Forget the whole “New Year, New You” mentality, anytime is the perfect time to try something new. Perhaps you’ve been noticing yoga from afar, but have no idea how to get into it. Or maybe you’ve dabbled in the past, but it’s never quite stuck. Whatever your reason, the below tips are the perfect way to form a yoga practice this year!
Find a class or an online tutorial
When first starting, it can be really helpful being able to visually see someone else performing the postures to help familiarize you with them.
At a class, you have the benefit of a teacher who can see what you’re doing and is available to offer you tips and personal alignment cues to help you find your way. And don’t be afraid to ask questions or provide honest feedback at the end…if you’re not understanding something let your teacher know and they will be happy to provide more guidance or explain it in a different way.
Watching online you lack the personal element, but it can be a great way to build confidence and you have the benefit of being able to rewind and watch what the teacher is doing as many times as you like.
Learn the basics
Whilst it is likely no two teachers will teach the exact same class, there are definitely common elements that will come up. Familiarising yourself with these key postures can help you to feel more confident. I will be including links to tutorials on these over the next few days.
Other great ways to learn the basics:
- watch online yoga tutorials or classes
- find a beginners course where the teacher will spend time going through key postures in detail
- check out peoples do/don’t tips on instagram
Try different styles
Many people say they don’t like yoga, but it could just be they haven’t found the right style for them. Or sometimes, a teacher may not be a good fit for you, and that’s perfectly fine. I have teachers that really resonate well with me and I love their language, sequencing and overall energy, but sometimes I go to classes which I know are a style I usually like, but for whatever reason, the teaching style doesn’t work for me.
Remember, teachers are only human and will never be able to please everyone. I far prefer to learn from someone who teaches authentically and stays true to themselves, rather than feeling that someone has moulded themselves to fit a specific audience.
Invest in a cheap mat, yoga blocks and a strap
Playing with postures alone at home is a great way to find familiarity, and remove any self consciousness about playing around until you find a version that works for you.
Props like blocks and straps are in no way cheating, they are a great way to make postures accessible while working on your mobility. I love seeing students use props as it means they have respect for their body and are doing what is right for them.
Stop comparing yourself to the teacher/your neighbour/strangers on the internet
No two bodies are the same – what may come easily to one person may feel impossible to another. Whilst there are undoubtedly alignment cues to take note of for each posture, far more important than how the pose looks is how it feels to you. Are you getting a good stretch, or do you feel like you’re being ripped apart (never the aim!!).
A specific posture could look completely different when performed by two different people, it doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong, chances are they are both doing the posture that is perfectly right for their body today.