The asanas, or physical postures in Yoga, always have more than one version: the full (ardha) version and an easy (suka) version.Normally, the first one for advanced yoguis and the second one for beginners.
But can really your physical performance measure your level in yoga practice? First we should ask what is an “advanced” and what is a “beginner”. Is this measurement really true for yoga?
I remember that, when I started to practice yoga the most important thing I learned with my first teacher was “In yoga there is no such thing as competition.” And he was right. But, in my perspective, still wrong. I will tell you why.
The ultimate meaning of Yoga is “union”. Union with your partner, with your friends, with Nature, with the Universe and… with yourself. Yoga is the way back to YOU. The way back to that innate perfection in yourself.
So, the word “competition” only makes sense in the way that is competition with yourself. Trying everyday, to be better than you were before. And for better I mean more kind, respectful and patient with you and the others.
What is yoga physical practice for if we fail in the first yoga Yama “Ahimsa”, which means self-love, non-violence?
The good thing about yoga is that you don’t need to ‘be good’ at it. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
You just need to be present. Focusing on yourself, doing your own work. That’s what being advanced truly means.
If you are aware of your breath, thoughts, emotions and deal with it in your practice, you will be able to cope with it in your life daily challenges as well. That’s what being advanced is all about: being present.
Aware of this present moment. So you can learn more about yourself and become a better human being for yourself and for others. The word “present” has two meanings, the present moment we are living now and also means “gift”. So, think of the present moment as a gift to yourself. Enjoy it! 🙂