Should Yoga be hard?

So my first post on my new blog - yes I am slowly entering the 21st century. This post is a copy of an email I sent out to people attending my yoga classes. It is an attempt to explain my take on yoga. I Think this is a good place to start this blog- so here goes.

So, a few musings from me after some conversations I have had recently regarding yoga. I will keep it as brief as possible.

In my classes over the last few weeks I have been discussing the principle of efficient focused movement with control – as I write this it occurs that this could actually describe my approach to yoga generally. This movement approach must involve the brain and in many ways the brain is the key here.

The second reason for this little post is that a few people have told me recently they have taken up yoga and have been going to some classes. All of them were surprised how hard yoga can be. Now for me this is a crucial point. When you look around the yoga world there is a lot of posts and info about these relaxing, releasing, calming style classes. I recently did a facebook video more about that:
Yin, Yang, Yoga and Osteopathy

Now there is nothing per say wrong with this but in my world and specifically in my day job as an osteopath I am here to improve the way our bodies work. This we achieve through action and effort with treatment and exercise (physical and mindfulness).
Now for me this means that yoga must be an active process “if you want to lie on the floor for an hour you can do that at home!” 😊 A flippant comment I know, and I can certainly fully appreciate how wonderful yin style yoga can be - it's just not for me.

At the risk of turning up to and empty class I just wanted to remind you about that. To improve anything, we need to put the effort in. This doesn’t mean “no pain no gain” mindless effort - but rather this mindful/focused effort between the body and mind. As you all know I try and progress the classes gradually and this is where my new favourite analogy comes in – so for some of you this will already be wearing thin, but here goes.

The Steam train analogy – we start the term shovelling coal on and lightening the fire, building up stream, and as the pressure rises the train starts to move and gather speed – you get the gist, I think.
This doesn’t mean you can’t dip in and out of classes as you see fit but it does mean you will get more out of it by turning up regularly. But as I always say to people come and go at will and rest when you need to.

This got a bit longer than I intended so well done if you got to the end!