I need to get back on my mat. I have feared my return to physical activity after breaking my leg, but the one thing I miss most is my yoga practice.
I don’t know how I heard about yoga. I remember doing a few cycles of sun salutations in Grade 9 Dance class, but when I stepped foot into my first studio for a Hatha class, it’s like I knew the whole practice. Needless to say my attraction was instant, but that doesn’t mean it has always been a fairytale romance. It ebbs and flows from class to class with successes, and pains, and face plants but always ends in blissful savasana.
I’ve gone through 40-day challenges with fierce commitment, and I’ve rolled up my mat and kept it that way for months on end. After it all, my body always feels better when I’m on my mat.
With numerous poses and styles it can be intimidating to get started but don’t fret, I’ve got you covered!
Here are five tips to get you loving yoga:
Face the fear.
The hardest part about yoga? Is getting to your mat. It’s not the advanced level arm balances, or inversions, or 105-degree practice rooms. No. It’s getting onto your mat. When you get there you’ve already done all the work, the rest is just breathing and flowing.
Work on it.
I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve heard, “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.” That’s like saying, “I don’t have enough muscle to weight train.” Guess how you build muscle? By weight training. And guess how you become flexible? By doing yoga.
Test it out.
You can’t go to one yoga class and completely discount it as a hated activity. Was the Hatha class too easy? Try a Baptiste class and then try to tell me yoga isn’t a workout. You went to an Ashtanga class and you wanted to punch the teacher because you haven’t memorized the order of Advanced D series? Try a yin-yang class and you’ll be much more Zen at the end. Once you’ve found a style you like, it will take time to find a few instructors you like. Your practice can be spot on, but if you can’t stand the teacher, you won’t be able to get to your happy place.
It won’t cost you an arm and a leg to try it, either. If you’re in a Passport to Prana city, you will be able to try out numerous affiliated studios for as little as $30. If you’re by a lululemon athletica they all have a yoga class once a week where you can try it out in exchange for a canned food donation (and they even supply mats). Most studios have week-long introductory specials for a low price so you can get a feel for the studio. Deal websites like Groupon always have discounts on yoga, too. Like supporting charity? You should join my fellow Power of Movement Champions and me in doing yoga for Arthritis research.
Get over yourself.
Why do you think you’re so special that everyone in the sardine-packed yoga studio is staring at you? You are alone on your mat, practicing. If you spend the whole time in child’s pose or do every pose perfectly the only person that will know is you. The studio is really a place of no judgment. And if someone does happen to spy you recovering in child’s they probably are just mega jealous they didn’t have the strength to take a rest.
Bring your friends.
Everything is easier when you have a support system! The best part about yoga with a friend is you’ll probably look or feel so silly doing some of the poses that you will have plenty to laugh about afterwards over some
ice cream, chocolate, drinks herbal teas and lemon water. Screw it; my bestie and me go to yoga then for gelato. It’s all about yin and yang, my dears.
See you on your mat! xo
This was originally a guest post for Amanda from Run Principessa – my #SweatPink sista. Go give her some link love; she’s pretty wicked.
Do you yoga? What tip is most useful? What tips am I missing?