Hey you! You yoga beginner! I heard you making big statements about how 2015 was going to finally be the year you devote yourself to this practice. So let's get right to it shall we?
Before we even think about touching our toes or focusing on breathing, let's make sure we really understand what yoga is:
1. Yoga is not a religion. It is a way of life, a type of exercise, a practice. Yoga is all about moving your body and understanding yourself. It is about bringing the world around and within you into focus.
2. Yoga is not a “push until you drop” practice. There are poses that can be mistaken as sleeping on the floor, the Child's pose is made for complete relaxation. This is not always a practice that will have you out of breath and begging for mercy!
3. This isn't a quick weight loss plan. You first build muscle and are working on your strength so that a few months after you begin you will find your body burning fat like it never has before. Get into yoga for more than just the weight loss benefits. Think of the mental health benefits too!
4. Get a good mat. I started yoga using a beach towel. No good. It completely changes your practice to have a mat that is thick and comfortable but most of all grips well.
5. No one is watching you. Seriously, I used to be so paranoid about how I looked in class, but once you really get involved in yoga you realize it is just you and your mat. Say hi to your neighbors when you get there, and then forget about them until the practice is over.
6. When you wake up “too sore” to go to yoga, go anyway. One of the best things you can do for your soreness is stretch it out.
7. Practice on an empty stomach. A light snack may be good before cardio, but not yoga. You are using the core so much, you want to come to class with an empty stomach and an open mind.
8. Take pictures. I know a lot of you will never post any, and that is totally fine. I have found that when I am down on my practice or get discouraged, I look at old pictures and compare with current ones. It will shock you how far you’ve come so quickly.
9. That moment when you are stretching, it is painful, and you want to give up and get out of the pose, give it one more full breath, breathing into where the pain is. It is a mind over matter game!
10. Have fun. This is your journey. It is never over!