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New to Yoga? Start Here

Jul 29th, 2023 oddfam Blog, Practice

We hear it all the time. "I’m not flexible enough to do yoga." Whether that’s the reason you haven’t made it to the mat or the myriad other reasons that keep us from doing things that help us to feel better in our bodies, we’ve got tips to help you show up so you can start feeling good, One Down Dog at a time!

Nervous for your first class? We get it; trying new things can be scary! Below are some tips to help you cultivate a consistent practice so that you may experience the many benefits of a yoga asana practice.

These benefits may include reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, alleviating back and joint pain, and improving flexibility (physically and mentally), strength, and balance. *Note: some of these are backed by research, and some are anecdotal.

 

8 tips for starting a yoga practice as a beginner

1. Embrace a beginner's mind.

As our studio owner, Jessica, always says, “You wouldn’t show up to a chemistry class expecting to ace the final exam on the first day; why would this be any different?” Honor where you are, and we will meet you there. Doing something for the first time can be intimidating. As a new student to the practice of yoga, we encourage you to approach it with a sense of curiosity. Embrace the concept of "beginner's mind," where you let go of expectations and judgments and allow yourself to experience each moment on the mat. Remember, everyone starts as a beginner, and the practice is about personal growth, not perfection.

 

2. Arrive early.

Whether you’re new to yoga or new to the studio, arriving 15 minutes early to your first class is highly encouraged. This will allow time to tour the studio and familiarize yourself with the space, get to know the staff, and be introduced to the instructor.

 

3. Start with beginner-friendly classes.

As a beginner, we recommend you start with BEGIN. This class is specifically designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of yoga, including basic postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and mindfulness practices. Starting with a solid foundation will help you build strength, flexibility, and body awareness as you progress on your yoga journey.

Selecting the appropriate class for your first yoga experience is crucial. At One Down Dog, we offer a wide variety of class types and teachers from different lineages so that you can find what's best for you. While we recommend starting with a BEGIN class, you might find another offering to be a better fit. Our classes range from slower-paced (CHILL, RESTORE, YIN) to heat building (FLOW, SWEAT), and we even offer fitness classes (FIT, BUTT and CORE)! We're here to help you find the right fit. Need assistance? Email us at hello@onedowndog.com

 

4. Listen to your body.

One of the key principles of yoga is listening to your body and honoring its needs. Yoga is not a competition. There are no poses that bring everlasting happiness or peace, so focus on what feels good, rather than what it looks like. Pay attention to what your body needs, and keep in mind that modifications and props are always available to support you.

 

5. Dress comfortably.

Wearing comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement is essential. Wear fabrics that won't restrict your body during the class. Not sure what else to bring? If you have a yoga mat, bring it. If not, we have them available for sale and for rent, and your first mat rental is free!

 

6. Cultivate a consistent practice.

Consistency is key when it comes to yoga. We recommend attending class 2-3 times per week to experience the benefits. We have over 150 classes available online and in-studio to choose from!

 

7. Talk to us.

We want to get to know you! Most of our staff come from our student base and are awesome to hang out with! If you'd like class suggestions, ask our front desk staff. Not sure about a pose? Ask your instructor; they're always happy to help guide you.

 

8. Remember why you came.

Where you are is a great place to begin. It’s ok to not be “great” at every pose - no one is. The pose itself isn’t what’s important, it’s your relationship with it. No one comes to yoga to feel like shit, remember that when comparison, judgment, and fear start to creep in and focus on what feels good. The practice of yoga is all about reducing suffering and experiencing more joy. Something brought you to your mat - keep that in mind and let it be your guide as you embark on this new journey.

 

TLDR (too long, didnt' read)

Embarking on a yoga journey as a new student is an exciting and rewarding experience. Remember to approach it with an open mind, explore different styles, and find a welcoming studio. Start with beginner-friendly classes, listen to your body, and cultivate a consistent practice. By embracing the mind-body connection, you'll unlock the transformative power of yoga and discover a path to greater balance, strength, and serenity in your life. Welcome to the world of yoga!

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