How to Start Doing Yoga – An Easy Guide
Our teacher, Paul, likes a quote from Aristotle: “Well begun is half done.” We generally know that starting something is always the hardest part of the task. We tend to avoid things that we perceive as being very difficult or that we are unsure how to do. But once we begin, we usually see that even the most challenging things are manageable, that the anxiety and negativity caused by the avoidance are far worse than whatever it is we are avoiding.
Many people are interested in trying yoga, they feel it will be good for them. But they think, “How do I start doing yoga? And where do I start?” Here are a few steps to help people begin.
- Be clear on why you want to practice yoga. If your intention is clear, you are more likely to find what it is you are looking for, and you are more likely to maintain a practice.
- Be clear on what you want to practice, and then find a studio that offers these classes. A big deterrent for people is not knowing which classes to take, where to start. Do you want to focus on breathing and meditation or are you looking for something more active? Do you want a dynamic class where the poses are linked by movement, or would you prefer a class where you are holding the postures for a long time? Read up on the different styles of yoga and get clear on what would suit you best.
- Be clear on the environment you are seeking. This can help narrow down your search for classes. Maybe you would prefer to start on your own, in the privacy of your own home. In which case, there are online classes and DVDs available. Sometimes a gym setting is a little less intimidating for newbies, while others might prefer a quieter yoga studio setting. Again, if you know what you are looking for, it is easier to find a suitable class and location.
- Find a class appropriate for your level. Since much of what is passed down and shared are the asana and vinyasa (the postures and movement), which are often physically quite challenging, you want to find a class that is appropriate for you. Look for a beginners’ class or an all levels class. Often people get intimidated to start if they are new, but if the class is welcoming to all levels or specifically geared towards beginners it is a little less scary.
- If you have a pre-existing condition, email or call the studios and see if they have a teacher qualified to work with you. Make sure you are safe in the class and that there is someone to help you.
- Swallow your pride! Everyone has to start sometime, and if you think people are watching you, most likely they are not. More than likely they are completely understanding and even relate to your experience. Allow the class to be a time to go in. If the whole practice is leading us to meditation, it should have an internalizing effect. Find a place, a class and an instructor, that encourages that meditative aspect of the practice.
- Enjoy it! Search around, try different things, and find something you like. If you like it, if it makes you feel positive and peaceful, then you are more likely to keep it up.
Good luck!See more posts