If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, ‘you should try yoga’ I’d be one very rich lady.
Plagued by running injuries, I’ve had osteopaths, physios, friends and colleagues suggest yoga as a way to prevent injuries, increase flexibility and build strength.
But as all my non-stretchy sisters out there will know, yoga is not the easiest activity to get into.
I’d push my tight body through the odd class, but with poses better left to Gumby, yoga left me despising my inflexible body even more.
But now, almost three years after my first yoga class, I am happy to announce that I have finally found my yoga groove!
My body feels less tight and I actually look forward to practising twice a week. And over the Christmas break I’ve taken to doing yoga online – it’s great! In the comfort of my own home and it’s FREE!
So, how did this happen?
Well, as with most things, it came down to having a positive mindset and finding classes that were both convenient and felt right.
Here are my tips for yoga newbies:
1. I know you might feel old, stiff, tired, stressed etc. But try not to step into a class and think…
Instead, look at the positives and embrace that body of yours in its current state (or whatever it is that your zen yoga instructor is banging on about). Try not to think of it as a chore. Just relax and do what feels comfortable for you. Be proud of yourself for giving yoga a red hot crack.
2. Find a time and location that suits you. Let’s be realistic here, there’s no point signing up for 6am classes if you’re not a morning person. And a class that’s near home or work or somewhere in between will make getting there more convenient and give you the best chances of going regularly.
3. Ease into it. Start by practising maybe twice a week and see how it feels. You don’t want to bust a pooffoo valve! Try some shorter practices online (they’re convenient and free!) to help you get used to it – Yoga with Adriene is a great site to check out.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others. There will be lots of people in your class who can stretch their bodies in ways you never thought possible. They’ve probably been doing yoga regularly for years. Don’t expect to be able to achieve all of these posses straight away.
5. Find an instructor who you get along with and who takes the time to help you. There’s nothing worse than a patronising instructor who makes you feel like giving up. Someone who helps you overcome your barriers and guides you through at your pace will make yoga much more enjoyable.
6. Lastly but most importantly, have fun! As a yoga instructor once said to me, yoga is like playtime for grown-ups. It’s your chance to have fun and let go!
Are you a yoga lover? What’s your advice for yoga newbies? Tell us in the comments below.