As a yoga teacher, I often hear phrases like these: “I want to do yoga but I’m not good,” and, “I’d love to try yoga but I’m not flexible.“
The other problem is that many studios nowadays say that their classes are ‘all level’ when they are really not designed for total yoga beginners—this means new students can get lost and feel like they just don’t have what it takes to keep up in class.
No more can I stand by while people let fear and misconceptions keep them from one of the most sacred, life-changing, empowering, beautiful experiences they can give themselves: a yoga practice.
Yoga is here to make the world a little bit easier.
To make our bodies feel a little bit lighter.
To make our reactions a little bit softer.
And to make this lifetime the best it can possibly be.
Now that I’ve serenaded you to practice yoga and want to start like yesterday, how do you actually start?
Keep on reading future yogis – below are 5 ways to start bending, breathing, and moving that beautiful body of yours.
This is my number one tip if you are just starting your yoga practice and are confused about which classes are right for you.
These classes are designed to help you find proper alignment in your body in commonly used poses, and will also help you get comfortable with terms and names before you head to class. Trust me when I say you’ll be far less prone to injury and will feel more comfortable in class if you do this!
These passes are usually unlimited two-week long passes that give you time to feel out the studio, try out different teachers, take different classes, and see if this place is the right place for you!
Take advantage of the savings these passes offer (generally these passes go for a much lower rate than their standard class passes) and really ‘date’ the studio.
If, as you first enter a studio, you feel the vibe doesn’t suit you, kindly and gracefully leave (before class begins). Yoga is energetics, and it’s your right to feel comfortable and welcome in the space you’ve chosen for your practice. You’ll be able to tell as soon as you walk in if it’s the place for you. Seek until you find the place you feel at home.
This can help you greatly narrow down your search for a home studio or preferred instructor. Ask any of your friends who already practice to bring you to the classes that they really enjoy and see if you jam with their preferred instructors.
Going with a buddy will also help to make the whole experience feel less overwhelming and more comfortable. Everything is more fun with friends!
Besides wondering where to start, the second most common thing I hear from those who are new to yoga is “Whoa, look at you (or her) —I have SO far to go!”
This kind of mentality is a total yoga mood killer. Remember this—yoga is truly a personal practice. The person standing on the mat next to you may be a professional dancer or gymnast. They have a totally different life and history from you: a different body, a different mind, and a different path!
There is really no use in comparing yourself to anyone else. Also, yoga is not about your physical ability to perform asana. You may never be able to reach your foot to your head, and honestly, it doesn’t matter. The point is that you are there, practicing, and showing up for yourself.
With sincerity and honesty, I say, because you are there, you have nowhere to go. Drop the comparison and enjoy your journey.
Lastly, try to avoid letting yoga become a serious endeavor.
Sure, there are going to be times in class where the postures are really intense and you want to quit. There may come a time when yoga starts to stir up your old emotional baggage and cause you to feel out of sorts and off-kilter.
Overall, however, yoga can and should be a sanctuary where you get to step out of the craziness of life and reconnect with your breath and your body.
Plus, playing around with standing on your hands, putting your body into shapes with animal names, and breathing funny are all different ways to have FUN! Take the pressure off and let yourself enjoy. The more fun you are having, the more likely you are to stick with your practice. Let loose and let go.
I’ll see you on your mat!