Notch It Up

I know the logic of every beginner. I’ve been there myself. As beginners we always think how the practice can get too hard and inaccessible. That’s only if we are after the form. But if we find a flow that is both simple and challenging we will soon notice how we advance by the day. We suddenly abandon the notion of the newbie and find so much delight and play within the structure of the flow.

As a beginner I found the standard flow way too repetitive and too boring. Soon enough I caught myself pushing prematurely. It wasn’t my fault. The issue was in the way the flow was structured. It was too rigid and forced me into a set structure. Each time I would do the Sun Salutes, my body wanted to do something different. But I had to stick to it, because otherwise, I would be regarded as a rebel trying to reinvent the practice. So I stuck to the model for more than ten years and then ended up reinventing the practice. I discovered wondrous ways for an absolute beginner to transition, ways unorthodox, but very fluid and accessible. I also came up with a concept of compound poses, where a simple bind or a twist to the classical poses added new depth and expanded scope.

Today, when I teach beginners I always tailor the flow to their needs. I brainstorm with the group for a minute, pick on their brain, and let the most inventive and safe sequences to emerge. What my beginners love is to get new challenges that look different but are still up their alley. They feel that not braving those challenges will always keep them at the beginner’s level. In the standard yoga format we have a template that we copy and paste. We learn by emulating.  With time we fit into that mold. However, there isn’t any room for reinvention, because the element of “play” is not pertinent. But if you reverse the equation and you put the words “informed play” first, the rigid structure gives in to a fluid free flow that is nourishing and inspiring. Most importantly, the body moves the body in unimagined ways. You evolve seamlessly without any pushing. This affects your mindset and changes the entire flow of circumstances that you attract.

This beginner’s routine is accessible, yet interesting and offers a chance to try poses and new transitions that weave into the general fabric of classical yoga. It rotates all pose types, variations and brings a special twist by introducing compound poses that look impressive, but turn out really easy to get into. Adding that extra flavor to the practice changes the whole experience from dull and boring to exciting and exhilarating. And bathing in that field of joy and exploration makes you open to different possibilities to reinvent yourself at every stage of your life.

Today I always encourage my beginner students: “notch it up a little bit”. You can do it. Just look at it from a playful perspective, and what you are pursuing, will eventually come to you. That is the way of intelligent exploration where you treasure the philosophy of the practice but you give yourself permission to toy with the form. Every form in yoga and in life is bound to evolve. Beginners can grow leaps and bounds, when they are willing to take on the challenge as a new exciting opportunity to see things differently and engage into a free flow. Both on the mat and in life…

Don’t miss on this beautifully crafted beginner’s routine that will invite you into a free flow, and arm you with skills to transition smoothly, breathe profusely, and enjoy compound poses wholeheartedly.



Beginner’s Yoga Routine: Notch It Up

This routine invites beginners to flow fluidly in and out of classical and innovative poses and enjoy accessible binds and hooks that not only stimulate the organs’ and system’s functions, but provide food for thought, too.

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