Letter to a Beginning Student

by Stacey

Dear Absolute Beginner,

You’ve finally taken that first step, deciding to try yoga. Maybe you’re doing it because your chiropractor told you it would be good for your back. Maybe you’re doing it because your co-worker told you how it’s helped her manage stress. Maybe you’re doing it because it’s a trendy thing to do these days. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re willing to take a risk and try something new.

So now what? Here are a few tips that might help you feel more at ease in your first few classes-

Start Slow. When you learned how to ride a bike, you (hopefully) didn’t start out by going down the steepest hill first. A slower-paced class will give you the opportunity to become familiar with some of the postures and terms that are often used in yoga. You’ll also have more time to get comfortable in the poses in order to figure out what works for you.

Don’t Look, Ethyl! While it’s perfectly fine to glance around the room at others for examples of variations in the postures, try not to compare yourself to them. The practice of yoga is not about demonstrating the perfect pose, it’s about finding a way to be comfortable in the pose – which will look different for everybody.

Give Yourself Props. Speaking of comfort, blankets, blocks, and straps can go a long way toward helping you enjoy your experience in class. More than just cushioning, props can act as an extension of your hand or foot, allowing you to achieve greater stretch in a supported manner.

When All Else Fails, Breathe. Attention to the breath is the foundation of any yoga practice. If you find your mind wandering during class, try focusing on your breath. And pausing in a posture to breathe and enjoy the moment is always encouraged.

Yoga is a wonderful way to discover new things about yourself and how you move through the world. It can change the shape of your body and the state of your mind. Yoga is just one of those things that can help you feel better. So try a few classes and see what happens next. You might be surprised.

Wishing you much joy and happiness on and off the mat-

Much Love,

stacey.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Christine August 24, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I love this!

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