“I want to start practicing yoga, but how and where do I begin?”
Welcome to this very first blog post of mine (I’m soo excited about writing this!) and thank you for taking the time and reading this. I would like to share some of my experiences on how to start yoga, what you need to know and some myths about the yoga practice that you should definitely get out of your head (right now!) 😊
Yoga is everywhere. All over the world. You’ve probably heard, seen or read about it several times. You also heard that Yoga is good for you, all the movements you’re doing, the breathing techniques, the body exercises. You might have heard that Yoga relieves stress and anxiety and helps you gain body awareness. Whatever it might be, Yoga seems to cover all these amazing benefits. So how to get started? I will share some simple tips, which helped me along my yoga journey.
But first of all, I would like to tell you a little bit about my story of how I got into yoga.
↠ You can listen to my story on the What You Call Home podcast right here ↞
It might sound funny, but one day, I stumbled across this picture of a yogi doing a very advanced looking yoga pose called Scorpion Pose (Sanskrit word Vrschikasana), a forearm balance with a backbend.
I remember looking at this photograph (which pretty much looked like the this one on the right – or – if you’re reading this on your phone it’s probably displayed above) for quite some time and trying to figure out how this could be even possible. From this moment on I felt an enormous motivation to start practicing yoga. I had no idea what yoga was really about, I just had this fascinating Scorpion Pose in my mind and was dedicated to learn how to attend it.
Since none of my friends or family were into yoga, I just started out by watching Youtube videos and finding yoga teachers online that agreed with me. I started doing some yoga flows every now and then, maybe once a week or so and quickly recognized improvement in my postures and flexibility. This motivated me to keep going and practice even more (around 2-3 times a week). A few months into my practice I found my own style of yoga, which I practiced on a regular basis in my little room back then.
Almost 2 years passed until I finally decided to join a proper yoga class in a beautiful yoga shala (=a location, where the physical practice of yoga is taught) Innsbruck, Austria. Long story short, I was simply amazed by this class, which was led by an English yoga instructor, who taught the exact same style of yoga I was so fascinated by. His class was characterized by a dynamic Vinyasa Yoga Flow and I left the shala with such a wonderful and empowered feeling that I hardly ever experienced before. I just had this feeling of simply being on the right path. That night, I decided to become a yoga teacher myself one day. I came to a point where it wasn’t about achieving the scorpion pose anymore. Yoga became a new state of mind. A feeling. And I was eager to learn more about this whole philosophy.
This story is going to be continued in another blog post (ain’t nobody got time to read 89 pages) 🙈
For now, I would like to share
A few helpful and practical tips on how to start a regular yoga practice
- Find a yoga studio close by
In 2019, it’s not too hard to find a yoga studio close by, because there are so many around and you usually find at least one in every single city/town. Just ask around or do some online research on where to find the next shala and check out the classes. Always make sure to attend a Beginner or Open Level 1 class, when you get started.
- Start out by watching Youtube videos
It worked for me, so it will probably work for you as well. To be honest, it was intimidating for me in the beginning to just join a yoga class, so I decided to start practicing at home. And since nowadays there are so many wonderful free yoga classes on Youtube and amazing yoga teachers which all teach different styles of yoga, there’s something out there for everyone. Find one that suits you 😊 Simply start out by looking for ‘easy 10 minute beginner flow’ or ‘yoga for beginners’ and you will find a lot of follow along tutorials. Check out a few different videos until you find what you’re looking for.
- Ask a friend or family member to join
It’s always easier when you have someone who is on this journey with you. Just ask some friends, family members, your partner or colleague, whether he or she would like to join you for a yoga session (Online or real life)
Myths about yoga
The following myths about yoga are based on my OWN experiences. (Everyone thinks differntely and thats ok, these are just my opinions.) I’ve heard these sayings several times from different people and would like to share my honest opinions about these statements.
- “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible enough.”
I hear this very often and unfortunately, the picture people get when they hear or think about yoga is that flexibility is a requirement for the physical practice, so they feel intimidated when they can’t reach their toes with their hands. But this is NOT what yoga is about. You don’t need to have a specific level of flexibility. I used to very inflexible when I first started, most people are. With time, practice and patience you will gain a certain level of flexibility, but more importantly – you will realize, that yoga is about so much more. It’s about calming your mind, increasing body awareness, being mindful and accepting and surrendering to the present moment. It’s about freeing yourself from distractive thoughts and coming back home to your true self. So no, you definitely don’t have to be flexible to start. All you need is you and your body.
- “I don’t have time to practice yoga”
I’m not even going into this🙈
- “I don’t have enough money to practice yoga”
There are several online yoga classes out there (Youtube, etc), which offer wonderful free yoga classes. Just take some time to find one that suits you.
- “I’m too old to practice yoga”
Well, I don’t even understand what that means😶I think you are never too old for anything!
- “I’m just not into spirituality at all”
Yoga is definitely helping you along your spiritual journey, but you don’t have to be a spiritual guru to practice yoga. You can simply focus on the physical aspect of yoga, without having to meditate for several hours. Just start by practicing asanas (=physical yoga poses) and maybe one day, you will be interested in learning more about the whole philosophy. And if not, that’s absolutely fine too!
- “Only women practice yoga”
Nope. Yoga is for everybody. In fact, yoga used to be practiced by males only. It was only until Indira Devi, the first female yogi, opened a yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947 and made the yoga practice accessible to everybody else.
- “I can’t do yoga, because it’s too exhausting”
Sure, a yoga practice can be quite challenging, both physically and mentally, especially when you’re in the middle of a dynamic and demanding Vinyasa Flow. Tho luckily, there are so many various and amazing yoga styles out there. Instead of Vinyasa Yoga, maybe try out Hatha, Yin or Restorative Yoga and see how you feel.
I really hope I could inspire you to try out yoga for yourself and don’t be afraid of not being flexible enough, or feeling intimidated in the beginning. There are so many different options out there nowadays, all you have to do is start. I believe in you. You got this! If you have any further questions feel free to send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fill out my contact form and I’m happy to help you! ❤
Have a wonderful day,