I’m so pumped to be bringing you another fabulous guest post today! I found Paige’s blog fairly recently and fell in love right away. Her writing is so sweet and real that I feel like I connect with every post. Plus, she has an adorable dog who makes frequent appearances. Paige also happens to be a rockstar yogi, so I asked if she would be willing to share some tips for people who are curious about yoga or just recently started. But whether you are a beginner or not, I have a feeling it will hit home for you (it did for me).
Hi guys!! I’m Paige from Fit Not Fad, and I’m super excited to be here writing a guest post for Kim 🙂 When Kim contacted me about writing a guest post, I was super excited but unsure what to cover. Then she mentioned a guide for people wanting to start yoga and I was all over it!
My yoga journey began over three months ago and it has honestly been the best decision I have ever made in terms of my physical, mental, and emotional health. I jumped right in, and although now I am tending to a leg injury, am practicing almost daily as much as my body will allow. Yoga has so many benefits, both inside and out! It can definitely be intimidating though, and that’s what I want to talk about today.
When I first started yoga, I literally didn’t know where to start. I decided to attend a beginner’s class and try to figure out my way from there. Once I began practicing, I got a lot of advice from other bloggers, Sweat Pink sisters, and friends who had practiced or who were yoga instructors. Everyone has been so supportive and helpful, but there are a few tips that I think every beginning yogi should know.
1) Take a class
When I first even though about trying out yoga, the thought of going to a class terrified me. I’m not exaggerating. I got nauseous and nervous and started to sweat. What if I sucked at every pose? What if I sweat all over the place? What if I kick the person next to me? I basically figured that since I had no idea what I was doing every person in the room would be staring at me and judging me. So I pinned a yoga sequence on Pinterest and thought I would just practice on my own at home. That didn’t really work out for me that well. I didn’t know what I was doing! I even set my camera on fast-take so that I could see what my poses looked like, and was horrified at my posture. My first and biggest piece of advice is to take a class! Honestly, no one cares about anyone else in class, and it is so helpful to have an instructor there to adjust you and put you in the right place, so when you do decide to practice at home, you have an idea of what each pose or sequence should feel and look like. And for the record, I have definitely sucked at poses in class, sweat all over my mat and kicked a girl next to me. No one cared 🙂
2) Work at your level
When you do take a class, understand that as a beginner, no one is pointing a video camera at you expecting you to nail a forearm stand at the first second. Yoga is all about feeling your body in the moment and pushing yourself to the best of you ability, even if all you can give that day is savasana. It’s about being comfortable in your body, loving yourself, and releasing all tension, stress, and outside issues to focus on yourself. You can’t be comfortable if you’re looking at the person next to you trying to copy their every advanced move. Drop pride and shame at the door when you step on the mat. There is no judgment in yoga. There is only support, encouragement, and appreciation. Also, pushing yourself past your physical limitations could likely result in injury, which is like, the worst.
3) Wear comfortable clothing, whether you’re at home or at a studio
What you wear during yoga can make a huge difference when it comes to comfort. I usually go with legging pants/capris and a tank top- nothing too loose. Again, this is about centering yourself and flowing in the moment, centering your mind and body, and that’s really hard to do if you’re spending every 30 seconds pulling your pants up or adjusting your shirt.
4) Focus on your breathing
I feel like I sort of scoffed at this in the beginning, but as I continue to practice, I have realized how important breathing is during yoga. Your breathing leads your movement. It’s most commonly advised to breath in and out through your nose. Structured and focused breathing helps your concentration, and also helps your flow smoothly between transitions.
5) Don’t give up too fast
This is one tip that continues to be a daily struggle for me, although I’m in no hurry to completely give up. Yoga takes time. Yoga can be challenging because it is not something that you will pick up overnight, or nail every single move on the first try, or even nail every single move every time. Your flexibility and yoga abilities grow as you grow in your practice. You reap the benefits over an extended period of time, not overnight. Practice and dedication is key to advancing your practice. It’s important not to get discouraged if it takes you awhile to pick up on a certain pose. Capability will come, as long as you commit.
I think that these five tips are perfect for a newbie yogi! Just remember, yoga is about you, your mind, and your mat. That’s it. You bring what you can, you get out of it what you put into it. Yoga can definitely be intimidating in the beginning, but really, once you make the leap you will be so happy you did. Yoga can change you from the inside out, and really make you a happier, fitter, more flexible person 🙂 Happy posing!
Thanks so much Paige! I love this guide so much, and there are so many great lessons in here whether you are a beginner or not. I know it included some things I really needed to hear, like this “Drop pride and shame at the door,” which I should probably have tattooed down my forearm.
Questions: If you’re a beginner or have never done yoga, did this help you feel less intimidated? Long-time yogis, what did you think? Any tips you would add? Anyone up for matching forearm tattoos 🙂