Not sure if yoga is for YOU?
Undecided about starting a yoga class?
Not sure what to expect?
This Blog Post seeks to cover all those questions and provides you with everything you need to know before booking your first yoga class/course!
#1 Is yoga for YOU?
Yoga IS accessible for everyone; no matter what you look like, how old you are, how you dress, how much you weigh, where you live or what religion you practice. It is possible you may have a certain condition, disability or recent injury which may mean a certain style of yoga or a particular practice may be challenging or risky for you, however an experienced yoga teacher should be able to assess whether their class is suitable for you, and be able to offer suitable modifications where required.
#2 Why bother doing yoga?
There are lots of claims about what yoga can do for the practitioner, however not all of these claims can be backed up.
Here is a list of the most likely benefits which do have some scientific evidence to back them up!
A regular* yoga practice:
- Can increase strength.
- Can improve flexibility & balance.
- Can decrease stress.
- Can relieve anxiety.
- May reduce inflammation. (chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer)
- Can improve heart health.
- Can reduce pain & fatigue; improving quality of life.
- Can combat depression.
- Can improve quality of sleep.
- Can improve breathing patterns
* Regular practice is far more likely to reap the benefits of yoga.
Attending a yoga class once a week will develop new skills and the motivation to make healthy changes in your life, but for noticeable benefits - practising 3 times a week is essential. This doesn't have to be in a class; developing a home practice is the key! An experienced yoga teacher can help you to develop the confidence and skills to build a simple home practice.
#3 What do I need to know before my first class?
Every teacher has their own style, even within the same class 'style'. Some will focus more on the physical postures, others put more emphasis on the breathing or the philosophy, some chant, some don't! Some teachers like to physically adjust and others rarely do. Your experience from one class to another can vary massively, so don't give up on yoga if you don't love it the first time!
A yoga class should be a space where you feel comfortable and supported, so don't worry if there are things you can't do, if you can't keep up, or you haven't a clue what the pose names are - it's more important that you 'turn up', do what you can and practice safely.
#4 What do I need to practice yoga?
Most of my classes are held in village halls or privately rented spaces so I don't have shelves of spare mats and bolsters like a Yoga studio would. For some of my classes I have a supply of basic mats, but really, having a comfortable mat of your own is the way to go. This doesn't need to be a £100 fancy mat with alignment clues all over it, but do take the time to check quality and reviews when buying online. It needs to be thick enough to pad tender knees and sticky enough that your palms don't slip in downward dog pose! (by all means contact me for mat advice). It IS essential that you wear clothes you feel comfortable in,which you can move about in, multi coloured yoga leggings are NOT compulsory.... but wear them if you want!
#5 What yoga isn't.....
Yoga isn't a religion and it isn't...or at least it shouldn't be, a trip for the Ego. At the heart of our yoga practice is self-enquiry, encouraging us to release old patterns and create new more meaningful habits. Regular yoga practice deepens our mind/body/heart connections, cultivating a more meaningful relationship with everything we do in our lives. Leave judgement at the door, come in with an open mind and an open heart.
#6....ready to try some yoga?
Why not join me for the 'Yoga for Complete beginners' course at Sherbourne Lodges in Boxford. Starting Wednesday 31st October running for 7 weeks.
All you need is to 'turn up' in comfy clothes with yoga mat!
Take a look at the CLASSES page to BOOK this course or contact me directly.
Hope to see you in class soon!