So you want to try yoga or are just starting up?
So you want to try yoga or are just starting up? Well you’ve come to the right place! The great thing about yoga is there is no wrong time to start; it’s something you can learn at any age! But like most new things, you have questions. Below are a few common questions from beginners along with answers that should help as you embark on your yoga journey!
How often should I practice?
Unfortunately there is no black and white answer to this question. Depending on your fitness and flexibility level, your first few classes may be challenging and leave you sore the next day. If this soreness is intense, it may be best to rest at least a day before practicing again. If the soreness is lighter and doesn’t infringe on your range of motion, try a shorter, lighter practice the day after. Once you get into the swing of things and your body starts to get used to this new kind of movement, you can begin to practice more often. If your schedule allows, practicing every day will only deepen your skill and overall heath of your mind and body. But once or a couple times a week is fine too! It all depends on your own life and how you feel. Using online classes and switching up the kind of class is a great way to practice more often while still keeping things fresh.
Should I push to complete a pose?
This one is easy to answer, NO! Yoga is not a competition. If you attend live classes, this is easier said than done. When you look across your studio and see other yogis with seemingly perfect formation while you struggle to come into a pose, it can be hard not to want to push yourself into a perfect position. The reality is every body is different. No matter how often or long a person practices yoga, there may be some things their body will never be able to do, and that’s okay. One of the most important parts of yoga is learning to love yourself and your body despite any shortcomings you may feel you have. Pushing yourself too hard is also a great way to get injured! To get the most out of your practice and to stay safe, know your limits. Most instructors will often offer variations on the more difficult poses to reap the benefits without pushing your body past its limits.
When will I be able to transition out of beginner/basics classes?
Unlike other fitness classes and activities there usually is no specified progression in yoga. Some gyms or studios may have “beginner,” “intermediate,” and “advanced” classes, but more often than not, you don’t have to automatically transition from one to the other. It’s really up to you! Maybe you’re a slow learner and are more comfortable with the lower level classes. Or perhaps you’re getting bored and are ready for a new challenge. Only you can truly know when you’re ready for the next level. There is no shame in trying out a more advanced class only to realize it may be a bit too much for you. As long as you’re getting something out of your class, there is no need to move on until you feel ready. Once you do consider yourself an expert yogi, it may be good to do a beginner/basic class to freshen up your skills and poses.
How do I become a great yogi?
In yoga there are no championships, no trophies or prizes. There is no end all, be all of yoga. The way to become a great yogi is to become the best yogi YOU can be! Yoga is all about becoming perfectly centered, mind, body, and spirit. To become a great yogi, you have to be willing to surrender everything you thought you knew about these three parts of yourself. Your physical body will do things you never thought it could and hopefully you will also reach an overall sense of calmness and peace. Usually these things will come without you even noticing them. Keep your practice consistent and really immerse yourself while practicing and you will become a great yogi!
Are you a beginner? What kind of questions do you have about yoga? Leave them in the comments section below!
Yogasync Me: Have you seen the yoga snippets? An invaluable video resource with Al, Sarsha and Ram answering the most common questions we all have about yoga and nutrition: