Practice Patterns 2019: Some Statistics and Practice Advice

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If you’ve ever been to YogaJaya, you know that our teachers are helping the students a lot throughout the class. Occasionally a teacher may give you advice in relation to what to focus on in your practice, or which classes to go to. This article offers advice to all our students based on practice patterns.

If there are students in the class that the teacher does not know very much, they will always check the attendance record, looking at the following parameters:

  • how long has the student been practicing at YogaJaya
  • which modules (Foundation / Elements / Strategy / Integrate) do they frequent
  • how often do they come (daily, weekly, monthly)

This information, together with the observations in class, will usually be the basis of the advice that the teacher may give you.

As there is never enough time to extensively have a conversation with every student in the class, in this post, we are going to share our general practice advice to students based on attendance patterns statistics from 2019.

Practice Goals

Of course, any advice is only valuable as long as it fits one’s personal goals, so it is very important for us to understand the individual students’ goals.

  • 82% of the new students coming to YogaJaya select “Working on my body and physical ability (i.e. strength, flexibility, mobility, etc)” in our survey as one of the primary goals
  • 69% want to find relief for their stress
  • 35% express interest in improving their performance and productivity at work

All these goals are achievable through Baseworks Practice. And to get the best results, we recommend eventually, with practice, to attend all the Baseworks modules (Foundation, Elements, Strategy, Integrate) in a balanced way, which means, to incorporate the principle of cyclicity.

Baseworks Practice Cyclicity

We cannot overemphasize how beneficial it is to adopt the principle of cyclicity into practice. If we wanted to cover all the important aspects of the practice, each class would need to be at least 2-3 hours long. Even with our 60-90 minute classes, some people find it “really long”… So a 3-hour class may be quite unrealistic to manage as a daily practice.

As a solution to this, we have 4 modules in Baseworks Practice, each with different learning objectives. For example, compared to all other modules, Foundation focuses on the awareness and control of the spinal movements and the spinal reflexes of the hips and legs. Elements focuses more on the upper body strength, distributed activation, and the fundamental dynamics of the pelvis-leg and arm-ribcage interactions. Strategy focuses more on the “symmetry from the unilateral perspective” and the fluidity of movement. Integrate is where we begin to “integrate” the aspects of movements introduced in Baseworks Practice in a seamless, fluid way. Thus, by missing a module or two, one would miss out on the opportunity to work on important aspects of the practice.

Below is the analysis of the 2019 practice data of our regular students, followed by general guidelines we have for students with each particular attendance pattern.

If you see a practice pattern that matches your own, you may consider taking our general guidelines as advice. For more information, please feel free to send us an email any time.

2019 Practice Patterns

Baseworks-Practice-Patterns-2019

Note: For the 2019 analysis, we only included data for Foundation, Elements, and Strategy modules.

80% of the students can be grouped into the following basic practice patterns:

  • 11% of students are adopting the principle of cyclicity, practicing all the modules in a balanced way
  • 14% of students practice mostly Foundation
  • 18% of students practice mostly Elements
  • 33% of students practice Foundation and Elements, but not Strategy
  • 4% of students practice mostly Strategy

Based on these practice patterns, we have compiled the following general guidelines to offer practice advice in getting the most out of your experience practicing Baseworks.

Pattern-Based Advice

baseworks-balanced-patterns

Practice pattern: BALANCED

Description: Practices all modules in a more or less balanced way

Practice Advice:

You have been incorporating the principle of cyclicity into your practice. We encourage you to continue with your practice in this way.

baseworks-foundation-recommendations

Practice pattern: MOSTLY FOUNDATION

Description: Practices Foundation mainly or exclusively

Practice Advice:

  • If you have never been to Elements, try out Elements.
  • Do not be intimidated by the idea that Elements is difficult. If you have not built enough upper body strength yet to do any of the more challenging forms such as a Headstand, please continue working on the easier variations provided in class, such as Dolphin Dog Leg Raise. With continuity and consistency, you will eventually be able to free balance.
  • If you feel tired after an Elements class, next time reduce the intensity. Quality and awareness are more important than the depth of the range of motion or the number of repetitions. Watch your breath. Try to maintain relaxed, natural breathing.
  • If you are feeling weak, try to listen more attentively to cues such as “draw the shoulders down” or “press the forearms forward and down.” In Baseworks, we use these movements to create a state of distributed activation, which steadily develops strength and stamina.
  • Attend Foundation and Elements Master Classes, where we break down the details of the movements that we regularly practice in each module.
  • Attend Elements Transition Course, where we break down how to approach the more challenging aspects of the Elements module via a step by step progression.
baseworks-elements-patterns

Practice pattern: MOSTLY ELEMENTS

Description: Practices Elements exclusively, or have tried Foundation and/or Strategy a few times but mainly practices Elements

Practice Advice:

  • Consider that Baseworks is not a hierarchical practice, but rather meant to be approached in cycles. If you have just enough strength and stamina to attend Elements, but Strategy feels challenging, and Foundation seems tedious, this does not mean that you should stick to Elements only.
  • Attend more of Foundation, as this is where we work on the fundamental movement dynamics, ever-improving the quality and control of your movements. Having a better awareness of your body will be super helpful in both Elements in Strategy.
  • Occasionally go to Strategy. If you feel too tired after a Strategy class, reduce the intensity. Try to practice using 30-40% of your total effort, focusing on the form while maintaining natural breathing. Also, remember that you can always modify the practice by using the variations practiced in Foundation and Elements.
  • Attend Foundation Master Classes. You may find it surprising how deep this module is, and how much you can learn about your body if you continue the Foundation practice.
  • Attend a Strategy Transition Course where we break down how to approach the aspects of the Strategy module that focus on continuity and fluidity in movement in a step by step progression, in combination with how to modify according to energy levels.
baseworks-foundation-elements-recommendations

Practice pattern: FOUNDATION & ELEMENTS

Description: Practices Foundation and Elements in a balanced way, but has never tried Strategy, or, has tried Strategy a couple of times, but mainly practices Foundation and Elements

Practice Advice:

  • Attend a Strategy Transition Course. For every movement that you feel is challenging, there is a prerequisite movement that you are already doing in Foundation and Elements. Strategy module is an amazing tool to learn to listen to and respect your body. Not feeling exhausted after a Strategy class is not all about strength, it’s more about how you approach the practice. This will be explained in detail in the Transition Course.
  • Go to Strategy occasionally, and make a habit of practicing at 30-40% of your maximum effort. You will get used to it in no time.
baseworks-strategy-patterns

Practice pattern: MOSTLY STRATEGY

Description: Practices mostly Strategy

Practice Advice:

  • Attend Foundation Master Classes. You may find it surprising how deep this module is, and how much you can learn about your body if you continue the Foundation practice.
  • Some people have no problem with Strategy and Integrate in terms of stamina but are challenged by Foundation and Elements because of the amount of details. If you fit this description, we really recommend to try and sense over time what each of those detailed instructions does to your body – how it feels, and the difference it makes when you apply each of the Baseworks movement patterns.

Concluding remarks

Public classes with a consistent teaching methodology are a great learning format to begin your practice. When building motor skills, continuity and consistency are essential, and public classes offer this platform.

However, the public class format has its limitations as a teacher may not be able to give as many details as they would like to. Sometimes one needs a bit of an insight into WHY we were doing things the way we are doing them. For this purpose, we have the extended class format of a Master Class and a mini-course format of a Transition Course.

For those who want to go even deeper, we also offer the Teacher Training Course. You can’t really be sure that you really understand something unless you can apply it. The opportunity to teach is an opportunity to observe other people, which is an invaluable source of learning about your own body.

If you like practicing Baseworks, please make use of our extended programming for your own practice and development!


About the Author

Asia Shcherbakova

YogaJaya/BASEWORKS Research Associate | BASEWORKS Certified Teacher | BT2 | YJAT700 | RYT500

Asia holds a Master of Science in Human Genetics and a PhD in Biotechnology...