New to the Yoga Scene?
Follow our guide to avoid the New Yogi jitters, and step onto the mat with confidence!
We've all had to make that leap... from wanting to do Yoga to actually doing it. We have the best of intentions; our doctor says it's good for us, it might help that aching back or shoulder, but getting to the studio is SO hard. Why is that?
Let's break it down. Bethany Tracy, 500 RYT and owner of HEAL Yoga Studio in Ogden, has been teaching for 11 years, and she's heard it all - not to mention experienced it herself. Here are the common fears that keep us from getting to the mat:
1. I don't have a yoga body.
What exactly IS a yoga body anyway? We see tall, long and lean in our minds, right? If we show up to the studio, we're going to be totally out of place because we most certainly do not have a yoga body.
Okay, so here's the deal: MOST people do not have a yoga body. Most instructors nowadays do not have a yoga body. There IS no such thing in our opinion, as a yoga body. We see all shapes, sizes, and abilities in our studios, and we do our best to provide a welcoming, healing space for all. Remind yourself that you're perfect the way you are, and get on down to the studio!
2. I'm not flexible.
Again, we see these beautiful yogis twisting themselves into pretzels in our minds eye, right? It's just not a thing. Instagram is NOT the best representation of yoga. Instagram is the representation of everyone's goal pose in yoga. This means, you're not seeing the work it takes to get there. Nobody jumps on the mat and goes right into touching their head to their knees. Okay... maybe there are some - but they're usually double jointed. And even those people have work to do to protect their joints!
Next time you start telling yourself you're not flexible enough to do yoga, you throw that thought out the door and remind yourself that people DO yoga to increase flexibility, among other things!
3. I don't know what to wear.
This one is easy. Wear clothing that is loose enough to move around in, but not so loose that your shirt may fly over your head in downward dog. A good rule of thumb:
LADIES: Yoga pants! It's what they were made for! If you don't have any, a pair of sweats or leggings will do just fine. Sports bra and a form fitting T-shirt or Tank is great. You may want to even bring an extra layer such as a hoodie for Savasana, aaaaaaaaaah.
GENTS: Gym shorts or track pants are great options, along with a T-shirt. Super simple. Again, bring a hoodie to layer for Savasana if you desire.
4. I don't have a yoga mat, and I don't know what to bring.
Most studios have extras so that beginners can come in and try it out before investing in their own equipment. It is never expected that you own your own equipment, so don't worry about that. If you want to use the studio's mat every time, that's perfect. Studios also supply blankets, bolsters, blocks, straps, and yoga balls to help modify your experience, and yoga instructors know what you need, so don't worry about doing it wrong!
5. I'm afraid everyone will be watching me and I'll make a fool of myself.
We hear this A LOT. The truth is, when you're beginning, you might be looking around the room and comparing yourself to others. We strongly suggest that you try not to. The greatest thing about yoga is you can have beginners and advanced yogis in the same class and the instructor will be giving options for beginners as well as advanced yoga poses. The best thing you can do for yourself is keep your eyes on the instructor, allow them to help you, and listen to what YOUR body is saying.
We aren't cars. We can't go from 0 to 60 in one class. It takes time, persistence, and patience. You CAN do this!
6. Yoga is hard.
It totally is. But it's also accessible for anyone, at any age and any level. As long as you have the correct guidance for your body and your needs, you'll not only be able to do it, you'll be able to measure your progress and find a sense of pride, along with added benefits you didn't know were there!
This is also why we recommend coming to a studio as a beginner rather than using a video or app to start your yoga practice. We see so many injuries occur this way. We have professionals here who know what to look for and who can assist you in developing your poses in a safe and healthy manner to ensure short term as well as long term success.
Do you have questions we didn't cover? Reach out to us anytime - we are happy to help, and we'd love to see you on the mat!