From toned muscles to improved mental health, the benefits of yoga are endless. But if you’re just starting out, or you see yourself as someone who just doesn't like yoga, it can be intimidating.
So to reduce the fear factor, we’ve put together a roundup of our top tips for those people who are convinced they don’t like yoga. With a simple change in attitude and approach, it’s easy to enjoy the benefits of this ancient practice.
Set Up a Home Practice
You don’t have to attend a class to enjoy the benefits of yoga. Sure, it’s often helpful to have the advice and guidance of a qualified teacher, but classes aren't the be all and end all of your practice. Instead, try practising yoga at home. If you’re new, there are plenty of videos online to guide you through the asanas. All you’ll need is a yoga mat, a quiet space and perhaps some essential oils and relaxing music to help focus your mind.
Master the Basic Poses
Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to master a headstand in your first yoga class. So instead of sweating the small stuff, put your energy into mastering the basics. Yoga is really just a joining of the mind and body through breath, so it’s important that your movement between the basic asanas (poses) are as fluid as possible.
Start by focusing on the important ones like Mountain Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Cobra and Lunge. Once you’ve mastered these, try bringing in some more complex asanas.
Think of Yoga as a Way of Life
For many people, yoga isn’t just a workout – it’s a way of life. With its focus on controlled breathing, yoga encourages mindfulness and meditation, giving you the tools to overcome the stresses of everyday life. When you start to see your yoga practice as more than just exercise, you can begin to appreciate the positive impact it can have on both your physical and mental health.
Forget About Perfection and Focus on the Benefits of Yoga
Yoga isn’t about appearances, it’s about how you feel. So stop worrying about how you look on your yoga mat, and start focusing on the practice itself. Remember, there is no judgement or expectation in yoga. All you have to do is show up and try your best.
Find the Perfect Class for You
While home practices offer convenience and solitude, it can be useful to attend a class every now and then. A qualified yoga instructor will be able to guide you through your poses to ensure you’re getting the most out of your practice. Plus, drop-in group classes offer the perfect excuse to try out different kinds of yoga to help you find your perfect fit.
When it comes to yoga, everybody has to start somewhere. If you’re intimidated by the expert yogis in your group class, remember that yoga is not about perfection. Anybody can enjoy the incredible health benefits of the practice, no matter their age, shape or skill level. So what are you waiting for? Unroll your mat and get started.
For more tips on getting the most out of your exercise regime, check out our post on what to eat for yoga practice and see how superfoods could help support your routine.