Good morning everyone,
How’s everyone’s week going so far? Mine has been super stressful, as work exploded for me a bit. I filled up my week with social plans, and then ended up having to do a bunch of extra work I wasn’t expecting. Which meant I was sending out emails at around 10:00 pm a couple of times this week.
To help with my stress, I hit up a yoga class after work on Tuesday. It might’ve made my stress worse because it was more time away from work- but I always find that an hour of yoga always make my overall stress go down.
While I was in the class, I couldn’t help but notice the girl beside me. She was very obviously new to yoga. It might have even been her first class ever.
I love it when people start practicing yoga. I applaud anyone who wants to try it out, and I’m known at work for dragging people to come to a yoga class with me. However, there are important things that I think all newbies should know. Therefore, while watching this girl beside me struggle through the class, I compiled a list of things I wished I could lean over and tell her.
If you are new to yoga, you should:
Before the class:
- Call the studio before you go to a class. A lot of studios have classes that are specifically designed to help people get acquainted with the postures and alignment. If they don’t have a class for beginners, they could probably recommend which instructor is better for beginners and will provide more cues for you.
- Tell the instructor before a class that you are new. This will ensure they give you guidance and possibly cue them to provide more alignment tips throughout the class.
- If you’re really nervous about going to class, try googling and watching youtube videos and practicing some poses on your own before going to a class. This will help you become more familiar with a few of the poses so that you won’t feel so overwhelmed.
During the class:
- Listen to the instructor. I always hear the instructor give tips for alignment, such as advising you to put your head down, or what parts of your body should be touching the ground, etc. and I see people not doing those exact things. This isn’t even just a tip for beginners- I still correct my alignment based on what the teacher says.
- Listen to your body. Don’t worry if everyone else is doing handstands or splits- you need to listen to what your body is capable of. There is NOTHING wrong with sitting in child’s pose for half the class. If you’re not listening to your body, then you’re not doing yoga. I have actually seen someone pass out in a hot room because they pushed their body too hard. If you feel light headed, don’t keep going.
- If you feel pain in a pose, stop doing that pose. Yoga injuries do happen because people are not listening to their bodies. Discomfort and stretching sensations are normal, but the moment you feel pain in a pose, you’ve pushed your body too far. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Listen to that response. Let the instructor know if you are experiencing pain, and they can help you modify the pose.
- Remember that everyone started where you are at. No one walked into a yoga room and knew all the poses immediately.
- Watch what other people are doing for clues. Still listen to your body, but by seeing what those around you are doing, it can help you get better alignment in your pose.
- Have fun. Being good at yoga doesn’t mean you are a better person, friend, wife/husband, or anything else. If you don’t enjoy the class, you’re less likely to go back.
After the class:
- Talk with the instructor about any questions that came up during the class. The teachers are there to help you, utilize their knowledge.
- Drink water. You just twisted and stretched your body, now it’s time to rehydrate.
- Relax and honour your body. You tried something new, which is a really hard thing to do. Eat nourishing foods and pat yourself on the back. You did it!
What other tips would you guys give to a beginner in yoga?