How to Progress in Yoga

 

Yoga classes at The Studio, Madison WI.

 

 

Maybe this applies to you?
If you never mastered the details of the basic yoga postures, it makes it nearly impossible to work into the advanced poses.

 

You are also less likely to be engaging or lengthening the right muscles that allow you to get stronger, leaner, more flexible.

If you’ve been coming to yoga for awhile and not seeing/feeling the progress you want in terms of refining and building your practice and the health of your body and mind, here are three recommendations you can apply right now:

It’s time to get serious about your practice, your health, your life. Commit to daily practice. Not just when you feel like it or when all the stars align with your schedule…but right now, draw a line in the sand and honor it. SEE OUR SCHEDULE.

Book a Private Lesson with me, the studio owner, Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, to check in and tune up your alignment in the basic postures. This will ensure you are set up to progress in your strength, your focus and that your foundation poses have what it takes to build into advanced postures like arm balances, inversions, deep twists/binds, and the more challenging standing/balance poses. Even in the above photo, notice how her precise Warrior 2 will lead to a wonderfully aligned (and less wobbly) Half Moon. Her chest is already open and square. Her hips are in position to stack nicely. The attention to detail in the arms and hands will draw robust energy into her Half Moon and contribute to opening, strength building and her ability to balance. (If you need help booking a Private Lesson, contact erin@thestudiomadison.com)

Attend the monthly Master Classes. Every single one. They are held the second Saturday of the month. This is where you LEARN mastery. This is where you learn how to progress the postures. “How do they do that?” Come find out. REGISTER HERE.

Practice at home, too. Pick one pose a month and practice it daily at home for one month. MASTER IT. Put in the time. There is no getting around effort + time.

Why in the hell does advancing your practice matter? Why do details and alignment matter? Will they actually help me have a better life? What’s the point of all of this? Good questions. Important questions.

Consider this: Outside of the obvious answers that alignment ensures safety, proper strength building and flexibility enhancement—each new step in a pose gives us somewhere specific to place our attention. Each new step requires extreme focus. Advancing the postures becomes a tool to focus our minds, to train our minds to come home to something…instead of the relentless racing and chasing. For many of us, the physical detail in the yoga postures, the focus required, is our first step toward meditation. By narrowing our focus and placing it on specific body parts, we find some peace. A break from the stories in our head. We start to feel that another way might be possible. We begin to understand that we have choices and that executing those choices (the CHOICE of where to place our attention) requires practice. Daily practice. The physical bodily focus then advances to a focus on the breath. We further develop the SKILL to place our attention on the breath with our without physical postures. Even in stillness, even when sitting quietly. Seated meditation becomes more accessible and an important part of our day. We cultivate the ability to drop in, to become more aware no matter where we are or what is going on. We become better for ourselves and everyone around us.

This is the WHY. The big WHY. What the world needs more of right now. Pause. From there, right action. I could go on and on and on. But I’ll stop here, for now,  because your time is short and my passion and desire to speak of this is unending. More to come in future newsletters.

Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau

Contant Kathleen