My Perception Of Yoga Before Class


Since young my favourite Olympic game is Gymnastic. I feel the poses is so beautiful and elegant. I find that some of the yoga poses are similar to gymnastic, a lot of twisting, splitting, leg lifting, balancing and back bending. I think that is part of the reason why I love yoga as compared to the rest of the sports.
I consider myself as ultra-beginner in yoga. I only started practicing yoga few months before the start of 200 hours YTT and I do not do any other kind of sports. Moreover, my yoga practice is not on a consistent basis. It is an on and off basis. So how do I learn? Dang Dang ~~ Mr. Youtube! I will just randomly find a yoga video and practice accordingly. Basically it is like monkey see monkey do.
To prepare myself before I join the course, I borrowed books from library as reference and try every asana in the book. I find it very challenging to follow the detailed instruction of every single step to get into the pose. Imagine as a newbie you are struggling in your poses but at the same time your eyes have to keep peeping on the book. I have a lot of question in my mind: Should I inhale or exhale now?? Ok let me look at the instruction again. Is my leg position correct? Ok let me check out 1 more time. Errm..Why my knee cap is so painful? Did I do it correctly? Blah blah blah.. I find it very distracting and hard to focus. End up I gave up on the breathing part and instructions. I will just look at the photo and do it my way, as long as the pose “looks” good and I thought I am doing correctly.
Why do I sign up for the course? It is because my initial perception of yoga is as long as you are flexible, you can do anything. But I was totally wrong! After going through few lessons, I realise Yoga is not all about flexibility. As what Master Paalu and Master Wei Ling said: Yoga is about Endurance, Strength and Flexibility. We need all three of them. Many of the poses indeed need arm and shoulder strength and that is my weakness.
Strength doesn’t build over 1 day, it takes time. But I am too rush and eager to perform my Chaturanga and end up bump my chin on the floor. My arms are too weak and not ready to support my body. BANG! It was a hard one on the floor. I thought my jaw was dislocated. I lay on the floor and take a deep breath, slowly I move my jaw and touch my chin. Thank God.. I am still in one piece. Although there is a big lump and bruise, but I survived! Phew…Moral of the story, we must take precaution so that we do not get injured. Suggestion: Put a cushion or yoga block underneath or start off with practicing Ashtanga Namaskar first. Do not rush. Another practice I will do is looking into the mirror and tell myself: I have strong arms! I can do it!
I am still struggling with my Chaturanga and push up. To me it doesn’t matter now, because I will keep trying. I might take longer time, but I know I will get there someday. I am determined. The end of the YTT is just the start of my yoga journey. My arms will be getting stronger and stronger each day. To all those newbies out there who are facing the same difficulties, you are not alone!
Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thanks my yoga instructors and yoga mated who has been guiding, correcting me and also sharing yoga video with me. A big thank you!!

Carmen Soh
YTT Sep 2017 (Weekend)

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