As I write this blog, on a sunny Bank Holiday I feel somewhat reflective about the beginning, the basics, the foundations of yoga.
This week I start a new EmPower yoga class, now teaching Thursdays and Fridays and I am SO grateful for the support of my students who have spread the word and encouraged me to teach more classes.
It’s something I intended to do in January, but the shock of discovering I had Deep Vein Thrombosis last November put a stop to that, and I had to wait until my health (and my work schedule) was in complete shape.
So speaking of new beginnings and back to basics, I’ve just spent a beautiful sunny week back home on the farm with my niece and nephews, the eldest nephew has (finally) developed an obsession with Star Wars – and wants to know all the basics: who was Darth Vader before he became Darth Vader? Who was his father? If Darth Vader is Luke’s greatest enemy, who is Yoda’s? And so on, and so on…
My nephew must have asked me these questions a thousand times, until he knew the answers himself, at which point he asked me to write him a written test to challenge what he had learned – “make it spicy” he said – meaning, make it a bit tricky. I did, and he got them all right.
Like everything, when we start practicing yoga, we begin with nothing, we learn from repetition.
But once we have learned the basics – what then? We build on the foundations, we add to our knowledge, we grow.
Sometimes, when we are so far along in our practice, it can be a little bit of a bore to go back to the start – we think we know it all, we rush through it – waiting for the new stuff, the good stuff.
And life is a little bit like this too – who wants an extension on your home when you have to deal with months of dust and mess – why can’t we just have the finished product?
The digital millennial dilemma of life – everything at the click of a button – why wait for the good stuff when you can just have it there and then?
But in yoga, for me, the good stuff is going back to the start – for three reasons:
- It reminds you of where you came from – progress, progress, progress
- It can help you discover a new way of thinking – a new approach to a pose, a new perspective
- It proves that life is not about the destination but what we learn on the way
So as the millennials would say: you’re basic. But basically, basic is kinda good – it keeps us grounded, keeps us real, and keeps that ego on the down low.