If you think that you are not the “yoga type,” you are very wrong. You are the yoga type. In fact, everyone is.
Yoga is not about wearing lululemon and folding yourself into contortionist poses. Yoga is for women and men of all levels of ability, fitness, strength, flexibility, agility, and balance — and yoga is proven to improve these within its regular participants.
Yoga is also a great way to relieve or ease stress. For many, fitness is about pushing yourself to go further when working out. Yoga, however, assists in getting participants to focus on the contrary for a change. Yoga focuses on getting you to do what your body is meant to do. It is a process.
There is not much space for ego in proper yoga either. Participants are encouraged to listen to their body, breath, and mind. You can choose to take it easy in a yoga class all while getting a very good workout.
Yes, yoga can be challenging and may even become more so as you continue to take yoga regularly. But, that is the point! Yoga can be as hard as you make it, yet it still is all about listening to the body and going at your own pace, in your own flow.
So, if you are going to try yoga for the first time, here are my recommendations:
- Find a yoga style that fits you. Yoga classes are not all the same. Some of them are very physically vigorous, while others are more focused on meditation and breath. Some are fast paced and some are very slow. These can all be good for you, but just know what you are seeking, what you like, and what you are in for.
- Find a teacher you like. There are teachers who lead large classes, small classes, and private lessons. There are also yoga teachers who base their practice, their classes, on particular philosophies or modalities. Test the waters. See what you like in a teacher. Ask around and try some classes out.
- Listen to your body. Do not force your body into yoga poses that you are not ready for. Know that flexibility and agility is built. Build your way up to the higher levels.
- Practice yoga at your own pace. Yoga has modifications for every pose. You can always take a break and do a relaxation pose during your yoga practice. Yoga is a process. Take your time with it and focus on doing the poses with the right form. Range of motion will be built, and there are yoga tools (like blocks and straps) that can aid you if your flexibility is not “there” yet.
- Competition with others is not necessary in yoga. It is not about being as strong or flexible as others in the class or those who have been practicing for a lifetime. Yoga is a process towards self improvement. Enjoy the process, and you will see results.
See you in yoga class!
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Do you practice yoga regularly? Would you?
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