The random drop-in classes or pop-up classes despite their wonderful quality of comfort and convenience, as well as the allure of inclusiveness, are at the same time the reason why a lot of yoga students don’t progress in their practice and stay on a plateau forever. Why? Because they are RANDOM. They do not include the history, needs or capabilities of the individual who is attending and do not offer a path for consistent growth. If you learn something, good for you, you are picking up random things that might or might not be applicable for your practice in that moment in time, but maybe later or maybe for your neighbor — good for them —.
But at least you are doing something and that is better than sitting at home on the couch. It is a first step in a different direction and that is a valuable purpose.
However, please don’t expect to build on something and continuously progress after about a 12 weeks period of random drop in classes. You absolutely will have progress in those first months because you are coming from no-yoga to yoga. There will be a steep curve each time you start a new movement regiment and regularly practice on a somewhat consistent basis (this holds true not just for yoga but any physical activity). You will have an increase in your movement capability (flexibility, strength, coordination, etc.) which is the physiological effect of different movement stimuli. That is why 30 days challenges are so hugely popular and work to show us, we actually can improve ourselves. In movement circles is often referred to as the Honeymoon phase of your training.
Beyond that point you have to ask yourself, what happened after the 30day or 3-month challenge? How much progress have I really made in those classes in the past year(s)? Has my posture changed? Do I feel more peaceful and calm in daily life? Have I learned to look at myself with honesty and awareness. Am I in less pain, and have all these wonderful signs of progress become part of who I am or are they fleetingly visiting me here and there. Am I still triggered by the same things I was 6 month ago? These are wonderful questions to explore and get us closer to the question of what progress in Yoga means.