for perfection can be a trap. Discover what it is from each posture YOU need, and seek it.
4. Don't forget to breathe. Nuff said, right?
5. Yoga isn't the miracle. You are. Yoga is a lot of things, but it isn't a fix-all. You, the practitioner, have to work at it. Each time you arrive on the mat. When you work yoga into all aspects of your life, the magic begins to happen.
6. Ask for help. When an instructor says, "Engage your core, breathe into your lower spine, use your breath to put space between the vertebrae, pull the belly into the spine, lift up out of the rib cage..." if you don't get it, ask for help. I need you to speak up, otherwise I may never know.
7. Yoga isn't a weight loss program. However, it brings awareness and mindfulness to the body and health. Yoga, coupled with a conscious diet, will begin to transform your life.
8. Don't be so hard on yourself. If you don't get a posture right away, give yourself some time. Go easy on yourself. Kindness goes a long way.
9. It helps to practice outside of class. Yoga once a week is good. Yoga twice a week is great. Yoga 3-4 times a week is super-yoga-tastic! If you need your instructor to jot down the class postures for the week, she'll be happy to do so.
10. Think of me as your guide, not so much as a teacher. Remember, I grow, watching you grow. I'm humbled to be a part of your yoga journey. Seeing the joy in your eyes after class, the smiles on your faces as we pull up into Tree, and the peace and serenity in your voices as we say, Namaste, are my rewards. Without you, I wouldn't be the instructor I am.