Trying something new is always a little intimidating and yoga is no exception. Most people create too many excuses why not to try yoga “I’m not flexible.” “I can’t sit still.” “I’d have no idea what to do” etc. that they hold themselves back from one of the greatest catalysts for self growth and love. And let’s be honest - N O O N E knew what they were doing when they first started yoga. You’ve got to start somewhere and where you’re at now seems like a pretty good place if you ask me.
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you’ve been inspired to start yoga too! And wow what an exciting time in your life. This is going to be something you’ll look back on for the rest of your life and be so thankful you made this choice. I hope this post helps you make a smoother transition to the wonderful practice of yoga.
Here are 5 mistakes beginners make in yoga:
Compare themselves to others and worry about what other people think. Yoga’s a practice of internal awareness. People are focusing on their breath and how the poses feel. They’re not judging or watching you. And likewise, you should be focusing on how the poses feel and not be comparing yourself to the person beside you. We all show up to the practice at different stages in our lives, with different problems and goals, and with varying experience, you shouldn’t compare yourself. Ever. In anything. And yoga is no different.
Show up as the class is starting. Showing up early is important to sign yourself in, fill out waivers, pay, set up your mat, remove your socks, shoes, and coat, turn your phone on airplane mode and use the restroom, etc. Try showing up 15 minutes before the class starts to ensure you have plenty of time and can be relaxed and not rushed. Also, some studios can be quite busy and if you show up right before class, you might not get a spot.
Rush their practice. Today, more than ever, we are overrun with inspiration. Pictures of people in advanced yoga poses are everywhere online and in social media. A lot of people are either intimidated by this or desperately want to do these same poses. What a lot of people don’t share though, is that it took them probably 5 years to be able to do that pose. Yoga requires a lot of patience… and time. If you wish to progress in your practice, be gentle with yourself. Appreciate where you’re at now. After all, anticipation is the best part of your life. Once you master a pose, it’s exciting for like 2 whole minutes and then that’s it. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
Push themselves too hard. Yoga is very different from other sports and activities. You’re not meant to go as hard as you can every time. Only when it feels right to go there. There are plenty of modifications to go with literally every yoga pose. A good teacher will offer multiple variations for each pose throughout the yoga practice. Start with the easiest variation and if it’s not challenging enough, move to the next one. And N E V E R push yourself to a point of pain or where you can’t take slow deep breaths. Remember, Y O U are your own best teacher.
Be too hard on themselves. Yoga is one of those things that looks very easy - until you do it. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s meant to be challenging, this is where all the growth and change happens. Show up every time with an open mind and with little expectation of yourself.
But most importantly, the biggest mistake you can make when starting yoga is to not start at all. I don’t know one person who regrets taking up yoga and that says a lot about the practice. I hope these tips help make it feel easier to begin your yoga practice and to enjoy the journey of being a beginner. It really is such an amazing place so cherish it. And if you ever have any questions or concerns, talk to your teacher before or after class. But most importantly, put the excuses aside and G E T S T A R T E D N O W. You’ll be so happy you did.