Okay...so everyone is talking about yoga. Your friends and colleagues are doing it; you see it on TV from talk-show hosts to celebrities. It's something you may have thought about trying, but you’re not quite sure if it's right for you. It's natural to have hesitations about trying yoga and trust when we say, you are not alone.
The first thing to know is that yoga is for everybody. Read that again....yoga is for every...body- come exactly as you are. That's right! That's the beauty of yoga. Whether you're a beginner, feel you're not flexible enough, or not in good enough shape. None of that matters when it comes to yoga. Yoga is about discovering a deeper connection to yourself. It's about seeing your authentic self and taking pride in who you are. When you feel good about yourself, that positive energy exudes outward. This sounds well and good but you still may not be convinced!
What about all those pictures you see of people doing yoga? Yes, we’ll admit that the images we see of yoga can really be intimidating and uninviting. We often see young, skinny women wearing designer yoga clothes, flipping themselves into these pretzel-like shapes. Anyone might be turned off by that, especially if you don't fit that mold. Fortunately, that is not the standard image of a yogi which is a wide and diverse community.
If you walked into a community center or some local yoga studios, you are likely to see men and women of all shapes and sizes. They are of every ability, beginner to advanced, in shape to out of shape, flexible to inflexible. Many of the students are just wearing a pair of sweats and a t-shirt; something that is comfortable to move in with their hair tied back in a pony or up in a scarf. It’s not about how you look at all!
Yoga is about YOU! It is an opportunity to really take care of yourself. All you need to have when taking a yoga class is intention (and maybe a good girlfriend to go with you.) Intention is simply having a personal goal. Maybe you want to have better range of motion in your shoulders, feel a little stronger; or perhaps you want to feel less pain in your back and hips. These are all great reasons to start a yoga practice.
Other benefits of you include relieving stress, clearing your mind, and feeling less agitated. These are definitely things that I need more of in my life- how about you?
If so, your next question may be how do you begin and where do you go? Yoga can be an added expense if you're getting a membership to a gym or studio. If funds are too tight for a paid yoga class then that's ok...there are alternatives. A great way to start a yoga practice is in the comfort of your own home. Fortunately, there are plenty of free online yoga lessons for beginners. There are many trained instructors that can guide you safely and effectively through a gentle yoga practice to get you going. You'll learn fundamental movements, the yoga poses, and how to breathe properly. You'll also learn some basics meditation techniques and how to calm your mind. After one lesson, you'll could feel so amazing that you’ll want to come back for more!
Which brings up an important point… if you want to see long-lasting effects then the practice has to be consistent. That doesn't necessarily mean every day but at least once a week is a good start.
Hopefully you’re now open to giving yoga a try! Just remember that yoga is about feeling good about yourself. Whether you try it at home or in a yoga studio, give it a go and let your inner-yogi flow!