I remember walking into my very first Yoga class at my local gym, I was both intrigued and slightly intimidated by the idea of Yoga, because I had heard so many different opinions about what it actually was. I had heard that it included a lot of chanting and meditation, and for someone that was completely ignorant and inexperienced in both of those practices, it definitely shied me away from taking it up sooner. I had also been told that it was mostly stretching and not at all an intense work out, which in my early years is all I craved. All in all, what I had heard about Yoga made me definitively decide it was not really 'my thing'. Until one day, I was lured by one of my close friends to a class at the gym we'd both been going to, and without coming across too dramatic, it was the complete opposite of everything I had assumed, and it changed my life!
Now your reasons for hesitancy in starting your Yoga journey may be completely different to what mine were. You may have only seen the long limbed, beautifully flexible, Instagram girls posting photos of themselves effortlessly in a difficult shape, and for all accounts that can be intimidating. But if I can touch on one very small part of Yoga as a practice, it's that it is inclusive, beneficial and something that could bring nothing but positivity into your life. So no matter who you are, or what your thoughts on Yoga are, here are a few steps to begin your Yoga journey.
1. Find a local studio near you that offers a Foundation class or beginners course
If I can offer one piece of advice as a Yoga Teacher, it is how beneficial it is to start from the basics. You could be very strong and flexible, but learning the foundation of each pose is incredibly important in building a safe and supportive practice. Because believe it or not, you can do some serious long term damage if your alignment isn't protecting your body.
2. Detach yourself from your EgoThis was by far one of the hardest thing I personally faced when beginning my practice. I grew up doing competitive sports, so everything was a competition! I found myself mentally competing not only with myself in classes, but with the people around me, and that is how injuries happen. I would push myself well beyond my limits just to 'prove myself', and let me tell you, as soon as you learn to let go of that monkey on your back not only will your mind thank you, but you will be able to dive so much deeper into your practice as a whole. All it is is learning to listen to your body, if you are tired or think that a pose is too deep for your body, come out and move down into a resting pose. This is has to be one of the most important things about Yoga, and also one of the hardest thing for us to do.
3. Get supportive equipment
If after a few classes you find Yoga is definitely something you can see yourself pursuing, then one of the best decisions you can make is investing in a Yoga mat that bests suits you. Using a well-loved, sweaty Yoga mat from your local studio is great to begin with, but a Yoga mat that is yours will deepen and change your practice! If I could recommend any Yoga mat for anyone at the beginning for their Yoga journey it would be our Ultimate Yoga Mats. They are non-slip, super grip technology, perfect to stabilise you and prevent any injuries. There is no harmful PVC chemicals, and it will be a mat to last you a lifetime!
Good luck Yogis on beginning your Yoga practice, I hope these steps provide some guidance at the start of your journey. We are always here to answer any questions you have about Yoga or any of our products, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to shop one of our Yoga mats.