2016. október 16., vasárnap

Yoga - how do I begin?

The question people ask me the most when it comes to yoga is how to begin? As simple the question is, as difficult the answer is. Actually, I could give the simplest answer: just do it. But everybody gives me the stare if I say that. Truth is, every person is different. We all have different bodies, we all do different kind of things throughout the day, we have different needs... and so on. I try to find a good answer because I want to convice you all that we all need to do yoga. :)


 Even for me, it took for a long time to start doing yoga. First I read an article in a magazine and tried to follow the description of the poses, but I failed. I couldn't balance on one leg, couldn't touch my toes, not to mention how many times I didn't even understand what to do. Then I gave up for years, until I was hospitalized one day. As soon as I got home I knew I have to do something for myself. I was in a very bad condition so nothing intense could do the work, so I thought about yoga. I thought why couldn't I do some easy kind of yoga? I bookmarked tons of Youtube videos for later but never actually started to do them. I was making up excuses: I'm too tired, I don't have time, I don't feel well, I'm inflexible... Anyways, how do I begin? Just the same way as you start anything else. You just do it. You don't need anything but your will to do it. Honestly, the most difficult part is to change into your yoga clothes (trust me, anything comfy will do it), because once you changed clothes, why procrastinate?

So I changed into some comfortable pants and a T-shirt, Googled up some videos for beginners and tried to follow. I didn't even own a mat back then. At the beginning I couldn't sit with a straight back for longer than 30 seconds without shaking. I started with weekly two classes because I was so sore that I barely moved the next day. Then I moved on to 3 then 4 classes a week, I started with 20-30 minutes long videos. I could do more and more, now I do yoga every day, some days even for 2-3 hours a day, some days only 30 minutes. I always follow my bodys needs.

Here are some ideas on how to begin doing yoga.

1. Sign up to a yoga class

I know, this is the one you didn't want to hear, but I have 2 good news for you: A) There are groups for total beginners, too. B) You can sign up for a private class where you don't need to worry about the others. 
This is the best way to start safely because the teacher is always there to help and you can ask anything at anytime.

Your first yoga class might not be your best yoga class. It might take a while until you find the yoga style and teacher that fits you but it's worth it, I promise. I visited two different teachers and frankly, I hated them. One class was more like aerobics and I felt like the teacher just wanted to show off her skills, the other instructor was nice but she teached ashtanga and I was way too beginner for that. 

If you're still worried don't forget that you aren't as stiff as you think, and the others are stiff, too. And nobody cares about what you do because they are busy with their own practice. 

2. Do home practice

It might be the most important part of your yoga practice. Practice often a little (or a more) at home, too. Let's face it, some of us don't have the money or the time, or the chance to go to a yoga class but you can roll out your mat at home anytime you want to. You can practice what you did during public classes, or create your own flow or look for videos on Youtube. Youtube has it pros and cons, even I started with Youtube and it turned out I thought I was good but real life yoga classes thought me I was doing the poses wrong. Most important is to move your body in ways that feel good and connect to your breath, even if it's only for 10 minutes.

+1. Do your research!

One thing I really love in yoga is how free it is. There's no thing such "the one and only way" to do yoga. You can do everything your own way, you can always get better and find new muscles you didn't know they exist. Even if you do the same flow every damn day there are so many variations and modifications that make each practice feel new. It inspires me! There's no master degree here, where ok you know it all and we're done, there's nowhere to go from here. There's always a new level, new goals. When you learn chatarunga then you can start arm balances, then you learn crow pose and you can play with it, side crow, straighten legs, lift one leg etc. You can never get bored, just find your own style and reasearch it. 

You only need to plant the seed (read: begin to practice), patiently take care of it (practice), and you'll see if you let your seed grow without always diging it out to see if it started to grow, then you'll see the results and never get tired of the thousand colored flowers (asanas). 

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