How to start a successful yoga practice as a beginner
Updated: Apr 19, 2021
I hear a lot of complaints from beginner yogis that yoga teachers don’t give enough instruction in a group class, which I understand can be frustrating. When you’re cued into a posture that feels a bit funky for your body or that you’re unsure of, you don't have the space to ask questions and the ego can start to tell you you’re inadequate (side note - ignore that voice). However, when you’re in a large group studio class the teacher needs to cater to the majority. Here are a few ideas to help you find success from day one.
1. BOOK A PRIVATE
The best solution for you to feel absolutely fabulous on the mat from your first class - BOOK A PRIVATE 1:1 SESSION!
Did you know that Yoga was originally only taught in a 1:1 setting. For the obvious reason that every body is anatomically different, and arrives on the mat with different ailments. So set yourself up for success and book a 1:1 class with a teacher you trust. Yes you may pay double, maybe even triple, the amount but you will also receive triple the amount of confidence and understanding of the practice. When you start a new job you have training on how to do it before you start - why is Yoga any different?
Once you have enough self-awareness and understanding of the basic postures and breathing techniques to not start comparing yourself to others in the room, that is when you can really enjoy a group class. There’s no room for the ego on the mat!
2. USE PROPS
Props can also make a huge difference. I am the prop queen! Now, again, here’s where the ego creeps in and starts to tell you if you use props then you’re what - weak, stupid, I don’t even know? If you have shorter arms, blocks can help bring the floor to you and you can actually find proper anatomical alignment rather than crunching and rounding. If you have tight leg muscles a strap can help you to reach your feet in a fold or a quad stretch. Set up your mat at the start of class with blocks and a strap to dramatically change your practice. And when you start to actually enjoy the postures, you can focus more on your breath and less on that voice in your head!
FIND THE RIGHT CLASS STYLE
Lastly finding the right style of yoga for you. I recommend starting with Hatha as you tend to have more time to get into the postures, but don’t be afraid to try a few different styles to dip your toes in. For a more energising practice Hatha, Vinyasa, Power, Hot and Ashtanga are all common styles and for a more relaxing practice Yin or Restorative will be your jam.
Teaching private classes is my main focus, I will advise anyone at any stage of their practice, if they want to advance, to book regular 1:1s with a teacher you feel comfortable with. Even as a teacher I still do multiple privates a year with other instructors to help me progress past my comfort zone. You can normally find discounts if you book blocks of sessions with them too. Make the most of your time with them, ask alllll the questions and just wait until you see the difference when you return to the studio and you can step into that dreamy moving meditation with all the knowledge you’ve gained.
If you are interested in booking a private and taking your practice to the next level then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out my contact me form here, and I would be more than happy to help you find some joy and lightness on the mat.
Lots of love