Yoga is one of the top self-care techniques that everyone is talking about. Yoga provides time for stress relief, relaxation, a physical work-out, spiritual awakening, and many other great benefits. There are many people who are curious about yoga and some are even anxious about trying is—even though yoga has been proven to help decrease anxiety. Here are four tips to help you get started on your yoga practice.
Photo by @jusna_ninah
- Do some more research.
I’ve heard many ask: “So what exactly IS yoga anyway?” Many people associate warrior or lotus pose (poses are also known as asanas) with yoga but, there are many different styles and limbs of yoga outside of the asanas. Knowing what yoga is and the benefits of yoga can help you make a more informed decision in order to help determine if a yoga practice is the best investment of your time and money. Contacting a local yoga instructor can help you learn a bit more. For a few quick tips, read on…
- Explore different classes/ teachers.
Each yoga teacher has something different to offer. If your first yoga class does not appeal to you, try other styles or teachers until one speaks to you! You can remove any intimidation by looking up beginner friendly classes but, do not be afraid of attempting an “all levels” or “advanced” class (unless the studio policy does not allow beginners in the particular class). The beauty of yoga is that you aren’t expected to be perfect in any posture.
There are various styles from Kemetic Yoga, Kundalini, Vinyasa (very popular), Bikram Hot Yoga, Restorative Yin, and more. You may even find that you may prefer a meditation class instead of a class that focuses on the asanas (postures) or flow.
You can consider the option of a private session or look into studios that are inclusive to all practitioners. Your yoga practice should not increase any anxiety that you may already have. Look for studios that offer smaller practices and do not hesitate to consult with yoga teachers prior to registering for any class.
- Take a friend.
Yoga is an individual spiritual journey that you do not have to walk alone. Taking a friend can help alleviate any initial anxiety you may have your first time walking into a yoga studio. Your tribe member will be supportive during the process and you can have someone to discuss the class experience with following (or even during) the class.
Here’s an important note: Do not compare your ability level to your friend’s or anyone else’s in the class; we are all designed in our own unique way! No comparing your friend’s flexibility [or seeming] ability to focus against yours.
Do celebrate! Do not compare!
- Trust the process.
For some, trying new things can be a bit scary. Yoga can be a very transformative practice. But in all things—trust the process and be open to trying it. If you are reading this, chances are you are ready for your yoga practice. So just jump into it with no expectations and let the journey and your heart be your guide!
Namaste and welcome to the wonderful world of Yogihood!
Dara D.Registered Yoga Teacher 200
Washington, DC Metropolitan Area
Follow Dara on Instagram @vinyasawithdara