Yoga Basics – Building a Base
A beginner´s practice is demanding and difficult because we are building a base, establishing the foundation of the Asanas (yogic postures) and this groundwork is hard and challenging.
How to place our hands? How to place our feet? Where to shift our weight? Searching for our Centre? The difference between stretching and aligning.
Just like when we start school, in order to master writing skills, we write and rewrite each letter separately an-number of times so that eventually we will be able to write whole words well. So here too a lot of groundwork is needed to create a strong and stable base to start from.
With time this base allows us to perform more challenging poses like ellbow balance, handstand & headstand.
I assume we all can confirm whoever hasn´t been through & mastered these basisc, will suffer in the future from this weakness of the base, even if he or she can perform advanced poses.
Without a base
A lot of times we can witness very flexible people moving easily into more advanced poses. The weight of the body collapses into the joints and alignment is compromised.
If you asked them to break down the pose into pieces and perform it step by steps it turns out to be almost impossible for them to perform the pose. There is a lack of connecting „the chains“.
You have to understand the form of the body in order to understand the meaning of light from within it. (Jalaluddin Rumi)
There is no substitute for a stable base.
I can imagine there is never an unfolding of the posture but instead an ongoing achieving of the pose through a lot of Doing and Effort.
For an experienced practitioner it is very difficult at a later stage to correct this weak spot, because he sees himself as advanced and wants to move on. There is a need to wait for a moment of openness, for a moment when they will be ready to UNDO.
The practice is about exploration, not performance. Asanas are not goals but frameworks for finding connections within the body. (Diane Long , Notes on Yoga)
Being an Eternal Beginner
I consider myself an eternal beginner as I search for this stable base as soon as I step on my mat practicing. I try do to less and relax more using the intelligence of my body instead of willpower and force. I try to observe and question myself how do I do what I do in order to achieve a pleasant and stable way of practice. I try to move in space more effortless guided by my breathing.
Remembering my groundwork provides me with a feeling of being save & supported wherever my practice will lead me that day.
That´s why practice for me NEVER gets boring. It is pure exploration 😉 .
There is no day like the other ; always something new to discover. I start playing with the poses, stop in between to feel more. I repeat the same movement, do it again and again …
Stepping on my mat is no burden at all. I am guided by pure passion.
Through my experience so far as a teacher and student I believe whoever hasn´t been through this groundwork, will suffer in the future from this weakness of the base, even if he or she can perform advanced poses.