1. Be prepared to sweat. Hard work should make you sweat. Nothing worth having is going to come easy.
2. Go with the flow. Take your time. Don’t judge your own worth by comparing it to the person next to you. Life is a practice, not a competition. There is no winning, no losing. All you have to do is show up and try.
3. Practice as often as you can. The more you practice, the better you get — not that getting better should be your goal. There are no goals in yoga. Just breathe, be, and pretend not to stare at your reflection. You might stare at your reflection, but in time, you’ll stop seeing your flaws and you’ll see instead what isn’t flawed. The way your body bends and responds to a teacher, who will never command, just suggest.
4. If you brush against someone practicing next to you, realize you each have chosen to spend this hour together, in this space, in this way. Get to know the people practicing next to you. Say hi. Smile.
5. Do what you can at your own pace. Getting hurt is not the goal. Testing yourself can be the goal, but only if you’re ready to listen to your body. Don’t stand on your head if you’re not ready to take a fall.
6. And when you’re on your head, remember that you’re in the only position that puts your heart over your head. Love over logic. Who couldn’t benefit from leaping without looking and listening more often to your heart? Don’t talk yourself out of trying; be prepared to not get it right. Notice that you’re not prepared to fail. You’re prepared to do it wrong until you can do it right.
7. Underwear is optional.
8. Don’t forget to breathe.