Goodyoga has a range of students when it comes to their physical practice. For that reason we have different levels of classes to suit as many people’s practices as possible, One of the levels is our C (challenging) level class. Having the word "challenging" to describe a yoga class always made me wonder about the practice.
What does it mean to challenge yourself in the context of yoga? The more I think about it, the less the challenge comes from the physical practice. To me, it is the subtler part and the long-term commitment part of yoga I find challenging. The union of the self, knowing when to refrain myself, moving with my breath, and practicing what I learned outside of the mat. This requires constant evaluation of the self and consistency.
Yoga should always be a challenge. Because when it is a challenge, you have to be at your most mindful state to overcome it. So whatever class one takes, he or she should find a challenge deep within and learn something about themselves. Don’t be concerned about what is commonly seen as challenging. Everyone is in different places and learns in different ways. Don’t let it discourage your practice.
Some ways to add challenge to your asana practice regardless of class level:
1. Starting and ending your movements with your breath. Staying physically still when holding your inhalation.
2. Maintaining the same pace of breath throughout the practice.
3. Making little to no noise when you step or hop (Ninja Feet).
4. Finding new openings and engagement in poses.
5. Maintain your Drishti (focal gazing point).