Updated: Sep 1
It's that time of the year when the end of summer holiday is upon us and this tends to be the time when people focus inwards and make plans for how they are going to spend their fall and winter. Fitness goals and nutrition goals are at the top of the list, and so they should be! For those of us that have ever contemplated trying yoga or starting a regular yoga practice, the idea of going into a studio and not knowing anything about what you're doing can be intimidating. As a recovering beginner in yoga, I definitely know exactly what you are going through. That said, I'm going to give you some pointers that will hopefully level up your confidence enough to join one of the most supportive communities that you can be a part of. The Yoga Community!
1. I strongly recommending for you to learn some basic poses that tend to come up in yoga classes. For example; Childs pose, Downward Facing Dog, Playing pose, Four Limbed Staff pose, Cobra pose, Tree pose, Triangle pose, Seated half Spinal Twist pose, Bridge pose and of course Corpse pose also known as Shavasana.
2. Get your gear. Studies have shown that when you have your workout clothes prepped the day before, you are more likely to meet your fitness goals. If possible, I would invest in some cute yoga clothes whether they're from Walmart or Lululemon or even Goodwill. If you hunt enough, you will find something that you love. I found having an outfit made me feel a little bit more confident to attend a yoga class. Dress for success!
3. Get a yoga mat. a yoga mat is essential for doing yoga in yoga studios. They provide grip and comfort under you as well as a sanitary space for you to call your own while you practice your yoga. My first yoga mat was a $20 yoga mat and to this day it will always be my most remembered one! You are about to embark on a journey unlike anything you have done before so enjoy all of these experiences as they come. Your first yoga mat is a big deal and you are definitely going to remember this experience!
4. Watch YouTube videos of actual yoga classes. No, I don't mean the ones where it's an instructor teaching and there's no one else around. I mean an actual class with students and a teacher. This is for research purposes only so no need to practice. when I lived in downtown Toronto, I asked my local yoga studio if they would mind me sitting in on a class because I had never done yoga before. They were very nice about letting me observe a class before I participated in one. Usually if studios aren't too busy, they don't mind doing this for you. Ask your local studio, you never know.
5. Introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructors know how nerve wrecking it can be to be a beginner because we have all been beginners at one point. We would love to get to know you before class so please pop by and say hello and let us know if you have any concerns whether its health concerns or physical abilities concerns or nervous about being a beginner. It would be also worth it to see if your local studio has an Introductory Package. These mini memberships are geared to Yoga Newbies. We are here to serve and it's our pleasure to help you navigate your new yoga journey!
6. Beginner’s classes or gentle yoga. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take classes that align with your current practice level. Many times, at the studio I've seen beginners come to an advanced class and completely give up on yoga and never came back. Do your research for whatever studio you intend on joining. Give the studio a call and ask questions like “what would be a good class for me to do as a beginner”. Remember the studios want to ensure your success because that makes the world a better place all around and it's equally beneficial. So don't be shy about calling or emailing, this is your yoga journey and it's good for you to put yourself out there to learn what you want and need to get out of it.
7. Your first class. When you do your first class you might be flooded with emotions like wondering if anybody saw you trip or did anyone notice that you lost your balance or how intimidated you might feel by your neighbor's advanced yoga practice. I want you to know that all these emotions are completely normal. You are valid for feeling this way because you were doing something completely outside of your comfort zone. In time you will realise that everyone around you was also a beginner at one point and also felt these exact same emotions.
I hope this information will make it a little bit easier for you to start yoga. It's one of those things that you just need to jump into an embrace it with an open heart and an open mind. When I finally started doing yoga, I didn't realize it would have such a profound effect on me. My body felt looser and lighter and so did my mind. It helps me keep my cool during emotional disasters and it helped me become less Injury prone because I was so flexible and in much better shape. I fell in love with yoga so much that I joined a yoga teacher training program. I absolutely love this program and it was the best time of my life. Yoga is truly a journey of growth and never-ending learning. If you are reading this blog, then I know yoga has also touched you in some way at some point in your life.
Until we speak again, Namaste!
Alia Allaway, E-RYT 500
Natural Health Herbalista, Owner & Director of award-winning Life Yoga Studio
Mom of one super boy & 3 cats named after the Flintstones
In a love-hate relationship with Pecan Butter Tarts