If you are new to yoga, congratulations!

You’ve made your first big step as a yogi. Choosing to be on your mat is extremely empowering. Starting out on this path into the world of yoga can be exciting but also a little intimidating. You may have a ton of questions like “what classes should I take? How do I do this pose? Am I in the right place?” We’ll break down the important parts of a yoga practice so you’ll know what to expect even if you’re new to yoga.

Be patient

This tip is key. Have you ever heard someone say “I don’t like yoga” but they’ve only tried yoga once?  Can you imagine someone trying ice cream for the first time and deciding they don’t like ALL ice cream, how ridiculous would that be? Let’s make this extremely clear off the bat: there IS a yoga for everyone. It’s having the patience to find the practice that’s right for you. There can be huge differences from class-to-class. If you’re new to yoga it’s a good plan to get a feel for the different styles of yoga by trying different yoga classes. Hatha is a great place to start then build your practice from there based on your needs. Be sure to check out different teachers as well since everyone has their own unique flavor when it comes to teaching.

Yoga is more than just the poses

You may be coming to yoga to get stronger or more flexible and that’s awesome but yoga is so much more than just the poses. It’s a way to connect you to yourself and the world around you. For each tree pose that you practice you embody the rooted, grounded qualities of a tall cedar. Every time you practice ujayyi it’s like listening to the sound of the ocean within a shell. Your practice is a reminder of your connection to the universe while helping you discover more about yourself. Developing this awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and reactions will help you create more resilience with an open mind and heart.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Not sure where to place your hands, what to do with your feet, or what to do with your gaze? Feel free to ask your teacher! Your yoga teacher will gladly offer his or her perspective especially if you’re new to yoga. Keep in mind each teacher has a different way of offering yoga so you might get different answers. Feel free to experiment and play with what feels right to you. This is part of discovering what defines YOUR practice.

Honor your body

Feel free to take different options and discover ways to honor your body. If you feel any sharp pain, tingling, numbness, or stress in any joint this is your signal to ease out of that pose or find an appropriate variation. The old saying “no-pain-no-gain” is definitely not the mantra in yoga. There can be lots of ways to make any pose accessible by using props or pose variations. A blanket under your back knee can be the soft cushion you need for a low lunge. Feel wrist pain in downdog? Try lowering onto forearms and practicing dolphin pose instead. Your yoga teacher will give you some options, but feel free to experiment with what feels best.

If you are new to yoga, welcome to the best commitment you’ll make in your life. Enjoy the journey!

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