By Christine Noonan

If you were to build a house on a weak foundation, the rest of the structure would eventually suffer. The same is true for your yoga practice. While some of us may believe that we’re “too advanced” for a class titled Beginner Yoga, there is a lot value in going back to basics.

With a deeper understanding of poses, from breath cues to foundations and alignment, Beginner Yoga classes offer an opportunity to build your base of knowledge from the ground up. These are skills that benefit beginners as well as advanced yogis.

For true beginners, a Beginner Yoga class will help to:

  1. Develop a Sense of Proprioception: You will deepen your awareness of where your body is in relationship to the world around you, how to make it move the way you want it to, and learn how to position yourself in the space around you.
  2. Gain an Understanding of Alignment Principles: If you are coming to yoga from another sport, you may have a good awareness of your body and how it moves. If you are completely new to moving your body, this class will help you learn where body reference points are and how to use alignment to get the most out of every pose.
  3. Introduce you to Slowing Down: If your phone is often at your side, or you’ve never spent quiet time connecting to your breath, the experience of slowing down might take some getting used to. A Beginner Yoga class (lead by an instructor who knows just how hard it is to unplug) is an ideal place to learn how to the cultivate calmness and mindfulness that yoga is said to foster.

 

For seasoned practitioners, a Beginner Yoga class will help to:

  1. Retrain your Alignment Within Poses: As we become comfortable in our yoga practice, we often get a bit lazy. We forget the alignment we learned (or perhaps, never fully learned or understood) and the effort that even the simplest of poses requires. Beginner Yoga is a great class to get back to these basic principles.
  2. Offer an Alternative to your Regular Practice: Injured or recovering from an illness or surgery? While your body is healing itself, it likely needs to spend more time getting in and out of poses so that it is practicing proper alignment and self-care. Get your doctor’s consent before coming back to your practice after any kind of injury or medical procedure.
  3. Re-ignite your Excitement: Do you remember how you felt when you first started your practice? How your body, breath and brain had to work together to get into a pose? And then how amazing you felt after you got it or watched yourself improve over time? By coming back to where you started, you allow yourself to remember those empowering sensations and feelings, which can help you fall in love with yoga all over again.

Each and every time we step onto the mat, we are presented with a new opportunity. A chance to listen, learn, feel, breathe – whatever it is that we need that day. So be open to letting yourself experience the “newness” of each practice, whether it is your first or hundredth time.

 

Christine is currently teaching at Union at Mondays at 4 pm (Warm Hatha) and 6:30 pm (Beginner Yoga). If you’d like to learn more about the foundations of common yoga poses, click here to download a copy of her FREE e-book, Yoga Essentials. Learn more at christinenoonanyoga.com.