We were all new students once. I can remember when I first started practicing yoga. I was scared to go to a yoga studio, where I assumed everyone was an expert. As the new guy who didn’t know anything, I thought I would be laughed at or, at the very least, stared at.
When I finally got the courage and I went to my first class in a studio, it was just the opposite of what I had expected. Class was fun, challenging, and no one made me feel stupid for being new. It turns out that yogis are some of the least judgmental and most welcoming people I have ever met. We all remember when we were brand new to yoga, too.
BUT I’M NOT FLEXIBLE ENOUGH!
But enough about me. This is about you.
You are either brand new to yoga, or you have done a few classes but haven’t yet really learned how to do many of the poses. You might be, like I was, nervous about walking into a yoga studio without having any idea what you’re doing.
Or, you might have lots of excuses for not trying yoga. You don’t think you’re flexible enough. You can’t touch your toes. You don’t know anything about yoga. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you had a good stretch! You’re not sure if you could handle that much “relaxing”.
Want to know a secret? Those are ALL reasons you should start practicing yoga.
To help get you over your excuses and your nerves and get started, I created my ‘Intro to Yoga – 101′ class. If you’re brand new to yoga, this class is specifically for you. If you already know a bit, but are still a little confused about the basics, you’ll also get a lot out of this class.
During the 60-minute class, I will talk you through the basics, and you can practice along with me from the comfort of your own home. No one will be watching you, apart from me (if you choose to turn your webcam on!), so there’s no pressure to look like you know what you’re doing.
That’s one of the nice features on Yogaia. The other students can’t see you and you can’t see them. It’s almost like a private session between me and you. This is your practice, for you.
Don’t worry if you’re not in the best shape of your life; I will offer you modifications so that you can do the poses to the best of your ability. If you can’t touch your toes, don’t worry; I will teach you how to bring the ground closer to you.
WHAT WILL THE CLASS BE LIKE?
We will try out some of the more common poses, focusing on foundation (what your hands and feet do), modifications (different options for different body types), and safety (preventing injuries to wrists, knees etc).
I recommend you turn your webcam on for this class so I can see you and offer you adjustments. It’s not so I can see if you’re doing it “right”, but so I can help you do the poses safely while getting the full benefit from them.
Another great thing about Yogaia is that you can do the same class over and over again. You could set aside one hour, three days each week, for the next month and come back to this class again and again, all from the safety/privacy of your home. There is no reason to rush on to “harder” classes before you’ve got the basics down. I promise, you will find this one challenging enough when you’re just starting out.
Practice it regularly until the poses start to feel easy.
Once you feel like adding in a new challenge, there are lots of other classes on Yogaia to keep your practice interesting and help you build more knowledge and skills. My Intro to Surya Namaskar A & Surya Namaskar B classes (you may know these as Sun Salutations) are a good next step.
The Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskars) are two short series of linked poses that we often do as warm-ups at the beginning of yoga class. Practice these regularly and before you know it you’ll have a strong foundation to a yoga practice, and you’ll be ready to try some Level 1 Hatha yoga classes on Yogaia.
THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT
P.S. You don’t need to wear any fancy yoga clothes and you don’t need an expensive yoga mat. Wear whatever loose fitting clothes you are comfortable in. Usually, students wear a t-shirt and shorts or workout tights. Be prepared to practice barefoot – sliding around in socks will make the whole thing a whole lot harder on you. If you have a yoga mat, great. If not, you don’t need one to practice, but they do help you avoid sliding around. You can pick up an inexpensive mat at your local department store or sports store. And that’s it. See you soon!
Stephen Ewashkiw (RYT 500, ERYT 200) is a travelling yogi and adventurer. He leads inspiring, exciting, sweaty, and educational Adventure Yoga workshops around the world, where he helps students find the clarity and courage to live their own adventures. Adventure Yoga classes are alignment-infused, active, intelligently sequenced, instructional classes. Find out more at: www.myfiveacres.com/yoga
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