The Differences Between Basics & Beyond and Level 1~ By Mia Cutler



You found Reach Yoga!  You walked through the front door and felt welcome and excited and now what? Where to begin? I remember when I first started practicing yoga I didn’t know where to start.  What class was the right class for me? It can be confusing as there are so many options ….Beginner Series, Basics and Beyond, Level 1 Vinyasa Flow, All level etc!

You’re probably wondering what do these class names even mean?  First, it depends on you. What are you looking for? Strength, balance, sweat, meditation, a slower practice, or a more vigorous practice? Are you injured? Are you fit? Are you comfortable in a larger group setting, or would you prefer a smaller class size, or even some private sessions (which can be very comforting to some). Have you ever even been on a yoga mat, or have you done some yoga here and there over the past ten years but it never really grabbed you??

 

Let me explain the differences between some of the classes offered at Reach Yoga Glencoe.  Reach offers all levels of  Vinyasa Flow classes, Hatha, Restorative, & Gentle offerings. The studio always recommends starting with a four week Beginner Yoga Series which are plentiful and taught on various different days and times throughout the year.  

 

What you will learn in the Beginner Series:

What is Yoga?

Basic standing poses.

Components of Sun Salutation A.

Basics of breathing.

The importance of balance.

Learning to become comfortable within your body.

How to transition into various shapes, how to step back and forward, how to get down to and up from the ground safely.

 

After completing this series, a great transition is to Basics and Beyond. Depending on your general fitness and adaptability to new body movements, this could also be a starting point. Basics and Beyond is just that Basics…and Beyond!! HA!  

What will you learn in  Basics and Beyond:

Revisit everything from the Beginner Series.

When you’re learning to practice yoga initially the concept is ‘bigger shapes’.  What does Warrior 2 look like, what does Low Lunge look like. The practice is largely visual.

You will learn where basic muscle groups are on your body, how to strengthen them and how they are used in specific poses.

Poses are held a bit longer with time to explore.

Basics of simple backbends.

Basics of seated forward folds.

Introduction of simple breathing techniques. 

                                                                                                                                                                         

Time will be spent thoroughly explaining shapes and strengthening the body, over time, to move into and out of these shapes with ease and without injury. Sun Salutation A and components of Sun Salutation B. The ‘beyond’ part is always added options.  If you feel comfortable and strong and steady in a pose, then options will be offered. Though, sometimes the more challenging option might just be to stay put and focus on the breath! An important component of this class is that it moves slowly with lots of time to find modifications that fit your body and in an environment where you can ask questions at any time. This class does not offer more challenging poses like Half Moon, Humble Warrior and no arm balances or even the thought of them!  Think of words like strength, stability, ease, basic, beginner, adaptable, approachable. This class is not ‘gentle’ or ‘restorative’….those are two completely different offerings. Sometimes if you’ve been practicing yoga for three, five or ten years it feels really really great to take a ‘Basics and Beyond’ class, because sometimes ‘less’ is so much more!

 

From Basics and Beyond we move into L1 (Level 1).  Level 1 is not a beginner class and it is not Basics and Beyond.  It builds upon general knowledge of the practice and adds on. Level 1 can be very challenging and you can stay in L1 classes your whole life and be completely sated.  

You will delve into deeper concepts of all the basic poses and add on.  

There will likely be Sun Salutation A  with variations and perhaps longer holds.  Cues will be more finite.

This is still a ‘big picture’ class. What does Warrior One ‘look like’, but it moves into, what does Warrior One ‘feel like’ in my body.  What happens when I press down on the outside of my back foot etc.. This all occurs in a comfortable environment where questions are welcomed and students may be asked to sit while the teacher demonstrates and breaks down specific poses, concepts and such. The addition of slightly more challenging poses may be offered, but remember that these are just offerings.  There is never any need to attempt more than what you’re comfortable with. At the same time, sometimes getting out of your comfort zone might be just what you need!! Only you know…

 

Whatever class you decide to begin your yoga journey, or delve more deeply into your current practice know that you are holding the reins and taking a big step forward to getting to know yourself better. And that’s awesome!  

 

We are so excited to have you join this community!  Please let us know how we can help you navigate our offerings…and WELCOME

Article written by Mia Cutler.

Mia teaches a new class Saturdays 11-12:00 Yoga, Movement & Play.

She also teaches Mondays 5:15-6:15 Level 1-2

Fridays 8:15-9:15 Level 1-2

Saturdays 9:30-10:45 Level 1-2

 

 

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