As International Yoga Day approaches on Monday 21st June, free yoga classes and taster sessions are popping up in cities and studios across the U.K. Still intimidated to roll out a yoga mat and join in? Our brand founder Natalie, shares 5 things you need to know ahead of signing up to your first yoga class or starting at your home practice
Practice Makes Practice, Not Perfect
Spoiler alert, there’s no such thing as yoga perfection. There is no end goal, finishing point or ‘personal best’. Every time you step onto the mat there is something new to learn and uncover. And that’s the beauty. It’s a lifelong journey. Not a destination. The good news is you can totally let go of the need for perfection because truly it doesn’t exist. Which means you’re free to practice without the pressure.
Yoga Props Enhance Your Practice, Not Make it Less Than
Yoga props aren’t reserved for beginners. They don’t make your practice less than. They’re clever tools to help you find support and stability. Blocks and straps allow you to safely explore sensations and alignment within the postures. Embrace them as part of your practice. Bolsters, blankets and eye masks can help you sink into a restful savasana. Now that’s something we can get on board with.
You Know Your Body Better Than Anyone Else
You know your body better than any teacher. Listen to it. Yoga is about honouring where you are, so never push beyond your physical limits or stay in a posture that doesn’t feel right in your body. Pull back and respect your boundaries. A good teacher will offer cues, suggestions and variations. Pick the one that feels good for you.
Drop The Expectation Around Your Fitness, Strength & Flexibility
Instagram would have you fooled into thinking you need to be young, skinny with elite gymnast level flexibility to practice yoga. Like a lot of things on social media - #yogagoals aren’t real. If you are a human and you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Sure you will begin to notice increased strength and flexibility if you practice asana (the yoga postures) regularly, but where you are is already perfect. Begin from there.
Not All Yoga Classes & Teachers Are The Same
There are lots of different class styles and teachers to choose from. If one doesn’t work for you, try something different. Yoga classes can be powerful, strong, dynamic, still, restorative, slow - or all of these things within the same hour. If you’re not sure what the class names mean, ask ahead. Don’t be afraid to try different classes, teachers and venues until you find the one that works for you.