Often we see the word beginner in the title of a yoga class, or some blanket expression, “Beginners Are Welcome” under a printed schedule, but do these classes really start at the beginning? And how the hell are you supposed to feel welcome, now that they just singled you out, right?
The teachers are of course diligent in asking about injuries and who’s new to yoga and IF you are honest enough to say yes, then they will do their best to guide you in a whisper while everyone holds down dog for five breaths.
This is a good approach for beginners if they have a photographic memory to be able to practice everything they just did, have complete body awareness to know where they are in space, and close to perfect alignment to avoid compensation. ALMOST NO ONE HAS ONE, NEVER MIND ALL THREE, OF THESE QUALITIES.
The beginning is THE BOOK THAT COMES BEFORE the one we see today in studios. It’s further back than most teachers are willing to go, maybe because show offs find it rudimentary, or they don’t know how to slow things down, or maybe they’re afraid to give students what they really need, because it won’t look like a typical yoga class with arm balances, headstands, and seventeen chattarangas.
I’m teaching a foundations class where students will find their breath, how to keep proper alignment in every position, and how to use yoga to increase the quality of their life. In other words, get a little weird, sweat, stretch, and laugh because nothing about this is easy.