5 dos and do-nots for yoga beginners and yoga restarters
Yoga beginners and yoga restarters!
Bob Clary at Webucator invited me to write a post about beginning yoga for their ‘Teach your Talent’ campaign. September is Self Improvement month – Webucator often offer free classes…here’s a link to their free Microsoft training classes.
Strangely (or not) I have been ramping up my attendance at yoga classes this month and I am definitely feeling the benefits.
I have practiced yoga on and off since before my kids were born (2002 onwards) and sometimes the yoga practice has been more off than on!
Yoga beginners and restarters some notes to self
Yoga is – very powerful exercise, as well as a wonderful spiritual and meditative practice.
Do the following before your yoga class if you are a yoga beginner or yoga restarter.
- Do wear stretchy yoga pants (girls) and whatever is stretchy and comfortable for you (boys). There was a guy in yoga class the other day who was new and wearing jeans…his experience didn’t look pleasant and he left early. I’m just gonna say ‘crown jewels’ and leave it at that.
- Do make sure you are hydrated, eat lightly an hour or more beforehand – and I do mean lightly – no burger and fries…you will regret it. A banana, some toast, that kind of thing.
- Do check if there are mats available if you are not ready to buy one yet. If you have one, take it!
- If you have any aches and pains, injuries or sore joints, do let the teacher know at beginning of class. Yoga teachers know how to create alternative poses to help you keep working without hurting yourself.
- Stay for Shivasana! This is usually the final pose in class (aka ‘corpse pose’.). You get to lay like broccoli and recount all the great things in class that you just did…or just chill out. Either way, the energy generated from this short exercise can often keep me going for days. Such a waste of time and focus when people leave before Shivasana. If you have to leave…at least do yourself the honor of Shivasana at home later.
Yoga beginners or yoga restarters – do NOT do this
- Do not arrive in non-stretchy pants (see note about crown lewels above). It bears repeating. Also, ladies, if you have tight hips and a a tight low back already, non-stretchy pants will not help things.
- Do not expect to be a pretzel in your first class (also true for restarters). Many people are taught to compete in other types of workout scenarios or sports events. This is NOT what yoga is about. It is about YOU and what you can do today. Those pretzel people have put the work in and may have done yoga for years. Your body will just not do that the first day unless you are double-jointed.
- Don’t let your ego take over and make you push yourself beyond your limits. This is a good way to be very sore the next day and therefore discouraged, or even given yourself an injury on day 1. Not a good idea.
- Don’t expect your chakras to open completely on day one so that you can see the light of Nirvana. They may do…in which case, lovely! If not then simply start to focus on the sense of energy running through your body and over time you will start to notice differences. My chakra opening experience in yoga was completely unexpected and wonderful…and when you get there once, you can learn to repeat it!
- Don’t expect to do well in the balance poses unless you are trained gymnast or have naturally good balance. In Western society we do not regularly re-teach ourselves balance in daily life so your body is going to get a wake-up call. Yoga is a journey and you have just started.
Enjoy your return to yoga or start for yoga beginners!
As always, I would love to hear other people’s tips and hints for improving their yoga experience. Here’s an extra two tips from me! Do buy some Arnica Gel and using it if you get sore. And do watch this inspiring video if you’re having difficulty getting committed to your yoga practice – this one gets me on the mat every time.
Anyone can do this – go yoga beginners!