New to Yoga? There’s nothing to be worried about. While it may seem like many yogis in class were born awesome, remember, everyone was a beginner once. Here are our tips about how to overcome yoga’s most common fears so you can really begin embracing and enjoying your practice:
My body doesn’t bend that way!
No problem! While some people enter their first yoga class with innate flexibility, most people are tight and can really benefit from yoga’s focus on stretching those muscles. In Yoga Basics classes, you’ll learn modifications that you can use if your body isn’t quite ready for the deep stretches. In Slow Flow classes, you’ll utilize props like blocks and blankets to help your body ease into flexibility. Rome wasn’t built in a day; so remember to be patient and give your body time to really enjoy the benefits as well as the journey.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Ask your instructor about modifications for poses that don’t feel quite right for your body. For every pose, an adjustment or a prop is available to help you build a strong foundation.
Yoga’s too hard! What if I pass out?
Feeling a little overwhelmed in your first few yoga classes is extremely normal and here are a few reasons why:
- You may not be breathing correctly,
- You may not be hydrated, or
- Your body is just not used to the movements yet.
These are just some challenges every yogi has experienced. Just like many yogis have a favorite and least favorite pose, every human comes onto the mat with different strengths. This is why modifications, props and Child’s Pose exist. Taking breaks during class in child’s pose are not a sign that you’re weak, they are actually encouraged! So, don’t worry about it, just listen to your body and in no time you’ll forget you even worried about passing out.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Build a strong foundation. It’s a marathon not a race. The best way to really dig into poses and learn how to work the yoga flow into your muscle memory is by attending workshops.
How can I breathe in that heat?
Heat is a major component of Baptiste and Bikram style yoga classes and Chagrin Yoga’s studio was specifically designed with a flooring, sound and heating system that maximizes concentration, flexibility, movement and breathing. Hot Vinyasa (flow) and Bikram (hot yoga) are generally practiced in moist and heavy air. If the heat freaks you out at first, come to class a bit early and allow your body to, “warm up” with the room. Always remember your water and listen to your body – if the heat becomes too much, rest in child’s pose for a few minutes.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: If heat isn’t your thing, there are a variety of other classes that aren’t so intense. Try slow flow, yin or gentle rejuvenative options instead.
What if I wipe out?
We have all fallen in poses before and it always makes us stronger. Falling means you took a risk, and sometimes risks need to be taken in order to move your practice to the next level. Don’t judge yourself, because here at Chagrin Yoga, no one will judge you either. What’s even better? We have a padded floor to soften the blow. Pull yourself back together and get back into that pose.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Carl, above, is in standing hand-foot pose. Focusing your eyes on an object in the room or on the wall (in sanskrit, this is called, “Drishdi), helps prevent falling in balance poses like this one, tree, eagle, airplane and Warrior 3.
Adho Mukha Sv- WHATA?
Some new students are surprised when instructors begin speaking in sanskrit, the classical language in India where Yoga was invented. Basics and Slow-Flow instructors will always tell you both the traditional name of each pose and also it’s English translation. You’ll notice that sanskrit is used in more advanced classes. Going to basics classes and especially workshops really helps student become familiar with sanskrit. Before you know it, it will become the second language you’ve always wanted to learn! It’s amazing how quickly you’ll be able to recognize the names of your favorite poses.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Can’t remember the meaning of a word? Ask your instructor after class!
But only women do yoga.
Some of the strongest guys we know are right here in our studio. People of all genders, ages, shapes and sizes come together at Chagrin Yoga and that’s really what makes us a dynamic family. Celebrities like Jared Leto and Adam Levine embrace the practice of Yoga.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Guys tend to have tight shoulders, chests and hips. Yoga poses like eagle will help lengthen muscles and strengthen joints, offering a more holistic fitness regimen for men.
You might be going to yoga for the first time, but just remember this: everyone was a beginner once. When you begin your yoga journey always remember:
- Ask your instructors for help,
- Always begin with the basics, and
- Attend workshops as often as possible to build a strong foundation.