03 Mar The New Yogi
Beginning. We’ve all been a beginner at some stage of our lives. It’s the only place to start. New activities and hobbies can seem daunting before we begin, especially if some sort of physical skill or aptitude appears to be required. This intimidation can be a barrier to the actual “beginning” of our journey, unless we learn to let go and embrace the unknown. Such apprehension is a common feeling among “new yogis”; those who are about to embark on a physical and mental voyage on their mats.
Here are our most important tips for beginner yogi’s-
Let go of expectations
Your yoga journey will be completely unique to you. Don’t show up to your first class with an expectations- just arrive with an open heart and an open mind to whatever the class may hold. Don’t expect all poses to look the same way- your downward dog might look a lot different to the person next to yours, and may look different tomorrow or the next day. Let go of expectations of what your practice should be, and your heart will open to the joy that yoga brings.
Always return to the breath
The breath is one of the most important elements of yoga practice, as unassuming as it may seem. Focusing on the breath helps quiet the mind and truly concentrate on the body whilst practicing yoga. New yogi’s often lose track of the breath, either forgetting to breathe or forgetting to focus on it properly. Always go back to the breath. If you find your mind wandering, go back to the breath. Each inhale and exhale can energise, relax, and help you develop a deep mind-body connection, with benefits felt long after leaving the mat.
Try different yoga styles
When you begin practicing yoga you might be inclined toward less exertive, more hatha or yin styles. Don’t think that just because you’re a beginner, you should be limited to a certain type of practice. Try different class types. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there for a vinyasa flow it might end up being your favourite style In addition to Vinyasa Flow and YIN classes, WOY also offers Yoga Tune-Up (aimed toward helping to heal and restore injured bodies) and Yoga Fundementals (perfect for beginners aiming to learn and grow their practice).
We all have “off” days, and sometimes find it hard to leave these feelings behind when we step on the mat. Work pressures, personal lives and families can be stressors in our lives, but don’t confuse external forces with a bad session. Come back tomorrow. Come back next week. One bad experience (whether it be a noisy mind or a physical slip) shouldn’t be a reason not to return- eventually your practice will be a place you can leave the outside world behind and continue to grow.
Don’t skip Savasana
Despite being at the end of practice, Savasana is truly the centrepiece of yoga practice. Meditation and quieting of the mind at the end of practice has extraordinary benefits- reducing stress, fatigue and improving mental clarity. Beginners often find it difficult to quiet a noisy mind and truly enjoy the relaxation benefits of Savasana but it gets easier- soon it will be one of your favourite parts of your practice.
Find a yogi community
Although yoga is an individual practice, don’t underestimate the importance of surrounding yourself with a loving yogi community. The encouragement and challenges that other like minded people can offer you will support you both on and off of the mat.