I was happy to be asked to contribute to a Better Homes and Gardens article about Yoga. They published a few of my yoga tips and the rest are below.
I've been teaching for over 10 years now and practiced Yoga myself for many years before I decided to guide others on their Yoga journey. I remember feeling intimidated, unsure, uncomfortable and downright scared to attend classes.
We are bombarded today of what yoga "should" look like...when in reality, it should look and feel like whatever feels good to your body/mind at the particular moment.
Here are my tips to get you through your first yoga class and beyond:
1. Don't eat a Large Meal before class : a little snack is fine, but it you eat a large meal before class, you will regret it.
Tip : eat at least 2 hours before class
2. Modify the poses as needed : If you have wrist pain, modify any pose by using a closed fist instead of an open hand, or even go down onto your forearms
Tip: If at any time you feel fatigued or light headed, go into childs pose until you're ready to join the class again
3. Gas happens! You heard me right and don't be embarrased about it. You are literally twisting and moving in ways that you don't normally move...and well, you may pass gas or burp.
Tip: It happens to the best of us, say "excuse me" and keep on moving
4. Don't compare yourself to anyone else in the room. A yoga class is a Judgement Free Zone. Stay "present" in your body and own space.
Tip: If you find your mind or eyes wondering, deepen your breath, re-focus your attention and listen to your body
5. Don't be fooled into thingking yoga isn't a workout! You will break a sweat and get an amazing workout from Yoga.
Tip: Your body will be sore in places you can't imagine, yet you will see your body tone up quickly
6. You didn't like your yoga class now what? There are several types of yoga classes and teaching styllles. Just beacause one class didn't fit the bill, doesn't mean you should give up.
Tip: try several different teachers in order to find a teaching style and class you like.
7. I won't be able to do yoga as I'm not suer bendy or flexible. This is exactly WHY you should begin a yoga practice. You would be amazed that no matter your body size or flexiblity, you will enjoy the mind/body connection that yoga brings
Tip: don't quit! do what feels right for your body in that moment and go from there
8. You may fall asleep during savasana (the end of yoga class) and thats ok!
Tip: As a teacher, I love when somone is so intune and relaxed that they fall asleep, let's me know that their body is in deep recovery mode
9. Don't wear loose fitting shirts to class. You will do a lot of inversions (aka being upside down) and well, your shirt will end up over your face
Tip: wear fitted clothing
10. When entering a yoga class...it's a quiet zone. It's a time for you to quiet your mind and reconnect.
Tip: If you need to make a phone call, chat with a friend etc....do it before or after class.
Practicing Yoga is an amazing journey. Although it may seem a bit intimidating at first, once you get out of your head and focus on the mind/body connection, the transformation will be amazing.=
Have any tips of your own for a new yogi? Leave me a comment below.