When I returned from teacher training in 2011 I returned to a community I didn’t recognize. New studios were opening up and older studios put restrictions on who could and couldn’t teach for them. If you taught at one studio you weren’t allow to teach at another. It was stressful for a new teacher that purely wanted to teach and didn’t understand the ins and outs of the yoga world yet. So, I followed my heart and worked for the studios where I could grow the most as a teacher and student and continue to learn about the yoga I loved.
But that’s not the story I want to get into today. You see, with all the putting up of fences and drawing of lines that happened during that time, one thing slipped through cracks and faded away like an old memory – Advanced Class.
Every Saturday at the studio I started at, you could attend Advanced Class and work for something new. I had been invited to attend often, but prior to becoming a teacher, weekends were dear to me, as some of the few moments I could share with my husband before I would have to travel once again. Now that I had chosen a life that would no longer pull me away from home, I couldn’t wait to get started with my advanced practice… only to find not many people were interested in keeping it going any more.
Through the years that passed I sought out direction on how go deeper in my practice from teachers that used to practice the Advanced Series. I also ended up having to figure a lot of things out on my own. Every once in a while, a studio would announce that were holding an Advanced Class and I would show up, trying grasp as much information as I could, to then incorporate it into my home practice.
And then something amazing happened. The Intermediate Class was developed and Teacher Trainings were announced. Teachers could finally bring back the tradition to their community of challenging ourselves and our students beyond the traditional twenty-six and two that comprises the Bikram Series. It was time to move forward once again, but in a new and better way.
The Intermediate Next Level 90 is on the schedule at both of the studios I teach at, but maybe your studio is offering the E84 Intermediate or Core 40. Either way, all of this is good news and I want you to know why you should show up for this class:
- You get to make new shapes and find new goals to achieve.
- It’s meant for everybody. Do what you can do and enjoy your new beginnings.
- It’s the perfect bridge between the Beginner’s Series and Advanced. You get to ask questions and learn how to build postures.
- It makes you work differently when practicing the traditional twenty-six and two – with better integrity and alignment of each posture. If you are working for Full Cobra Pose, you are going to treat Cobra Pose differently. You won’t give up so easily in Balancing Stick if you are working for the stamina that is required for Split Arm Pose or Standing Splits. The list goes on and on.
- You are still working within the Ghosh Lineage of yoga with the same discipline and structure that Bikram yogis are attracted to.
- It’s fun. It’s something new and fresh that will wake up the body and mind and feed your soul.
- You will build upper body strength and become flexible in new ways.
- It’s always good to be sore and wake up muscles that have been on a vacation.
- You will make new, inspiring friends at the yoga studio that will cheer you on every step of the way.
I know that my story might not be the same as yours. You might always have had the chance to take Advanced at your studio. That is awesome. Or maybe it’s the complete opposite and you never even knew that there was anything more beyond the Beginning Series. I hope you get an opportunity at some point to try the Intermediate or Advanced Class and have fun.
Remember, there is always more to learn and the next challenge is always lurking behind the next corner. Embrace that and you, my friend, will be unstoppable.
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