New to Yoga

Before I begin teaching a new corporate yoga program in Washington DC, Arlington or Alexandria VA, I always provide a list of tips for new yogis and yoginis.  I do the same for new in-home private yoga clients as well — at least those completely new to yoga.

It’s helpful for people to have some guidance as they venture into unknown territory.  Though it’s kind of funny to say “unknown territory” when the reality is yoga is about connecting with the Self — the body, mind & soul you’ve had all your life but haven’t awaken to yet.

Anyway, I figured I should share the “new to yoga” tips with all and not just my students.  I also would love to hear any tips you’ve found useful in your journey.  Please post when you have a sec.  Namaste!

Wear clothing you can move inIf wearing a t-shirt, be sure it is fitted so it doesn’t drape over your head when bending forward.  Avoid hooded shirts and jackets, as they can become a distraction.

Arrive a few minutes early to your mat – Give yourself a few minutes to decompress.

Let your feet breathe – Remove shoes and socks.

Turn off all wireless devices – If you must, put them on vibrate.  *Note:  Since I teach in corporate environments where Execs take class, heads of Fire Depts., etc., I allow this. It is optimal if you can just leave the device off and out of reach for the duration of your yoga session.

Practice on an empty stomach – Famished?  A light snack (under 200 calories) at least 1.5 hours prior to class is fine for most.

Your yoga practice is about YOU! – Abandon your competitive mindset.  Keep your eyes on your own practice.  Remember, accidents happen when you’re not paying attention.

Be okay with where YOU are in a pose – Yoga introduces you to YOU; including your physical and mental limitations.  Learn to accept and look at them as opportunities to grow and expand your body, mind and life.

Listen to your body – If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.  Yoga will enable you to recognize the difference between “challenging” discomfort vs. “painful/harmful” discomfort.

Most important tip – Relax, have fun and smile – its just yoga.

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