10 Things Every Newbie Yogi Should Know
GUEST POST BY SUSANA FRIONI.
I’ll never forget my very first yoga class. It took me about two months to finally go (I always found an excuse to go next week, and next week just never came). I was a little nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t relax because my mind was obsessing with whether I was doing it right and my eyes were busy looking around for confirmation. I felt like I was always behind. I didn’t get the terminology.
Plus, many of the poses felt weird and were much harder than they looked. I got dizzy…lots! I kept holding my breath but didn’t notice until I was reminded to breathe. I was self-conscious of making my breath audible or sticking my tongue out for lions breath. I om-ed like a quiet mouse and prayed there would be no chanting. I couldn’t even relax in savasana because I was too concerned with wanting to know how long we’d be staying in that pose for (control freak!).
If you currently practise yoga then you may have had a similar first time experience, right? Then again, maybe you’re one of the lucky few who fell in love instantly (it does happen!).
But if you are new to the yoga practice and you’ve been thinking of trying a class, then here are 10 things you should know before you give yoga a go:
1. You’ve got lots of options to choose from. When it comes to choosing a yoga class there are many different styles. There’s Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Power, Yin, Iyengar, Anusara, Bikram, Hatha, Jivamukti, Kundalini and many more. While each style is unique they all aim to serve one purpose: to unite the body, mind + spirit. So choose whatever style you feel drawn to.
2. Start with a slower paced class that has a strong emphasis on alignment. Slowing down may be your biggest challenge but your body will thank you for it in the long run.
3. Enroll in a beginner’s course. There’s more to yoga than just striking a pose on a yoga mat. A great beginner’s course will help you gain a deeper understanding of what yoga is all about and how you can maximise the physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits.
4. It’s not always going to be love at first sight. Some people fall in love with yoga instantly. Others need a little more time. Keep exploring different classes and different teachers until you find the right one for you. You’ll know instantly when you have.
5. You’re going to feel funky before you feel fresh. During your first couple of classes you’re likely to experience head spins, dizziness, a metallic taste in the mouth, muscle cramping and muscle soreness. Don’t stress if you do. It’s simply the body’s way of cleansing itself of all the toxins + realigning itself. If you keep up a regular practice these experiences will fade and you’ll begin to notice an increase in energy.
6. You don’t have to learn Sanskrit before giving yoga a go. While there are some teachers who only use the Sanskrit names for the yoga poses, there are other teachers who use very little, if any at all. Whatever terminology is used, you’ll become familiar with it sooner than you think.
7. You do not need to be strong or flexible BEFORE you start practising yoga. Being strong and flexible are just some of the by-products of having a regular yoga practise.
8. Don’t underestimate the power of your breath. Yoga teachers will constantly remind you to breathe. It sounds so simple and yet it has been the most profound learning of my yoga journey so far.
9. Always stay for the final resting pose, savasana. This is one of the most important poses and also one of the most challenging as it requires total stillness + total surrender.
10. You’re about to be taken on the best journey of your life!
Author bio: Susana Frioni is a Life Coach, Vinyasa Yoga Teacher + Studio Coordinator based in Brisbane inspiring + empowering people to take the journey inward to heal + transform their lives. In her experience there is nothing more ecstatic + liberating than following your deepest truth + living it wholeheartedly. Susana is also the creator of Selfish For 27 days, an online program where women shamelessly put their health + happiness first.
Positive affirmation for the day: I am gentle and forgiving with myself when trying new things.
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