Yoga has become a huge part of my life, especially over the course of this year and it’s helped me immensely, in so many areas of my life. Every time I roll my mat out, I feel safe and grounded. It’s calmed me in times of stress, it’s helped me get back into some sort of exercise routine again after years of crippling anxiety, weight gain and doing next to no exercise and it’s helped me gain flexibility and more awareness of my own body. I went to my very first Yoga retreat earlier this month and although some elements of it weren’t exactly what I was expecting, I absolutely loved the experience and what I gained from it and there will be a more detailed post about what I learnt from my Yoga retreat on my blog next month. 

Photo courtesy of Hello Bexa

I’ve spoken about Yoga a few times on my blog before and there’s always the same comments that crop up time and time again. “I can’t do Yoga because I’m not flexible” and “I would love to do Yoga but I don’t know where to start!” are probably two of the most common. And I can understand why. There’s lots of misconceptions around Yoga and it’s such a broad concept that it certainly can be difficult to know where to start if you’ve never done it before.

So, I wanted to put together a post with things you should know about Yoga if it’s on your New Years resolutions list for 2019, give you a bit of guidance if you’re not sure where to start and hopefully banish some misconceptions!

Firstly, you do not have to be flexible to do Yoga

Okay it makes sense why people think this but it is in fact utter rubbish. That’s like saying to someone you can only go running if you’re fast or you can only lift weights if you’re strong. Yoga can improve flexibility; I was the most inflexible person ever before I started Yoga (literally, I couldn’t touch my toes!) but the improvement has been tenfold. Flexibility is a nice bi-product of Yoga, that’s all.

Find a type of Yoga that works for you

I do all my Yoga practicing at home. That works for me because I suffer from anxiety so I like being in my own space. When I went to my Yoga retreat, it was my first experience of doing Yoga in a class with other people and I found that I didn’t particularly enjoy that as much as I do with my home Yoga practices. But of course, lots of people love the communal element of doing Yoga in a class and there’s plenty of places to find Yoga instructors too!

All teachers are different and will focus on different things

In the process of finding yourself a teacher, either in person or an online teacher, it’s worth remembering that all teachers teach differently and will focus on different elements of Yoga. I use Yoga With Adriene at home, who’s a young, fun and upbeat teacher who makes you laugh and constantly reminds you to just find what feels good and not take anything too seriously. But the teacher from my Yoga retreat was intensely spiritual – and that’s just not me. So I found it a bit uncomfortable. And that’s fine. It’s all about finding what works for you, depending on your own needs and beliefs. And if you don’t believe in anything at all, Yoga can simply be a brilliant exercise regime!

Remember that Yoga is what you make it

Yoga can be incredibly in-depth and a little overwhelming at the beginning with all these new words and poses you’ve never thought about maneuvering your body into. Whatever teacher you choose, chances are they’re probably going to say some things that go over the top of your head too. The beauty of Yoga is that it’s yours and it is what you make it. If you do’t want to say “namaste” at the end, you don’t have to. If a pose is too advanced for you, adapt it. Or if like me, you’re not a spiritual person, that’s okay too. Yoga is still for you. Take from it what you need and leave what you don’t.

If you have any other questions about starting Yoga, please do leave them below as I’m happy to answer them. If you’re planning to start Yoga in the New Year, I’d love to hear it!

* This post is sponsored by Bidvine


  1. I like the idea of Yoga but like the first paragraph says I am not flexible – I am 5″11 so touching my toes is a right effort, probably the last time I touched them was when I was a baby and I feel yoga is just too slow – Great if people can do it but its a little slow for me

  2. I love this, and it’s so true yoga it totally what you make it! I wouldn’t be without my yoga practice now and wish I’d started years ago. I currently mainly do hatha yoga but I’ve recently started getting into yin/restorative yoga which is great for stress, anxiety and sleep problems. Can highly recommend if you’re looking for a gentle, more mindful practice one day.:) xx

  3. I tried Yoga once before but it was a group class and my friend and I got the giggles so were asked to leave 😂 I’ve not thought about doing it at home by myself but the more I read posts like this, the more I think it might be a good thing. I’ll just need to make sure I don’t aggravate my slipped disc again, I couldn’t cope with another round of acute sciatica! Fab pointers here, Jenny, thank you xxx

    Lisa |

    1. Oh no, a slipped disc sounds so painful! There’s some really lovely gentle Yoga practices on the Yoga With Adriene channel, so it might be a good place to start there and work up if you can / want to 🙂 I find the shower, stretchier ones so relaxing. If you need any suggestions, you know where I am! x

  4. Like yourself, I’ve discovered Yoga this year and I’ve fallen in love. It’s the perfect exercise for me and it’s a total workout for mind and body! I had my apprehensions before starting but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. That’s coming from a 44 year old, slightly overweight male so if I can do it, anyone can!

    Namaste 🙏 🧘‍♂️

  5. I ADORE Yoga so much and all because of Adrienne! I too practise my yoga at home like you but I want to attend a class at my local gym next year. I don’t know how it’ll go as I suffer from a degree of anxiety but I’ll try a couple of classes and see how I go!

    I don’t think I could go to a Yoga retreat myself but good on you for going and facing your anxiety!

    Liv xx

    1. I wasn’t a fan of the “class” element of it to be perfectly honest. My anxiety was so bad at times so I much prefer doing it on my own. But Adriene never makes you feel alone which I love!

  6. My sister is big into yoga! She does lots of different types, flying yoga is currently her favourite! She does all these crazy things in a hammock, I’m always in awe when I watch her! Like you I think I’d be better suited to doing yoga in my own living room, I’m a bit too self conscious to go to a class’
    PaleGirlRambling xo

  7. I have actually asked for a yoga mat for Christmas this year! I went to a yoga class once and felt really self-conscious, so I think I’ll probably do it at home. I used to be a gymnast and I was very flexible, but I have definitely lost that now. I hope yoga will help me get that back!

    Eve |

  8. I started doing yoga this year and I always thought I wasn’t flexible enough for it or maybe I should take a class. However, I really enjoy doing it in my private space with YouTube vidoes, so I am happy I am not alone with that sentiment and I’ll keep at it. Thank you for the post ♥

  9. I always thought that you had to be flexible to do Yoga but I’m realising more and more that you don’t have to be (which is a good thing for me because I’m certainly not flexible!). I think I’d really like to get into Yoga a bit more, especially with working from home from next year as I think it will be good for me and a great way to break the day up a bit 🙂 xx

    1. Flexibility doesn’t even really come into it – I don’t know why there’s always such a big emphasis on it, it’s pretty irrelevant. But it does improve flexibility, which is just another added bonus of Yoga 🙂 I work from home too and it’s a vital part of my day so I hope you find it beneficial too! If you need any suggestions, you know where to find me!

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