I am an avid Yoga-doer. I might not be the most flexible person and able to do elaborate poses and stretches and I may not have the most stamina and be able to partake in lengthy workouts but… I massively enjoy yoga and try and do at least a small bit every day. I find it benefits my mental and physical health all in one and for someone with anxiety, thats the perfect type of exercise for me.
I’ve spoken about Yoga on my blog before and also mentioned it a fair few times on Twitter but each time Yoga is brought up, I always see comments from people saying they wanna give it a try but don’t know where to start. Or that they’ve tried it in the past but didn’t know what to do. I understand different types of exercise benefit different people and I wouldn’t ram Yoga down everyone’s throats if someone genuinely doesn’t enjoy it but… if you’re one of those people that like the sound of it and thinks it will benefit you but just don’t know where to start or what to think about it, this post is for you!
Here are my tips and things to remember for someone who’s brand new at yoga!
1. You don’t have to go to a class: there are many fabulous Yoga DVD’s on Amazon (I have the Tara Lee Elements DVD’s and love them) and also free Yoga on YouTube (I use Yoga With Adriene a LOT – she’s utterly brilliant). If you’re conscious about doing yoga in front of people, you don’t have to!
2. Yoga isn’t a competition and it’s crucial you work at your own pace and do what feels good for you: this is the key to Yoga, it’s all about you, you, you. There’s no right or wrong way to practice – as long as you’re sensible with the stretches and don’t hurt yourself then you have free reign to do you!
3. You don’t have to get hot and sweaty: I know Hot Yoga is a huge “thing” right now but I wouldn’t be seen dead doing that! You can tailor your practices to how you’re feeling, if you don’t wanna get hot and sweaty that day, you don’t have to.
4. It’s brilliant for relaxation: Not only does Yoga focus heavily on your breath and breathing exercises, the act of taking the time to stretch is so beneficial for relaxation. You’ll stretch parts of your body you never ever knew you had!
5. Don’t take it too seriously: Yoga isn’t like running where you may want to hit a certain number of kilometres or weights where you want to hit a certain weight. Yoga teaches you to be present and focus on how you’re feeling right now. So relax with it, don’t push yourself into that pose if you can’t do it yet. Move around your mat. Flow. Have fun.
6. Yoga can be fun: There’s no doubt some Yoga classes out there which are super duper serious but if you’re a newbie, you want to enjoy it. I’d highly recommend trying Yoga With Adriene if that’s the case for you because she chats to you like a friend during the work out and you’ll finish it feeling super energised.
7. Sensation over shape: Can’t touch your toes? Who cares. Can’t get into that pose? Who cares. Do what you can do and that’s the importance of sensation over shape. Yoga literally emphasises your pleasure – why wouldn’t you want to do a work out which feels good but is also healthy?