November 6th, 2017
My Top Yoga Tips;
Do you look at pictures of Yogi’s doing headstands & think “yoga is not for me?” Please believe me, yoga is for everyone, you don’t need to be a contortionist or a certain shape or size to enjoy & benefit from a regular yoga practice.
Why not have some fun trying yoga this week with your family… even my dog, Wellington, likes getting in on the action!
Here are my Top Tips for starting your yoga practice.
Take a deep breath, Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s a simple process of uniting your breath, body and mind to help you reconnect with your Self.
Whether you're starting yoga in your 50’s, have a bad knee, or feel you have too many secret love handles to practice, remove all those niggling doubts, hop on to your mat, the only person watching you is you - so relax & enjoy.
2 Find a teacher you connect with.
Ideally it is best to start your yoga practice with an experienced & qualified yoga teacher so you can learn the postures properly and avoid possible injuries.
But as well as experience & qualifications you have to connect with your teacher, you need to feel relaxed enough to fall over, to laugh at yourself, to ask your teacher anything & have fun as you are more likely you are to stick with your practice & ultimately that is the goal - a lifelong practice :)
Yoga is not competitive (or shouldn’t be) especially with yourself,
Going slightly beyond your comfort zone will keep the yoga practice interesting and will encourage body adaptations, progression & development but pushing yourself too far leads to injuries. So give yourself that time and be patient. Certain postures take years!
5. Avoid comparing yourself to others in class.
Remember everybody is unique and different & at different levels of expertise. Some might easily perform a particular posture, whilst others may need a little more time and practice to get there. Therefore, don't feel pressurised to exert yourself.
6. Mindset - Decide to have fun!
Don’t be too serious about your yoga practice, yoga can and should be a space where you can leave your busy, overwhelming life & reconnect with your breath and your body. Take the pressure off and let yourself enjoy it. We may feel clumsy & stiff as we try new poses but with a bit of gentleness & self love we can have a giggle at ourselves too.
7. Wear loose comfortable clothing
As you will stretch in all sorts of directions, wear clothes which wont restrict your movement or expose more that you wish to expose! Tops regularly fall down over our heads so a loose top over a tighter fitted stretch top is a good idea!
8. Practice Daily
15 minutes a day of yoga positively effect your physical, emotional and mental well-being. This is much better than one long weekly yoga session. Regular practice will reap more benefits, as the body becomes more comfortable & familiar with the process, gradually becoming more flexible, so hop on your mat as often as you can even for a few minutes!
9. Adaptations & Variations
The perfect postures we see on instagram may be unrealistic right now. Try using yoga props (blocks, bolsters, a belt) to help together with easier alternatives & variations of the pose.
10. Talk to your teacher!
Many yoga teachers will assist students during class. A touch may help support you however, unless a teacher knows your yoga practice very well and is fully aware of any historical injuries, they should not be pushing you into a posture. Equally, a lot of clients feel very uncomfortable being touched so don’t be afraid to say you don’t want to be adjusted, teachers wont mind!!
After your practice allow your body to completely relax, lie on your mat for a few minutes just focusing in on your breath. This allows stillness for both the mind and body after the yoga workout.
I do hope this has been useful to you. If you have any questions about getting fitter, more flexible, managing your weight &/or finding some headspace, then reach out I’d love to help.
In the meantime try some of my 15 minute downloads at home (under ‘Online’ on website or follow my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/theyogimums).