It's the end of the year. Already, I'm hearing people talk about New Year's Resolutions. For many people, resolutions revolve around one thing and one thing only: getting fit. And for many people these days, yoga classes seem a rather non-threatening point of entry on the path to greater fitness. I applaud their interest: yoga is an incredible method for getting in touch with your body, uniting the body and mind, and learning how to breathe fully. So I'd like to give beginning yoga students some tips on how to start off their yoga journey the best way possible.
Every yoga class is different. Well, not so if you go to a Bikram yoga class, or if you're learning the Ashtanga series. But most beginners are not headed straight for the 105-degree oven that is Bikram or the rigid, extremely disciplined practice of Ashtanga. Most would-be yoga students are interested in learning some poses, sweating a little, and feeling like they did something good for themselves. Beginners are more likely to head for a Yoga Flow class or a Hatha Yoga class. And I have to reiterate--every single one of them will be different. So how do you know, when you see a class on the schedule, what you're getting into?
The fact is, you don't. I know first-timers who were so turned off by (or even injured by) their first yoga class that it became their ONLY yoga class, and they'll never go back. So while searching for the right first class for you, do these things, and don't be shy about them:
Once you've spoken with a few teachers and feel confident about trying one of their classes, go for it! Just remember, if you have back pain or if you're a really flexible woman already (I don't worry about men being too flexible, just because of hormone balance), be sure you read this piece about how your flexibility can be a detriment to a painless yoga practice.
Have fun planning your entry into the beautiful world of yoga! If I can answer any questions from beginners out there, please post them here. I'm happy to help you find just the right practice for you.
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