Leveling out Yoga
How can you tell if you’re an “advanced” yogi? When do you start or stop being a “beginner?” What are levels in yoga? Ever ask yourself questions like these? Well, me too. So at Jamuna Yoga we are doing away with levels like gentle, mixed and advanced. Come as you are, and we’ll figure out where we stand together.
Yoga is about transformation, pushing yourself forward or pulling back until you find that razor’s edge between too much and too little. We all get tripped up in our heads by the extent and limits of what we can or cannot do. At Jamuna we encourage you to return to that childlike innocence where you don’t know what might happen next, or if you might fall, laugh or cry. Give yourself permission for your yoga mat to be a space of limitless possibilities.
How can we develop true yoga, self awareness, if the entire experience is premeditated? Instead of clinging to expectations, as yogis we witness our inner reactions to whatever is unfolding in the moment. I’ve never taught a class verbatim the way I had it planned. That doesn’t mean I don’t prepare for class with a full plan, but it is just the outline. The flow of my classes in many ways manifests from of the energy of the particular group. After a few rounds of leading the class through surya namaskar, I assess the energy and experience of the students, and we proceed accordingly. My responsibility is to create an inclusive class experience in which every student can thrive. Ultimately it is each yogi’s own breath, focus and effort that determines how the class feels for them.
Our mission at Jamuna is animal consciousness: through animal awareness and compassion for all beings, we begin to experience the oneness of being that is the true state of yoga. Moving and breathing together as one in an inclusive all levels class is one way to show up for each other and be compassionate with our actions. At the end of each class, we want all of our yogis at Jamuna to feel that every individual present was included and uplifted by the experience we shared together.
Variety is an essential element in yoga, just as in physical health. By eliminating the distinction of class levels, we invite our yogis to come to Jamuna at any time that works for them and to take a variety of class types and lengths. We offer 45 minute, 1 hour and 1.5 hour classes and a variety of themed classes like Ahimsa, Hardcore, Chakra, and Bootylicious Vinyasa. In the end the main purpose in eliminating the false distinctions of levels is simply to offer you the best possible experience of real yoga. We look forward to practicing and breathing together with you all here at Jamuna Yoga.