It is 2017, and someone out there has made a resolution to do yoga this year. I would like to talk to that person.
Here is the best advice that I have to offer on the subject of starting yoga.
#1 – Just wear comfortable clothes. It isn’t more complicated than that. Leggings with shorts. Sweatpants. Legit yoga pants. Sports bra. Regular bra. No bra. Pajama pants. It does not matter one bit, because no one cares.
Simply sit on the floor in your outfit before you leave to make sure it is comfortable to do so. Also, stand and fold forward to make sure you are okay with how your shirt behaves. Then, get your butt to yoga class!
#2 – Do NOT wear socks on your yoga mat. The only time it is okay to wear socks on the mat is at the very beginning and very end of class.
Wearing socks on your yoga mat will only make it harder for you to grip the mat and cause muscle tension where there should be none. I know. I am a professional.
#3 – Talk to your teacher before class starts. Get to class early and talk about any pre-existing conditions.
Old football injuries, back pain, pregnant, high blood pressure, diabetes, vertigo, asthma, whatever! Tell the teacher. We want to help make yoga fun and safe.
#4 – Practice saying YES. Your teacher will ask you to do poses that you think are not possible, and you know what? They may not be at first. That’s life, baby.
Do yoga the way you want to live your life: with purpose, gratitude, and laughter. So what if you can’t sit cross-legged on the floor! You can sit with your legs out and word toward cross-legged if you want!
#5 – Remember yoga is a privilege, not a punishment. If you find yourself making excuses to not go to yoga, ask yourself if you really want to go. If you wait until you are flexible to come to yoga, you never will.
If you wait until you are flexible to come to yoga, you never will.
If you wait until your thin to get in shape, you never will.
Waiting is for people who just don’t really want to do it.
Maybe you just don’t want to get healthy. Maybe you don’t want to do yoga, but you feel like you’re supposed to.
Newsflash: Not everyone likes the same stuff! Do I think everyone can benefit from yoga? Yes. Does that mean I want you in my class if you don’t really want to be there? No.
So, do some soul searching. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. I am not trying to talk you out of trying new things. I am reminding you that cannot enjoy something that feels like a “have to”. Make sure you actually want to be there.
Make sure you actually want to be there.
One more thing before I go: If you don’t like the first yoga teacher you try, then try another one. All yoga teachers are very different. Try a few on and see how they fit.
Happy New Year, Yoga Friends!