Do you want to practice yoga or just the yoga postures?
The physical postures were my gateway to yoga. Something about the breathing and moving and focus and concentration worked some kind of magic. I was never athletic nor very coordinated, so the lack of mirrors and the noncompetitive nature of the practice were a perfect combination. I needed a way to settle my mind, to calm down, to release built-up tension. Attending yoga class was the answer.
Many people come to yoga because they want some sort of “fix.” Maybe they have weak or tight bodies, and the stretching and strengthening feel good. Maybe they are stressed out and need a practice where they can have more of an inward focus and practice some deep breathing to soothe the nervous system. All good reasons to begin a yoga practice.
Practicing only the postures will help us improve our focus and concentration, and make us stronger and more flexible. But if we limit our practice to just practicing yoga postures, we cheat ourselves out of the full benefits of the practice.
I encourage you to explore the ethical, psychological, and philosophical aspects of yoga. There’s so much more to the practice than just practicing postures.
If you are interested in learning more about the practice of yoga. The Inner Tradition of Yoga: A Guide to Yoga Philosophy for the Contemporary Practitioner by Michael Stone is a wonderful book to take you deeper into your understanding of this practice.