Ten things for new yogis to stop worrying about
We all have worries, but your yoga practice shouldn’t be one of them. If you’re a new yogi, here are some ways to overcome any worries you may have about starting.
- I’m intimidated to go in to a studio because I don’t know anything about yoga. Find a studio that offers gentle or hatha yoga and start there. You don’t have to know anything to start. All yoga studios strive to make the newcomers feel welcome. We’ll teach you everything you need to know.
- I can’t touch my toes. It doesn’t matter! Having some tightness in the body is normal. We all have to start somewhere.
- I don’t want to raise my hand and admit I’m new, and I really don’t want everyone to know about my injuries. That’s okay–when I ask those questions at the beginning of class, it is my way of making everyone feel welcome, and I certainly don’t want to make you uncomfortable. If you’re new, I can probably figure that out. If you have an injury, it’s okay to keep it to yourself. I don’t need to know your medical history, but if you have something like glaucoma and you can’t do forward bends, then I’ll adjust my teaching for that.
- Look at these gorgeous bodies–what am I doing here? You are whole and perfect just the way you are. Trust me, the other people in class are not watching you or judging you. They are into their own practice. I’m watching you, to be sure you (and everyone else) are safe, but I’m not judging you either.
- I can’t keep up. Of course you can. We’re all working at our own pace. Modify, grab some props. Ask for help: My knee hurts, is there another way to do this? This is your practice.
- Everyone will notice if I modify, and I’ll be self-conscious. No, they won’t notice. If they do happen to glance over, they are probably thinking, “That’s a good idea, why didn’t I do that?” Let go of judgement and competition. Every body is different, so honor your own.
- I’m not “improving.” This isn’t a race. In yoga, you never “get there.” Instead of worrying about how you still can’t do crow pose, or you that you still need a block for triangle, ask yourself why. Why are those things important? Ask yourself this: Do I feel better after a yoga class than I did before? If the answer is yes, then that’s all you need.
- My underwear is showing! Yeah, it probably is. I’ve been teaching for 13 years, and I’ve seen it all. I don’t care, and no one else cares, either. (However, if there’s a real problem, I’ll let you know discreetly.)
- I’m embarrassed about my clothes–everyone else looks so good. Years ago I went to a yoga class in brand new expensive yoga clothes. I felt so smug. I was next to an older woman, dressed in something that looked like pajamas. The class kicked my smug butt, but that older woman moved freely and beautifully. So it doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as your clothing choices don’t get in the way.
- I want the teacher to like me. You’re a rock star, in my book, because you showed up for class. Now make it your own practice. What impresses me is when people don’t do what I say–they modify to suit their own needs.
Start a practice today!
What’s holding you back from starting a yoga practice? I hope these tips help you feel more confident about starting a practice.
Interested in learning yoga one-on-one? Email me.