You all win! If you take this crucial step to appear in a yoga class and try to breathe consciously and move your body consciously, you will have benefits, even if you “fall out” of balance or confuse your right and left legs.
Falling is an important part of the learning process. The practice of yoga is often frustrating, just like life. Look at it as an opportunity to learn how to relax in situations that frustrate you. If the positions were always easy, we would never learn anything.
Don’t reduce yoga to just positions. It is much more important, and also more interesting, to observe how your mind reacts while performing a yoga position, how you breathe, and how energetically you feel in a certain position. That way, you will gain insight into who you are, discover your weaknesses and strengths, and what you can do to change that.
Don’t worry about how you look in a position. The appearance of the position varies from person to person. In the position, pay attention to the sensations you feel in the body and whether the breath flows unhindered. Explore your feelings, your potentials, and your limits while in a position and keep in mind that yoga is a process. Trust your body and indulge in the process.
Trust your feelings and intuition. Some things you will have to understand and comprehend yourself over time, regardless of the instructor’s expertise and his intentions. Yoga is an individual practice and is different for everyone. Pay attention to the signals your body sends you and follow them as a map to discover what is best and most useful for you at the moment.
Don’t be discouraged if the instructor approaches you to position you. The so-called adjustment is common in many styles of yoga, of course with your consent, and aims to help you perform the position safely, easily, and correctly, or to help you deepen it. Keep in mind that you have a responsibility but also an obligation to yourself and your body to always say if you do not want to be rigged or if the rigging is too “strong” or too deep and uncomfortable for you at a given time. Be open and direct with the instructor.
Yoga is done barefoot. At the beginning of the class, if you are cold because your body has not yet warmed up, you can wear socks but expect the instructor to advise you at some point that it is better to take them off. Certain positions with footrests are performed safely and best without socks, so that you do not slip and so that you can use the muscles of the feet to stabilize and keep you in position. You can always buy special socks with rubber if you have a problem with being barefoot.
It is best not to exercise on a full stomach. Also, sometimes an hour can be quite intense and physically demanding, so it would not be good to be hungry. Eat something light, banana, nuts, or yogurt no more than an hour before class. It takes 4 hours from a large meal so that digestion does not interfere with you and the rule of discomfort during exercise.
As a beginner in yoga, it will be difficult for you to distinguish pain from discomfort. The pain is sharp and stabbing and makes you almost reflexively leave the position. You should not feel pain in any position. Discomfort and discomfort is an irritating feeling that can subside or diminish after a long stay in position, especially if you breathe consciously “through that feeling.” Remember – you are the best teacher for yourself! No one can know your body better than you do. If something seems wrong to you, it probably isn’t. Listen to yourself.
Many yoga classes begin with the chanting of the “Om” mantra. But that doesn’t mean you have to say it too. Also, keep in mind that it is a symbolic act in which as a group in class we energetically connect and an expression of respect for the tradition from which yoga originated. At the end of the class, teachers usually fold their palms in front of their chests, bow, and say “namaste.” A rough translation of that word would be “the light in me bows to the light in you.”
Breathe! The most important thing is to learn how to connect with the breath. In the beginning, it will be a challenge for you and you will be confused at times and you will probably inhale when the instructor says that you should inhale and vice versa. But just keep breathing. Practice and everything will come.
Put your ego to sleep! Yoga is not a competition, so leave self-criticism and comparison together with the shoes in front of the hall door. Do not avoid using blocks, belts, pillows, etc. helped just because you think it betrays you that you are a beginner. All these things allow you to be more comfortable in the position and to be better positioned and adjusted, thus speeding up the progression process (even if you are a more experienced exerciser). Also, if you need a break at any time or want to skip a position because you don’t understand it or it is physically too strenuous, listen to yourself, rest or just take a position where you can focus on breathing. One of the most important principles of yoga is “ahimsa” (non-violence, non-injury). Be gentle and considerate of yourself.
Keep an open mind and get rid of expectations and prejudices. Stay forever a beginner in yoga. This will make you always stay awake, present, and aware and stay connected with yourself throughout the process of yoga practice, in order to make the right and good decisions during exercise and consequently in life. Remember that you can never be “bad” in yoga because there will always be someone who is stronger or more flexible than us, but the attitude we have during yoga practice is the key to progress.
Patience, openness, dedication, and perseverance to appear on your mat every time, respecting your limits and connecting with the breath and the feeling of the body and the present moment, are more important than whether and how you do a position. Enjoy one new experience without letting the process of learning and learning about yoga frustrate you.