From the desk of Stacy Slawitsky, RYT…
Adho mukha who? Urdva mukha what?? Who said this yoga class is supposed to be relaxing?? If this sounds like you after your first yoga experience, then take a read of these four simple tips for starting your yoga journey on the right foot.
1. Start small: Take a private lesson
Take a private or semi-private lesson with a reputable instructor to learn some foundational poses and proper form within these postures. Attending a large class with lots of people can be really fun, but you will not get the personalized attention you will need as a beginner. A private lesson will get you off to a safe start.
2. Choose wisely: Find the style of yoga that is right for you
The beauty of yoga is the various interpretations of the practice that are out there. Just like shopping, there’s no one style that fits everyone. Explore your options by taking beginner versions of different classes to find the one that resonates with you.
3. Practice at home: Supplement public classes with online content
There’s some great online content out there for people just starting out. Check out Beginner Yoga on MyYogaOnline or http://yoga.about.com/od/yogaposes/a/beginnersposes.htm has great explanations and pictures of basic yoga poses.
4. Focus: Try not be distracted by others
Now that you are ready for that public class, it’s easy to get caught up in the fancy poses others are doing around us. What can happen? We push our body beyond its limits and wind up getting injured. Throughout class, it’s really important to be in tune with your body, focus on the sensations you feel in your postures and work right to your edge. It took me awhile to recognize that no one really cared how far I got in my forward folds. Remember you are practicing for yourself and enjoy!
5. Remember: Patience is a virtue
Try not to get frustrated if you find your body is not bending the way you want it to. Practice at least once a week and have faith that with diligence and regularity your practice will grow over time. Nothing good happens overnight so relax and enjoy the ride.