We all start with the basics. There is no way around it. We all have to crawl before we can walk. Yoga is no exception to this rule. We start with the lighter and easier parts before we can evolve. What we seem to forget though are the benefits we can have of doing the same exercises over and over. Going back to the easiest poses can be difficult for our mind or pride to accept, but is no reason to let ourselves off the hook.
Now, if you think about some of the first practical things you learned about yoga, like don’t eat too close to the lesson and wear something comfortable that allows movement, you would not forget that. Either you have learned from experience or been told that doing yoga on a full stomach is really uncomfortable. Alternatively, maybe you have, in a rush, chosen those compression pants rather than those soft cotton leggings.
Why should it be logical to think that when we know a pose very well we don’t need to do it again? No matter where we are in our yoga process and experience, we can always revisit the practice we have done before. Of course, the lesson will be another the tenth time you practice that beginners sequence. Your attention will be on other places in your body or mind, but you can still learn from it.
The basics teach us to listen to our own body and establish a relationship with and control of the body. We learn about our limits, our balance, our alignment, and our coordination, but we only learn about them at that very moment. It takes time for this to settle in our everyday practice and movement. When we keep repeating and redo the movements and the poses, all of these elements will develop. When we come back to do the same basic exercises and poses we will be in a different place in our body. This can make our feeling of the pose change if we are open to it.
The instant magic of succeeding with a tricky pose the first time might not come back or it feels a little different every time. At least if we stay open to feeling what happens that moment instead of reminiscing about past feelings of the pose. Often, we have a tendency to think that one thing will feel exactly the same every time. But, if we change all the time, why should the feeling stay the same?
In other words, stay curious and keep searching, don’t think that you will know exactly what is coming. This goes for the physical practice of yoga, but also for the breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. Once in a while, go back to those basics and do them again with enthusiasm and curiosity. So, next time your favorite yoga class is full and no other classes than a beginner’s class has a free space… embrace it and go for it!