Having been very nervous to start Yoga myself I thought I would share what to expect when joining a class, just in case it helps someone out there take the plunge and give it a go. I was lucky enough to start with private sessions with my Mum which made it less nerve wracking. If that’s not an option for you, that’s OK! Read below and you may just be ready to make a call to a Yoga teacher in your town. After all Yoga is amazing for settling down anxiety, depression and stress.
Yoga has a very idealistic almost unreachable league of perfect bodies, perfect poses, perfect clothes, perfect sunsets on perfect beaches – well, at least that’s what you will get if you look on Instagram and many Yoga sites. One word of advice –
DON’T LET THAT GET TO YOUR HEAD AND STOP YOU JOINING YOGA!
Look at the photos as inspiring, motivating, and beautiful. They are people who have worked hard to get to where they are at. Most importantly though you will find your local teachers and yogis all vary in shapes, sizes, and ages. From what I have found, everyone has open hearts to welcome new comers and are enjoying Yoga in their own zone not giving a damn about who is wearing what or what shape your body is – and when I point it out like that – it’s seems very obvious that is what it would be like . . . right 🙂
Some people may start out joining Yoga to tone their body, strengthen or lose weight. Yoga is so much more than that. Sure body changes are benefits to doing Yoga if that is what you are after, yet getting to know yourself better, feeling more confident in who you are and becoming more powerful and a more kind authentic self becomes a craving to your body and soul. Getting to have time to yourself to turn inwards and be in the moment, to breath deep and feel connected with your body and surroundings is an empowering feeling which goes with you during your day, allowing you to be the best you you can be.
Be open to allowing yourself to experience the ‘hippy happy’ side of mindfulness. It is easy to be an outsider and have a little giggle and say ‘No way that’s not for me!’ Honestly that has been me majority of my life. Be more open minded and just allow yourself to join in the experience, because why not! You’re there anyway and doing this for a change so why not soak it up and give it a go, if it’s not for you that’s OK, but at least you’ll know.
Give your body time to become stronger and more flexible. Don’t expect to join a class and be able to do what some others can do. (Keep in mind no one else cares what others can and can’t do, everyone is supportive no matter where you are at!). Everyone has different levels of experience and different body shapes, sizes, injury history, surgery history – never compare yourself to others or feel you have to do what the person next to you is doing. Many Yoga teachers will let the class know that if there are any poses which cause strain on your body or give you discomfort, to stop and feel free to move into child’s pose. A couple of poses give me a mega head rush and are quite difficult for me, so I will do my best and then take a moment having a sip of water while others finish the pose, so I am ready to move again. You may be surprised at some poses you can achieve early on due to certain areas of your body which are more flexible, while other poses that look simple may be using an area you are extremely tight or your body just is not use that sort of movement and you can’t even get close to what some other yogis are doing. That’s all OK, it all takes time. The key is to not focus on what you can’t do in a negative way, it’s OK, take time, enjoy practice and one day you will suddenly realise how far you have come.
Overall, enjoy, have fun, don’t put expectations on yourself, and just go with the flow. Being brave enough to attend that first class is probably going to be the hardest step – and once you get there, you will be SO happy you did and all of your worries will fade away. And if they don’t on that first session, they will. Make a call to your local Yoga teacher, and let them know you are a bit nervous about coming along, they will probably let you know what class you may enjoy the most with a small amount of people and I bet they will be waiting with open arms once you get there. Xx