There are two types of people in the world: Those who do yoga, and those who have yet to start. Whether you’ve already tried it or are open to the possibility of taking your first class, please consider this a roadmap toward unlocking the fun of a new yoga practice.
Don’t stop breathing. This mantra, best sung to the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is an extremely important one to remember. Breath is the only constant we have between birth and death. Don’t take it for granted. In fact, use your yoga practice as a reason to celebrate it. If the body is the engine, breath is the fuel that keeps it running.
Pace yourself. Ninety minutes of movement in a hot room is hard enough when you do it on the regular. Those first few months can be intense. Accurate self-assessment is key. If you start too fast and hit a wall, there’s often no coming back. Learn child's pose first and hang out there as often as necessary.
Avoid competition. It’s very easy to judge yourself when starting out in yoga. Everybody else is sweating less, doing more, and breathing like a champion while you do anything but. That’s OD. Yoga is not a race, there is no finish line. Give yourself time, and eventually you’ll get where you’re supposed to be.
Stop fidgeting! Perhaps it would be better to ask why you feel the need to fidget. You’ll be asked to hold certain postures for an extended period of time, during which your body might be screaming “WHY?!” at your mind. There might be a piece of lint on your mat or a string hanging off of your pant leg. Resist the urge to let the mind wander. It won’t be easy, but it does get easier with time. Take a deep breath and focus, grasshopper.
Keep trying. People often try one class and decide, “Nope! Yoga is clearly not for me.” Actually, that class clearly wasn’t for you. What did you like? What didn’t work for you? You already made the decision to give yoga a try, so take classes from as many teachers as you can until you find the one the speaks best to you.
Some people like chanting. Some like it hot. Yoga’s got something for every body. With a little time and dedication, you’ll be well on your way to building a rewarding practice.