Yoga classes can provide a beautiful opportunity to connect to your body and breath in a collaborative space. Give yourself the chance to be vulnerable and open yourself up to learning from everything that yoga can offer. Whether it's your first time on the mat, or the first time for a few weeks here are some points that we all need to remember during our practice.
There are no prerequisites for coming to yoga. I truly believe that yoga is for everyone. You don't need to be a particular body type or have a level of flexibility to practice and benefit. If I had a pound for every time someone said to me, "I can't come to yoga, I'm not flexible enough". The thing is, you are not going to get anymore flexible sitting on the sofa!
You really don't need anything to practice yoga, just some comfortable clothing that allows you move, stretch and breathe with ease. There is no need for this seasons latest, most expensive leggings. I do encourage students to have their own mat and props but I would never want that to be a barrier to coming to class. There are almost always mats, blocks and straps rolling around in the back of my car. Just let me know if you need to borrow some. You might want to think about bringing a bottle of water and a small towel for sweat - students often astonished with how much of a sweat they can build up in yoga.
It can also be a bit of a surprise to be a little sore after a class - DOMSs - delayed onset muscle soreness. Even if you regularly practice another sport or exercise you may find that yoga helps you to discover some whole new muscles! If you are ever unsure about any soreness after class, please do get in touch.
Try not to come to class on a full stomach but likewise it's not necessarily a good idea to practice on a completely empty stomach. Perhaps a small snack beforehand so that you don't become light headed.
If we have never met or spoken before, or even if we have, please let me know of any injuries or concerns that you might be working with. I will always find you a modification where appropriate and work through any reservations with you. Please do remember that it is always acceptable to skip a pose - nothing in class is compulsory! Do as much or as little as you like, tuning in and asking yourself, what do you need from your practice today?
Your yoga practice is yours, for you and you alone. Come to class with an open mind and heart to participate without judgment or expectation. Enjoy your practice, it is a process of learning about your body and mind. There is nobody to impress! Your worth does not depend on which yoga poses you can do. I can understand concerns and worries that everybody else is looking at you, but please believe me, they are not. Other students are far too wrapped up in their practice on their mat to think about what you are doing - or perhaps they are just as concerned that someone is looking at them as you are.
Be consistent in your practice. The simple act of showing up regularly allows the effects of your practice to snowball over time. A yoga practice is exactly that, a practice. It does not have to perfect but the benefits are really experienced from a regular practice that you don't give up on. Remember that success doesn't come from you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.
As I said before, I really do believe that yoga is for everyone, but I do know and understand that I may not be the teacher for everyone. If you have tried a class with me and it wasn't for you, please don't hesitate to let me know what you are looking for and I am sure I will be able to help you find the right teacher for you.
Whether you are young or old, overweight or fit, yoga has the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body.