I have wanted to write this piece for a while now as so many wonderful people are wanting to give Yoga a try and are still intimidated by it.
Honestly, the hardest part in Yoga is showing up. Once you are at the door of your studio you are ready. You are in a safe space to concentrate on yourself for an hour, now who doesn’t want or need that in 2018?
The first thing you need to know is that honestly, nobody will be paying attention to anything you are doing, they are in their own practice completely. I know it can seem a lot to be about 6 inches away from someone in a class with heavy breathing all around you, but I look like that as a great opportunity to pick up on the energy of others. I always encourage my class by saying “breathe for your neighbour, encourage them” and it is like the room erupts. Just remember, you may think you are giving nothing but you will be giving so much to them without even knowing it.
Talk to the teacher. If you are nervous, it’s your first time, tell them! I don’t believe there is a teacher out there who wouldn’t want to make you feel more than welcome and included. If anything it helps them keep an eye on the room and where people need more assistance. If you are not made to feel like that then find a different teacher. My class is a safe space, where everyone is welcome and I want you to come back, to grow, to learn so please just tell the teacher. You can always reach out to me, I love to hear from you all. Message me any time please, and I will be more than happy to help you on your journey too.
It is normal to not love your first class. Ok, this is a big one and perhaps not really what a Yoga teacher should say? I just don’t see myself as a traditional teacher: I am open to your opinions an a residing one is that the majority of people just felt uncomfortable and stressed in their first class. So I ask you to find a month where you have a little more time, or you can make more time and take on some Yoga. Maybe join a studio for a month who have an array of classes and teachers and find your style. I play modern music in my classes, I get you to listen to the beat and feel it vibrate through the body, for some people, it’s not their style: that’s totally fine! Find yours and give it a month, trust me, you will be addicted!
This is probably the most important point to note. Your body is YOUR body. Your anatomical make up is completely individual and so there may be poses that you cannot get in to due to bone-to-bone compression: not flexibility. This is really important to remember, do not let your ego take over and force yourself into postures that cause you pain, it is your body and your practice, enjoy getting to know your body. Also, if people tell you to stretch your ligaments – erm, really question that. Your ligaments are there to stabilise your joints and not to be overstretched, they do not recoil! I am all for a deep practice, but a safe one too that includes mobility and strengthening as well as flexibility.
If you read all that: THANK YOU! I hope these few brief tips help you. Remember that our mind has a way of playing tricks on us and making us think that we are less capable than we are. The fact you are even thinking of doing Yoga is a huge step and one I applaud. I truly care about your progress so let me know how you are getting on and make sure you sign up to my newsletter! You’ll always be the first to hear about anything that is happening and trust me, there is a lot coming. eek!
I can’t wait to hear from you!