Grow Yoga: A One Year Retrospective

This month, I read the Grow Yoga Handbook.  It was good timing, because I have been practicing Grow Yoga for about a year, and just over the past month or two, have felt my yoga practice start to develop.  Reading the handbook, I realized that many things that I found uncomfortable or bizarre when I began, now feel natural and even good.  It gave me an excellent opportunity to look back over what I have learned from Grow Yoga over the past year:

Know the other side of your body – you know, the back side

If asked before this year, I definitely would have said that I was in touch with my body as a whole, but I would have been wrong!  I have stretched and utilized parts of my body that I never thought consciously about before, and only recently have I started to be aware of my back side as I go through my day to day life.  That’s pretty incredible, since it is a large part of the surface area of my body!

Ask for help

When I started Grow Yoga I was terrified of the inversions and interesting postures that I saw other people trying.  It took me some time to learn that it’s okay to ask other people how they got somewhere, or to ask a teacher to walk you through something or to spot you while you try an inversion.  Learning this made my practice feel much deeper, and also made me much more connected to my teachers and fellow students.

Learn – and honor – your limits

It is okay if some poses don’t work for you!  I spent a long time struggling with how to make my body do some things it really did not want to do.  Learning to listen to my body has been very empowering, and I’ve also learned a lot from the modifications that my very smart teachers have come up with to help me work the same parts of my body even if the original pose they offered was problematic for me.  Note that this is not the same thing as avoiding discomfort.  I think there is value in finding those edges in your flexibility and in your body.  But once you’ve found them, that’s okay!

Try things!  

If there was just one thing I could impart on a new Grow Yoga student, it would be that it’s okay to try everything!  It’s okay to be silly.  It’s okay to really struggle with a pose.  It’s okay to fail at something.  I spent so much time watching others because I didn’t want to do poorly and be deemed bad at yoga.  It has been so freeing to realize that I am in a very safe space where I can learn and try at my own pace.

Reading the Grow Yoga handbook, and looking back over my practice from the past year, I am so happy that I’ve been able to participate in the Grow Yoga program.  I can’t wait to see where I’m at this time next year!

 

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