Okay, you’ve heard all the benefits of yoga and you want to try it but you keep putting it off because you just don’t know if it’s for you. After all, you can’t touch your toes because you just aren’t flexible so where do you begin? You begin right where you are, right now. Yoga is for everyone and you only need be flexible in your mind, open to your immense possibilities. You have the power to amaze yourself. So let’s go!
5 STEPS TO GET YOU STARTED:
- Envision what you will gain from your practice. Is it flexibility, reduced stress, injury recovery, mobility, strength, self-confidence, a healthy weight? All of these things are possible with yoga but knowing why you are beginning a practice will help you choose the class that’s right for you, right now. Goals like “I want to be able to play with my children/grandchildren on the living room floor” will help you keep your focus and your eye on the prize.
- Decide how much time you can commit to a practice. There is no right or wrong answer since we all have different commitments and time constraints. Once you know what your parameters are it will be easier to find classes that fit those time frames. If you become stressed that there isn’t enough time in the day then maybe consider reducing some of your current activities that are not contributing to your health in a positive way (watching t.v., playing video games, social media). This is your life, your well-being, your only body and you need to take time to take care of yourself so you can take care of everything else. I promise you’ll be happier for it.
- Choose the class that’s right for you. You already know what you hope to gain. You know what times you’re available so now it’s time to choose the class. Here are some key words that are helpful: beginner, gentle, and slow. It’s worth noting that if you’re looking to reduce stress or recover from an injury Restorative Yoga is an excellent choice (although everyone benefits from it). Take the time to do a little research or ask friends whom you trust for recommendations. Once you find a studio that meets your needs I recommend buying either a one-month pass or a block of 5 classes to start. Plus, most places offer a discount if you buy them this way. Remember that when trying anything new it’s a good rule of thumb to do that thing at least 3 times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it and a third time to figure out if you like it or not.
- Be prepared. Invest in a yoga mat (you can get one for under $20 at Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, etc.), bottled water, a hand towel , loose fitting pants that don’t drag the floor and a shirt that won’t gape when you’re bent over (you’ll thank me when you’re in downward dog and not flashing the class). All other props are generally supplied by the studio
- GO! We’ve all been there, that dreaded moment of walking into a room and not knowing what to expect but think about how exciting that can be! You are finally doing it! Improving your health, creating good things for yourself! After entering a studio you should feel welcome and safe. Keep in mind different teachers have different styles so be patient as you find the right fit for you.
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Christi was born and raised in Winchester VA. She travels to Winchester at least once a week to practice yoga at Shine, support small local businesses and visit with family and friends. A firm believer in being an advocate for your own health, she uses yoga, nutrition, dancing, hiking with her dog, laughing and learning as her therapy.