If I had £1 for every time I’ve heard “I would love to start yoga but I’m not flexible enough” then I’d probably be a millionaire by now. That said, I also understand that there are a lot of people out there who would love to start yoga but lack the confidence, or feel intimated. I hope this quick guide gives you some reassurance, and the inspiration to start your yoga journey.
Want To Start Yoga? Then You’re Ready to Start 🙂
You don’t have to work on improving your fitness, flexibility, strength etc before you start attending yoga classes. Unless you are working with an injury or health condition, there’s no reason why you aren’t ready right now. Yoga helps to build strength and flexibility along the way, and it is totally ok to be a beginner!
I sometimes share how I could barely touch my knees (let alone my toes) before I started yoga. Although a lot of people laugh when I say this, I’m telling the 100% truth. I was stiff as a board, particularly my hamstrings, and had no strength either. I’m selling myself well I know haha, but I noticed a huge turnaround after just a few weeks. I wish I had a ‘before yoga’ picture but that was the ‘before smartphones’ era too!
Embrace where you are right now, and trust that you are totally where you are meant to be right now. I touched on this subject just this morning on Instagram, but the more we show up in our vulnerable, come-as-you-are state, the more we can break down these barriers of inauthenticity that are so prevalent, particularly online.
Regardless of how pre-prepared you feel physically, if you already have the intention and desire to start yoga, then you are ready now.
I think everyone could do with a healthy serving of this beautiful Buddhist concept. When we start something new, like yoga, we enter a honeymoon-type period in our lives. We can’t get enough, we’re wide-eyed with awe and inspiration, and we feel like everything fits into place. However, after some time, we start to question ourselves and doubt our abilities.
“I’ve been doing yoga for 2 months! Why can’t I do a headstand yet?”
I’m sure we can all relate to this on some level. This is why I’ve heard a few advanced yogis mention how amazing it is to be a beginner yogi.
However, if we cultivate a beginner’s mind, no matter what stage we are at, and accept that we are still learning (and trust me, we all are) we can recreate this sense of awe of our practice. This can definitely apply to beginners too, as a reminder that we aren’t supposed to know everything and that we are all eternal students.
Type of yoga class to attend
There are SO many yoga studios to attend that it might feel a little overwhelming to know which one to choose. I recommend beginners to start off in either a beginner course, or privately with a teacher. I teach a lot of beginner yogis in a 1:1 environment and it’s a great way to learn the foundations and beyond, while feeling supported the whole time. These classes can be held at a studio or in the comfort of your own home, and you can learn in a really safe yet relaxed way.
Its also so wonderful to practice yoga at home on your own, but I would always recommend checking in periodically with a teacher and especially when you are in the first year or two of your yoga journey. Having a teacher will help make sure you reduce the risk of any injuries etc, and keep you inspired. YouTube can be a great way to keep your practice varied, and there are so many resources out there! Check out my YouTube channel if you want to learn more about online yoga classes.
To practice yoga at home, I’d recommend the following props:
- A good mat : Invest in a good quality mat, which doesn’t have to cost the earth. A grippy mat makes the world of difference if you feel like your hands slip a lot, and there are so many options out there. Yoga Matters mats can be inexpensive and are really good quality. If you want to invest, then Manduka offers lifetime guarantees, and Myga Yoga mats are gorgeous and made to last.
- Comfortable yoga/workout clothes : You don’t have to be decked in Lululemon every damn day, and there are a LOT of less expensive brands out there. I invest a lot in my yoga clothes, because I wear them most days! Find a few brands that you like and that suit your budget. I personally love Forever 21 sport bras, and Niyama Sol and Onzie leggings
- 2 blocks : I’d recommend a minimum of 2 blocks to help support your hands, which can also be very helpful in folds. You can also sit on these blocks if crosslegged positions don’t feel good for your hips/knees.
- 1 strap : Great to support you in hamstring stretches, and backbends like Dancer’s Pose!
- Optional Bolster : Bolsters can be a little more expensive (around £40 for a buckwheat filled bolster) but they really help some people with back pain or limited thoracic mobility etc. Plus they are heaven to lie on!
I hope that this post has helped inspire you to start yoga! More and more people are doing yoga, and there are so many options for all levels. There has never been a better time to start.
Let me know how you get on!