I recently signed up for a new gym membership (I thought I needed something other than massive amounts of yoga in my fitness regimen). The other day, while looking up the group exercise class schedule, I noticed a lot of yoga classes being offered and decided to give something new a try. I chose a Vinyasa Yoga class, which, granted, is pretty similar to the type of yoga that I already practice, but, hey, I had to start somewhere! While I am sometimes stubbornly led to believe that the type of yoga I practice is the only kind that I will ever like, I must admit that changing things up was incredibly inspiring. So inspiring that I had to share all of the amazing benefits with you!
1. A Change Of Pace
I’ve been noticing recently I can pretty much predict what’s coming in my usual yoga classes. I’m embarrassed to admit that I barely even listen to the instructor any more. Especially in the classes I attend regularly, I find myself going into autopilot more often than not. This makes the yogic quest to be in the present moment pretty difficult! How can you be in the “here and now” when you’re barely even paying attention to what you’re doing? Trying a new yoga class removes this obstacle. Especially because the style of the class I took was a bit different than what I am used to, the class kept me on my toes, allowing me to really focus on the practice. It brought me back to the reasons I started doing yoga in the first place: the utter awe that seventy-five minutes on a mat could give so much benefit to my mind, body and soul.
2. A New Perspective
Due to my heightened focus, I was able to key in on the teacher’s guidance, both physically and mentally. I adjusted my posture in new ways. I got deeper into the poses. I did the smoothest jump-back from Crow into Chaturanga that I have ever done in my life. I was able to make such strides in my practice just by tuning into my body, my teacher and my mat. On a deeper level, I picked up on new little pieces of wisdom. I moved into a deeper meditation in Shavasana. I experienced greater stress relief and mental calmness than I had in a long time. It was as if everything were new again.
3. A Lot Of Fun
Taking a new class was just plain fun. The class was different enough that I was surprised by each new pose. This removed some of the seriousness I often fall victim to in my usual classes and brought a lighthearted playfulness to my practice. It was like a breath of fresh air.
This experience has reminded me to work harder to bring all of these things to my practice on my own. You don’t have to take new classes every day in order to experience these benefits. You just need to remind yourself to seek them out, and taking a new class every now and then is a great way to do so.