So you’ve begun yoga and started down the rabbit hole of all there is to learn. Overwhelmed yet?
Maybe you’ve started going to classes and you hear all these terms you are unfamilliar with, or maybe you are just trying to expand your home practice and soak it all in. Either way I am so excited you are here and I am ready to share everything I’ve got.
I remember being a beginner yogi, not even really calling myself a yogi yet, and wondering if there would ever be a day I’d successfully touch my toes, or do a cool back bend. I was so excited to one day get there that all the other things there is to know came with so much time and learning through experience. I believe learning through and with your body and self is the most magical part.
However, let’s cover the ground basics so you can grow your flow and start to become the yogi you aspire to be!
I’m here to answer all of your FAQ’s.
No more wondering… “what the hell am I doing this for?”.
1.WHAT CAN I DO IF I’M NOT FLEXIBLE?
No problem! This is such a common statement and question I hear. I feel it is almost an excuse because, well yogi, yoga doesn’t fucking care. Neither does your body and neither should you. Yoga is all about experiencing so that you can feel more yourself.
Let your body feel the little movements, breath, and amazing stretches. Watch your body transform and feel great everyday! While others are complaining their feet hurt you’ll know why yours do not anymore. You will thank yourself later.
Then that one day will come and you’ll look back at your progress amazed at how far you’ve come. Stop looking at the things you can’t do and adjust to look at the possibilities. Flexibility comes with time and it doesn’t just show up in the physical body either.
As for starting out with your practice. Give yourself permission to cut the poses in half. Be okay with the fact you might need to take a child’s pose and rest. Honor exactly where you are each time you hit your mat. Maybe even take that advice off the mat.
Play with your practice and get more in tune with yourself. Your practice will develop and unfold with time. I promise.
2. HOW DO I PRACTICE AT HOME?
First off, always make sure to warm up the spine first. (i.e. cat/cow.) This will help your entire body warm up and get ready for your practice.
I love to close my eyes. This will put your mind to rest and your creativity will start to spark. As I said before, play around with your practice. Do what feels good, let your body lead the way, and tell the ego it doesn’t need to be fabulous today. You can just start with learning different poses and eventually you’ll notice you gravitate towards certain ones that flow together.
You can also go to some classes and repeat at home. It will probably evolve in to your own later.
Wait! Check out all my yoga tutorials and poses I’ve created for you to flourish on the mat at home. I am a big advocate for yoga being accessible for everyone.
3. HOW DO I HAVE MORE BALANCE?
Balance is sort of friends with flexibility, it just takes time for them both to develop in your practice. However, allowing yourself to fall gives your body more, let’s say “knowlege” to see where your point of no return lies. So if you keep falling because you’re lacking breath control, your body will tell your mind what’s going on. I mean it’s not quite that literal, but you see what I mean?
Did I loose you yet?
Play around with your practice to get to know your body a little. Hmm, I feel like I’ve heard that before.
One more tip! Pick a spot that doesn’t move and keep your eyes there. Focus. (P.S. this is called Drischti).
Want more in depth yoga love? Check out my poses and tips for balancing on your mat!
4. WHAT IS THIS “OM” THING AND WHY DO I DO IT?OM= Is a seed sound. Where life began. It pulls energy in. It gives out calming vibrations.
I do this sound when my daughter is having a rough day and I can tell she need to have some comfort. It calms her 1 year old craziness right down. It is a powerful sound that I don’t think I really understood why we did it until years later.
How to OM? ‘A’ open mouth pull sound in. ‘V’ suspend sound ‘M’ hold and end.
5. WHAT IS YOGA ALL ABOUT?
Yoga means, Yoke or Union. The result is to reach for an ultimate goal…Union of self. Also known as Samadhi, but that is a deeper topic for a different day.
You can break yoga down into three parts, physical, mental, and spiritual. If you want to learn more about how to break them down click here. I break it down a little more for you!
6. WHY IS BREATH SO IMPORTANT?
I know you hear it so much. Seriously, this is so so so important! There will come a day you utalize your breath and understand the importance. You’ll wonder why you went all your life not mindfully breathing. Learning to control your breath will be one of the most powerful tools yoga will ever teach you. Maybe you’ll fall in love with the air inside.
It can also help your feel more spiritual (better with your emotions and feelings). I love how uplifted and connected it makes me feel. Your breath has a direct relationship with the mind. It will teach you how to calm down, break tension, energize, wake up, etc.
Breath brings oxygen to muscles. (Oh yeah I remember that now).
Crazy terms you maybe don’t have a clue what they mean. Here ya go!
Dhyasana= Meditation pose.
Drishti= Focused gaze.
Namaste= To bow.
Sanskrit= Ancient language of Yoga.
Savasana= Final pose. (aka…corpse pose.)
MY FINAL TIP WITH SOME LOVE…
Never be afraid to ask questions. After all, it’s just expanding what you already know.
Be bold with yourself. Don’t hold back. Smile in poses that have a lot of sensation. Oh yeah, breath into sensation. Cutting corners (that aren’t necessary) aren’t doing you any good. Make mistakes. Fall, and fall hard. Laugh it off. Appreciate a job well done. Show gratitude for the opportunity, of giving self love. Yoga is a journey for a reason and a beautiful one at that.
You are so so worth it. I promise! You can be a yogi, you’ve got this!