By Susan Perry-Livett
Yoga is all about discovering that much-required awareness of your body in both space and time. When you are first staring out, it can seems quite awkward and thanks ok, you just need to create space for learning and to be patient with yourself as you discover yoga. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are first staring out in yoga:
Listen to Your Body
A little challenge can be good at times, but yoga is not about pushing yourself. Advancement in asana comes slowly, little by little. Yoga is a practice, not a perfection. Also if you experience a sharp pain while in a pose, stop and tell your teacher about it. Yoga is not supposed to be painful. Mild pleasant pain when stretching is ok, shooting pain is not ok. Don’t push yourself too hard, take it slow, and you won’t injure yourself.
Modifying Your Pose
Sometimes we think that the way the asana looks in the photo is the only right way to do it. But it’s important to remember that each pose has several variations. There are ways to deepen the pose and to make it less challenging. A good teacher will offer a few variations of the same asana. Another great way to personalize your practice, especially if you are first staring out, is private yoga classes. The benefits of private yoga classes is that is allows the student the ability to focus on personal interests, concerns or goals.
Getting into a regular routine will quickly improve your practice. Even if you have just 20 minutes for yoga, it can be enough to unwind after work or to start the day. Short but regular yoga sessions can help you build a regular yoga habit.
No One is Watching
Don’t be too concerned about what others think when you join a yoga class. Everyone is too concerned about themselves. There is so much in a yoga class to concentrate on – the pose, the breath, your alignment, quieting the mind and so much more. So just focus on yourself and enjoy your practice!
So now you’re ready to go out there and embrace your first yoga class with an open mind and open heart!
Susan Perry-Livett is Yoga Alliance certified with a RYT 200 hour accreditation. Susan teaches Vinyasa and Yin yoga as well as Pilates, with an emphasis on balancing the physical, mental and emotional state through guided practice. Susan is known for her authentic, non-judgmental teaching style and compassion-centred philosophy. She weaves thought-provoking meditations throughout her classes and encourages growth of the physical and spiritual self.