There are probably as many ideas of what yoga is as there are practitioners and all of them are perfectly legitimate.
An idea by definition means any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity. Which is perfectly subjective and differs from an individual to another depending on their needs.
We often consider a beginner someone who has never been practicing yoga , or the poses ,versus those who have more practice under their belt. But it’s not necessary the truth.
If you don’t know nothing about the asanas or yoga poses, it does not always mean you are a beginner.
Of course you have to learn the poses, and as a beginner in yoga or anything else you begin by thinking.
Learning an activity requires an extra effort. It involves a different part of the brain than is used to perform it once you know it. This part of the brain works more slowly and uses more energy than the other, so during this initial learning phase you’ll need to move gently slowly with heightened awareness.
You’ll need to think carefully about the pose, the breath,and you will need to learn all the fundamentals of technique. There is always a gap between what the mind says it wants to be doing and what the body actually does. A big space between intention and action and in that space there is a loss of energy.
It’s one of the main reason why beginners may feel tired the first 2-3 weeks after starting practicing yoga.
Once you have graduated from that halting stage, the gap will reduce and you will attain more efficiency.
Yoga meets you where you are. Listen to your inner voice.
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke” or to ” unite”.
We practice yoga to unite the body, breath, mind, and heart.
By yoking or ” joining with” , you are learning to merge,to yoke your conscious awareness with your now- experience.
You’re training yourself to keep your attention immersed in what’s happening. you are learning to stay with the flow of breath in order to stay with the feeling of the pose. The inner feeling will then guide you and tell you what to do.
The yoga room and the poses, besides being good for you for so many reasons, are simply a spiritual context in which to practice being guided from within. There are other disciplines where you can strengthen your focus and train yourself to Be. But the practice of asanas and meditation makes it easier to hear and follow your inner voice during the rest of your life.
The student who possess the ability to be guided from within doesn’t need as much assistance from the teacher. He has learned to feel and to feel deeply. Often by learning the hard way. He has reached down to the bottom of his soul, and has come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to move forward.
When you let the inner feeling tells you what to do , you know what subtle adjustments to make and whether or no to press more deeply into the stretch. you understand what the ” Listen to your body” really means.
Yoga is not about touching your toes or performing a handstand. it’s about listening for inner guidance, by paying attention to how you feel and then allow yourself to do and be as you are prompted.
The purpose is to keep that practice during the day not only in the the yoga room .
You will have learned how to do yoga when you’ve become willing to be guided from within.