New to Yoga?

?But I?m not flexible!?

 

?I can?t even touch my toes!?

 

These are some of the things I hear often from people who haven?t yet tried yoga. There is a certain stigma, particularly in the way it is portrayed on social media, that you need to be able to bend yourself in half to be able to practice yoga. I?ll let you in on little secret?

So, what exactly are these magical benefits?

  • A true connection between the body, breath and mind
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased concentration
  • Improved function of your internal organs
  • Helps relieve stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling nourished and calm
  • Pranayama (breath work) helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which improves health and vitality
  • Helps bring you closer to understanding the ?Self? (or individual consciousness)

What should I expect in a yoga class?

Perhaps you?re a little apprehensive to join a yoga class as a new student for the first time because you just don?t know what to expect. For everyone, yoga is a unique and individual experience which no two people would describe in the same way. But let me set the scene and take you through, step-by-step, what you could expect in one of my classes.

 

*The only difference between attending a class in the studio or online is really that you need to enter the studio and either roll out your mat, or one might already be placed there for out. For my online classes, of course, you will do this yourself at home.

  • You roll out your mat and are encouraged to make yourself comfortable. This could be you lying down or sitting, just taking a moment to gather yourself and set the scene for your practice.
  • We begin every class with a few minutes of seated guided meditation (sometimes lying down) where we begin to encourage our bodies to relax and just to help bring us into a calm space, away from the worries of our day.
  • There may be some pranayama (breathing exercises) and the chanting of an ?Om? – but this is always optional. I believe that everyone practices yoga for their own reasons, be it physical, mental or spiritual, and everyone should feel included.
  • We start our sequence with some warm-up movements, followed by a few rounds of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations – repetitive movements, which begin to build some heat in the body). These warm up the muscles for the more challenging standing postures.
  • Then, we flow through a creative standing sequence, some balancing postures and bring it back down to the floor for a bit of a warm-down.
  • Finally, we end the practice in one last pose called ?Savasana? (Corpse Pose). This is where we lie down on our mats and close our eyes for a few minutes and in my opinion, is the most important part of the practice. This where we challenge our body and mind to be still and where the body integrates the changes made throughout the class. This is a pose where I often find students looking around, because they are worried that they are the only ones still lying there while the class has continued – I was totally guilty of that in my first class. But don?t worry, I won?t just leave you there, and will make it very clear when it?s time to move again.
  • From here, you will gently be guided out of Savasana and back to a seated position where we end the practice.

You see, not so scary at all. And remember, it is YOUR practice – I am simply there to guide you. Ultimately, you need to listen to your body and what it is telling you it wants to do. Every body is so different, so if something doesn?t feel right, go with what does, instead of what you are being guided to do.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention; all my classes are sequenced to playlists that I have put together to provide you with some calm, fun and purpose. I really feel that music helps us to connect deeper to the practice, encourage us to keep going and really allow us to relax and let go.

Interested in joining a beginners course? Check out course availability HERE.

What do I Need to Practice Yoga?

All you really need is yourself. However, as you are learning, here are a few things that can help you to transform your practice and make it more accessible to you:

  • Yoga mat or towel
  • Yoga blocks or a thick, sturdy book
  • Yoga strap or a gown belt, long sock or scarf
  • Candles and essential oils to help create a relaxing atmosphere
  • A speaker and some music (I share my Spotify playlists for you to flow to, but feel free to use your own or nothing at all if you prefer a quiet practice)
  • An open mind

These are just suggestions, so feel free to have all these things ready, or simplify your practice with just YOU.

So What Actually is Yoga?

The word ?yoga? literally means ?union?, which essentially means, ?that which brings you into reality?. Yoga is a philosophy or way in which we live our lives. One of the things that should be maintained to follow a yogic lifestyle is a sustainable asana practice. Hang on Melissa, I?ve lost you, what the heck are asanas? I?m so glad you asked. Asanas, are quite simply the physical postures or poses that we move through, in what we call in the western world, yoga. And as you read on, when we talk about ?yoga?, we are talking about the asana practice.

 

The ultimate goal of yoga is to enable our bodies to be flexible and healthy, in order to sit for longer periods of time in spiritual practices, such as meditation. However, this is not necessarily the goal for everyone, and as you?ve read above, and with the fast changing world in which we live, a physical yoga practice has so many immediate benefits, more accessible to us than reaching enlightenment.

Still Not Convinced?

Come along for a FREE discovery class. Just get in touch to find out more details on how to join.

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