5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Intermediate Yoga

Women exercising in fitness studio yoga classes

By the time I arrived on my mat for an intermediate/advanced yoga class, I had already been practicing for a decade. I’m not counting the few times I was able to take a level-2 or 3 class over those years because they are so few and far between and… kind of don’t count when you can’t do it consistently.

I was always working on new postures and flows, but with little to no instruction. So, now that I could practice with a group of people and an instructor, I was beyond excited.

And, there was a huge learning curve when it came to working in a new way. Instead of just working on one or two advanced postures after class or at home, I was now working on all of the postures.

So, I thought I’d share with you what I wish I’d known before I dove in to the world I’m living in now:

You’re going to bobble, crash, and sometimes totally not get it. And, that’s completely okay.

I’m an instructor and even I sometimes crash and burn on a posture… because I’m a human being. So, perfectionists I see you and I get you, but it’s time to let that stuff go. It’s just holding you back anyway.

There are days where your balance is going be horrible, that you faceplant on the floor during an arm balance, or you keep looking around wondering how other people are understanding what’s being asked of you, while you feel like the instructor is speaking in a completely foreign language.

It’s okay. Because there will be days where you balance like a goddess, float forever in an arm balance and feel totally in sync with your instructor. Do what you can, have your wobble and bobble moments and do your best to not let the negative self-talk ooze into your practice and ruin it.

Comfort Zone destroyed.

You have to be willing to not know what you’re doing at first. Especially, if you’ve never put your hands on the floor and asked your body to come along for a ride in an arm balance, or if going upside down in an inversion feels completely insane to you.

But, you know what’s great about staying your comfort zone? Nothing.

So, embrace the not knowing. Stare at your instructor like they’ve lost their mind. Giggle if you must or make a funny face. It’s all good. You’re just squirming your way into a new space and learning new thoughts to think when it comes to what’s possible for you. It’s crazy and it’s the best.

“Here, I’ll open that pickle jar for you.”

Have you always wanted to say that, but just don’t have the upper body and grip strength to do it? Well, you’ll be well on your way to being one of the strongest people you know when you frequent an intermediate or advanced level yoga class.

And, strength… it’s super sexy. Embrace that. Because you are going to get so strong in ways you never imagined.

Once a week? That seems kind of strange.

Not everyone is looking to improve their yoga practice at this level and that’s completely okay. But, once you get a taste of the fun of it and expand beyond what’s offered everywhere at the beginner level, expect to get hooked.

The problem is, most places and spaces only offer this kind of class, at most, once a week. And, that’s a lot. Sometimes, it’s once a month.

You’re not going to get a ton done if you’re only moving through a level two class every once in a while. Your progress is going to be super slow.

The solution? Have a yoga side hustle. Figure out how to establish a home practice that’s just for you to work on the things that you would love to be able to accomplish. I did this for years before I moved my classes online and now teach intermediate/advanced on the daily. (You could also join us for class you know, but no pressure.)

Talk to your instructors and have them give you some good yoga homework that will get you closer to your goals. It will make your Level-Two classes way more fun because you’ll be able to accomplish even more on your mat.

“You’ve changed.”

Yup. You’re going to hear this. Because there is no way you can stay the same. As the practice of yoga asanas organizes the body, it is also reorganizing your mind.

Goodbye drama, job you hated or bored you to tears, anxiety, and negative self-talk.

Say hello awesome and healthy relationships, career you love, boundaries, carefree feelings, and Self Love.

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Tori Hicks-Glogowski is an online yoga instructor for real people looking to do extraordinary things. On her own mat for well over fifteen years, Tori works to inspire others to develop a life long practice through her classes, workshops, in-person events, and retreats. Find out more about Tori now.

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