Are you wondering if you should try yoga?
Yoga classes shouldn’t be intimidating, in fact, just the opposite. Here’s a little insight from the person who works behind the front desk.
“Hey! How are ya? Welcome to our yoga studio!”
I say this, or at least something pretty close to this, just about every single day. I consider myself lucky to interact with the ‘newbies’ to yoga all the time; those who have either never tried yoga before, or maybe tried a long time ago and are now starting back. Regardless of which, they all have the same general concerns and fears:
“I cah touch my toes atall!”
“They gonna see me buss my ass!”
“Is only skinny people here?”
“I only goin’ if i getting a spot in the back!”
Or something along these lines…
I’ve been there myself so I totally get it. I’ll be honest, I started doing yoga because I liked how it looked on Instagram. I wanted to do all the fancy poses and look cool. So I always felt insecure whenever I stumbled, threw the wrong leg or arm up, or just had to retreat into child’s pose to catch my breath, while everyone around me is balanced on one leg, arms in the air looking almost comfortable.
Truth is I was showing up led by my ego, but the ego is a really sensitive thing. Disaster.
There are a few things I wish I had realised earlier in my practice, and I want to share them with you to hopefully make trying a yoga class a little less intimidating.
I like lists, so here’s a list:
Yoga is about self-practice
Be gentle with yourself, listen to your body, know when you need to rest or adjust, and do so.
It’s ok to look, but don’t compare
Just because the person next to you isn’t shaking or sweating profusely, doesn’t mean that it’s easy for them. A yoga class takes everyone to their own personal limit, remember that when you feel out of breath or to give up, the entire room is probably feeling it with you.
Be present for the entire practice
Take a moment and visualise all the cool poses you want to do, with all the beautiful backdrops. Good. Now let all of that go. So much more is at work when you come to a yoga class, pay close attention to how your mind wanders. More often than not, your thoughts, rather than your physical ability, are what holds you back from getting into or holding a pose.
Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance
Needing and asking for assistance is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. The instructor is always more than willing to assist. A little guidance is so essential, especially in the first few classes. To be honest even now when I see the instructor adjust a beginner during class, I notice where I can improve as well, asking for a little assistance can benefit you and everyone around you.
It’s OK to make a little noise
As long as it’s from a positive place, the silence and breath of a yoga class can be a bit intimidating, but it’s totally acceptable to let out a long sigh if you need too, or a deep moan when you’ve found that sweet spot in a stretch. Just be mindful and respectful to those around you. Sometimes it sets off a much needed ‘release’ chain reaction as well. Just no cussing please (trust me, you’re going to want to sometimes).
One class is not enough
Yoga takes a little time, patience and practice to really feel the benefits. But those who stick through the first few classes experience a whole new energy and vibe by the fourth or fifth. It’s one of my favourite things to see, and something I want everyone to experience.
Seeing the transformation of newcomers from arriving for the first class, super quiet and reserved, to coming every other day excited for class and life on the whole, is so awesome to witness.
Don’t ever be afraid to give yoga a try, if you give it a fair chance it has the potential to change your life.