We all need to know that new journeys always begin with a small step. So many people tell me that they don’t want to try yoga for various reasons and I respect everyone’s opinion and decision. However, I thought I’d share some of my experiences from when I first started yoga (I can be honest that it was not pleasant as I was stiff as a rock and strong as a sponge) which I hope will answer your questions if you’re in any doubt about starting yoga.
Let us begin…
What to prepare?
1. Use all props available in the class (blocks, belts, towels)
When you start as a newbie, reaching the floor or sitting up straight can be really tough, take all the props available in the class and have them next to you in case you need assistance.
2. Inform the teacher
It is important for the teacher to know that you are new to yoga, that way, he/she can always keep an eye on you to help you avoid doing the wrong thing.
3. Don’t wear loose outfits
There are tons of reasons why yoga clothes are taking over the fashion industry (maybe), but investing in pieces of clothing that hug your body and are stretchy will help you with your movements. Loose clothing will just be in the way.
What to expect?
1. You will feel intimidated
When you step into a class for the first few times it may feel like everyone around you is more flexible and they all know what they are doing…and that’s ok!! Watch and learn, this is a journey with yourself - it’s not a race and no one will give you an award for being the most flexible!
2. You will feel frustrated
Following on from the above point, when the teacher says do this and that, it may sound like an alien language to you! Following instructions and trying to figure your body orientation at the same time is not easy - again, enjoy the moment with yourself and feel your body through your movements
3. Muscles that you didn’t even know existed will burn and shake
Even if you regularly work out at the gym, or do a lot of cardio…yoga will awaken parts of your body you have not felt before. That means you may feel weak in the beginning - why is that a very lean girl can lift her whole body weight off the floor, when a muscular guy struggles to do the same? Yoga is about using the leaner muscles beneath (unlike lifting weights in the gym) and it also has to do with being in the correct alignment.
If you find it hard trying a class by yourself, how about asking a friend to go with you? There are also a lot of yoga communities who will support you! So…try a class and see how you feel - maybe one class isn’t enough to know, but don’t give up just because it was ‘not for me’ after trying it once!
I teach every Saturday in Hong Kong with the Hatha Yoga class being particularly suitable for beginners. The schedule is up on my website so message me if you’d like to join a class!