Yoga Is Great But You Should Consider These Things First
If you are looking to jump head first into yoga, congratulations on taking the first steps! Yoga is an amazing practice that will make a positive impact on your life as long as you stick with it. As someone taking the first steps into yogi hood, you already have an idea of what yoga can do for you. Yoga has many benefits, from improved flexibility to reducing stress and anxiety. While these are wonderful, there are some other things you should know before rolling out your mat.
The following article covers things you may not know about doing yoga. Those that are practicing yoga may not tell you about these, but it’s good to be informed before hitting that mat.
See the article below and be sure to pass this along to your friends and family that are considering taking the deep dive into yoga practice. They will appreciate you for it!
I always thought it was weird that people referred to yoga as their “practice.” It sounded so pretentious. But, it makes complete sense. There’s no end game in yoga; no big “race day,” nothing specific you’re training for. It’s a constant work in progress, and you can almost always take a pose further or make it more challenging. (I also learned that calling it a “practice” alleviated a lot of stress or pressure during each class or pose. Didn’t stick Crow today? Maybe next time!)
2. Using a block, strap or other prop doesn’t make you a D-list yogi.
For the entire first year I did yoga, I would never modify my poses. I always wanted to do the “advanced” moves. To show that I didn’t need any of that stuff. But then I eventually realized that using props—like putting your bottom hand on a block instead of straining to reach the floor during Triangle Pose or Half Moon—could help deepen the pose. And it feels way better, especially on those days when everything just feels extra tight.
3. Doing a handstand as an adult is not, in fact, impossible or just for yogis on Instagram.
But being willing to fall down is a huge part of yoga. It means you really went for something—something daring and maybe outside of your comfort zone. Yoga is as much mental as it is physical, and there’s a constant element of play. I was always terrified to kick up into handstand because I would consider all of the potential bad things that could happen ranging from disrupting class to actually hurting myself. I never considered the possibility that I could press up into the pose and actually stay there. Once I shifted my vision—and gave myself permission to fall, wiggle and shake—my entire practice shifted with it. Falling out of a pose in yoga, is not failing. It’s learning.
4. It’s NOT easy.
There are many styles of yoga available, and while some are intended to be restorative, none of them are “just sit and breathe and feel the Earth.” If a pose feels easy, ask for a modification to make it more challenging. I have yet to take a yoga class where I sit with my legs crossed and watch Saved By the Bell reruns. (Actually wait, does that exist?) There are high planks, low planks, deep lunges, backbends and tricky inversions. So the next time you think about bypassing your local studio because you’re “in the mood for a hard workout,” I challenge you to go inside. Guarantee you can’t do everything. Again, TOTALLY OK.