Have you started to practice yoga?
Have you started to practice yoga?
It had always been one of your purposes for the beginning of the year, but you had never made it happen: "I want to start doing yoga ... I'm going to start doing yoga ..." And finally this year has been the definitive one: you have started practicing yoga. Right now you are in that moment in which you don´t know if you like it, if you don´t like it, if it is for you, if you prefer something else ... Well ... keep on reading. This may be of interest to you.
When I started doing yoga some time ago, I was the first one who thought that it was not for me. I already commented it on one of my blog articles 'My experience with yoga'. I also told many of my friends and their responses ranged from a "you're not going to last a month ..." to "... who knows. Maybe you like it...” And you see. Here I am and of course, I'm still here.
Well, let's go back to you. You have already started and it seems that you want to continue. The next thing I tell you helped me a lot. Take note because I'm sure it will be good for you, too.
1. Give yourself time.
Taking into account everything that yoga has given me since I started so far, I can only say that when you start practicing, if you think you don´t like it or that it is not for you, give yourself the opportunity to continue practicing for around two months during two or three hours a week before you give up. If after this period you still think it is not for you, invest your energy in something that fills you more. If on the contrary your intention is to go for the third month of practice: congratulations! You've got it. You are making the best investment of your whole life.
2. Begin to observe and listen to your body.
Once you have gone through the initial stage of yoga, which is not to stop and continue practicing, you probably have already discovered that this is not what you thought: something that seemed easy and bearable. You have noticed that the figure of the instructor is very important. In fact you have been very aware of him to see how to perform the asanas and have followed all his indications. You have been more aware of the exterior than of your interior. Don´t worry. It´s ok. But now it's your turn to be more aware of yourself. Start not only looking outwards, but also inwards. You will discover many parts of your body that you didn´t know existed. Let your body adapt to the new without forcing it. You can only allow yourself "healthy" pains, which you know are doing you good. From the moment you start to suffer, you are not doing yoga.
3. Be aware of your breathing.
It's something we do since we were born: breathe. But few times are we aware of our breathing. Feeling our breath is one of the most important steps in yoga because we are beginning to stop doing things mechanically. Also, when we notice our breathing, we are helping to regulate our mental and emotional state. Learning to breathe in the right way makes us feel healthier, calmer and helps us face situations in a different way. Probably your instructor has already indicated it to you, but remember that the correct way to breathe is to push the abdomen outwards in the inhalation and let it return inwards in the exhalation.
4. Be constant and cautious.
If you are consistent with the practice you will notice the advances in your body. The body is very grateful, so little by little you will feel more and more comfortable in the postures. Surely you already know many asanas, but you will always do some for the first time. So be careful: look first at how your teacher does it and listen to his instructions. Try not to do it at the same time as he can be harder and you could be injured. In addition your instructor should know if there is something that could prevent you from enjoying the practice or if you will need modifications in some positions: some health problems, pregnancy, injuries ... Keep him informed.
5. Check all your questions.
When you start doing yoga, you have many doubts. Go ahead, ask your instructor everything you need. Find the right moment to do it: when leaving an asana, at the beginning or at the end of the class ..., you will surely find the moment. The important thing is that you solve your doubt.
6. Practice with comfort.
You will have had the opportunity to verify that there is one more suitable clothing than another to do yoga. What is clear is that you need to feel comfortable during the practice. On the one hand, loose clothing allows you to make the movements freely, without pressing any part of your body. But you will also have noticed that if the outfits are too wide, they can bother you in some postures, especially in the prone positions. Try to find clothes that allow you to practice as comfortably as possible.
7. Use your own mat.
Normally the centers where you practice yoga put at your disposal the necessary material. Surely in your center there are plenty of mats, blocks, cushions, ribbons, blankets ... everything you need to make the most of your practice. However, if you have already decided that yoga will be part of your life, I invite you to make your first investment in a good mat. Find out about the material and thickness before purchasing one. Other accessories can wait and you may not even use them. However, I have always considered that the mat is quite personal. Try and you´ll see that once you have yours, it will become your traveling companion.
8. Have the necessary accessories at hand before starting the practice.
Before entering fully into the practice, you´ll have realized that it is convenient to have the necessary accessories at hand. Not all bodies are the same and the practice of yoga is unique for each person. That's why the ideal is to use everything necessary to get the most out of it. Your instructor will have already indicated what are the accessories (also called "props") that best suit your practice. So remember to have them by your side so you don´t interrupt your practice once it has started.
9. Make your practice barefoot.
This aspect is very important. Normally in a yoga center they do not let you enter with shoes to the practice area, so it is assumed that you will practice barefoot. But if you are going to practice at home or somewhere else where you do not have this in mind, remember to practice barefoot. Try not even to use socks. They could make you slip on the mat. I only recommend that you put on socks in the final relaxation, but not during practice. There is nothing like having bare feet to feel the rooting in the earth. In addition, you will feel how your support helps you hold your posture and improve your balance.
10. Do not compete.
Neither with yourself nor with others. It is one of the most difficult things to achieve in yoga. In our life we are so used to competing, that it is hard for us not to do it. Surely on more than one occasion you've already seen yourself trying to do a little more than your partner next door. This is one of the reasons why we often invite you to close your eyes. Not to focus on the outside, but inside of ourselves. In our practice we do not have to get anywhere. If today you try to take the tip of your feet, but it turns out that you cannot, don´t worry: this is perfect. It is not about seeing where you get, but about enjoying the way ... in fact, when you least expect it, you will see that what at first seemed impossible to you, it´s been achived. So, enjoy the path, not the goal.
By Victoria Galván