When someone asks me IF they can practice yoga, I say YES without even looking at them. The best thing about Yoga is that it is accessible. Anyone, at any fitness level, with any ailment and at any stage of life can practice Yoga.
Yoga need not be a mystical and intimidating experience for a Yoga newbie. Just take a look at these 5 tips that simplify Yoga for newbies and novices.
- Yoga is not a “push until you drop” work out. Shavasana and Child’s pose are important Yoga postures for a reason. Use them! You need not prove anything to anyone. You are the master of your body and you do not owe any one an explanation if suddenly in the middle of the class you feel the need to get into child’s pose. Do it – unapologetically!
- “I’ve been practicing for months but I’m hardly losing any weight” Even if for the first one month, or two, you do not lose weight; don’t give up. You still are building strength and muscle and improving your stamina. Muscle weighs more than fat and when you are building muscle, you are still losing fat. Do not stop yet, get rid of the scale for first few months. Hang in there and the results will show soon enough.
- If you wake up too sore to go to yoga, go anyway! Stretching the sore muscles out is one of the best things that you can do for them. The more you stretch, the faster the soreness disappears. No matter what your mind tells you, the Yoga class you signed up for today is important. Show up. You will feel much better afterwards. I can guarantee that for you.
- Always practice on an empty stomach. While a light and healthy snack can be good before cardio, not so much for yoga. You are bending forward and backwards, stretching sideways, twisting and lying on your stomach. You wouldn’t want your breakfast to end up on the mat. Bring water, that’s enough. There’d be enough time for a post workout meal later.
- Stretching can be painful. You might want to give up and get out of that pose but take a deep breath in and relax into it. It is a mind over matter game. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t but if you can push past your initial panic and use your breath to calm yourself down then pat yourself on the back. This pain that you feel is just you fighting. Stop. Surrender. Once you let go, the pain stops.
- Enjoy your journey. Have fun on the mat. Do not be obsessed with the way you look, no one is watching you. Close your eyes and dive into your practice. Treasure your time on the mat. Make it your “happy place”.
Welcome to the Yoga addiction. Good luck on your journey and feel free to share your first few yoga experiences in the comments section below. If you have any more tips to add on to this please do so as well.