It’s been three years since I started going to yoga classes, but I think I can now define myself as an amateur. My yoga journey begun with an incredible instructor at a village class and although I was completely sold on the benefits, my practice has been on and off over the years. But my yoga mojo is back and it’s here to stay this time I’m sure. It’s become my weekly past time for switching off and attempting to master some flexibility.
To be honest I was nervous to try yoga and didn’t think I’d be good at it. But I’ve learnt that there’s no barriers to yoga, it is for EVERY BODY – your mind reaps the benefits as well as your body. Here’s five things you should know (if you don’t already!).
THERE’S NO ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’ – Let’s think about this in terms of balance, you’re either right-handed or left-handed, so naturally you’ll balance better on one side than the other. Or if you’re like me, will struggle to balance on both sides. That’s okay, yoga isn’t about being the best at everything, it’s about listening to your body, tuning in with your mindset and doing what is right for you.
YOU REALLY CAN SWITCH OFF – How many times a day do we really put our phones down for an hour? Even if we aren’t using them, typically it’s sat on the desk or nearby right? It is pretty difficult to switch off. With a yoga class, your phone is in your bag, you’re on the mat, no distractions (unless you’re the person that forgot to put their phone onto silent…). There’s still time to think when you’re in the relaxing poses (typically my mind likes to question if I’ve locked the front door or not…but spoiler – I always do). But it’s all about being present in the class, focusing on your breathing and slowing down the pace of life – if you’re in a balance pose, you are more likely to think ‘don’t fall over’, rather than the stresses in everyday life.
PRACTICE REALLY DOES MAKE PERFECT – I LOVE recognising an improvement. It could be the tiniest improvement, like stepping into a position easier than you could before or mastering the breathing technique whilst doing flow. There’s no competition in yoga and at the end of the day, there’s hundreds of yoga postures and different practices so we can all still be beginners. Going to classes tends to push me that *bit* more with the poses but also to use the meditation time properly.
YOGA WITH ADRIENNE IS FAB – Attending more than one yoga class a week could tot up to be *quite* expensive, so Yoga with Adrienne (you can find her YouTube videos here) offers the perfect alternative. Got a bit of time in the morning? Try an energising morning sequence. YWA has really become part of my routine lately and using pockets of time to follow a quick yoga video in my room is helping combat stress.
NO-ONE IS WATCHING (OR JUDGING!) WHAT YOU ARE DOING – This is what I have struggled with the most when practising yoga. But if we break it down and really think about it, when do we have time to look around the class? The simple answer is that we don’t, especially when attempting to keep focus in a balance pose. Take that mindset and slowly you’ll convince yourself that no-one is actually looking at you. If your instructor comes over and shows you how it can be done better, that’s GREAT! You’ll know the adjustments and can improve your practise going forward.