Friday, July 6, 2012

Yoga Tips for your first practice

I am in love....with YOGA! I recently gave Hot Yoga another try and really loved it! This article from Vega is a great introduction to some of the frequently asked questions about how to prepare for your yoga practice.



What brought you to the mat? 5 tips for your first yoga practice


It’s your first yoga class…you enter the studio, sweating before you even roll out your mat, wearing your best-guess at what will make you look the most ‘yogi’, worrying if you should have had that second glass of wine last night, or if you should have first asked for forgiveness for flipping off the old lady that cut you off on your way here. Your mind is spinning: “am I flexible enough, calm enough, pure enough, balanced enough, yogi enough to be in here??”


STOP.

Breeeaaaaathhhhe….

Feel better? Good. That is the first step in yoga. Get out of your mind, come back to the present.

For all the twisted pictures (quite literally), body-hugging clothing, books, videos and hype that surround the practice, many people have become turned-off, thinking they won’t be ‘good’ at yoga. In reality, there is nothing more you need than your body and your breath to have success. Yes, everyone’s experience in yoga is different, but it is your presence and intention in showing up to practice that will give you results.

To help you put out the mental fire and allow you step on your mat with confidence, here are 5 essential tips for your first yoga practice:

1. Come with an open mind.
Sounds easy, but subconsciously you’ve probably already built an image of what should/could happen in your class. Drop it. Even your teacher doesn’t have complete assurance of what a class will entail! Comforting? We are all human. We all come with fears, founded or not. Don’t allow your fears to change your experience.
2. Accept how you show up.
Whether you’re coming to yoga to gain fitness, heal an injury, lose weight, get centered, because your sister told you to, or to get flexible like Daniel Browning Smith (seriously, look him up), you’re in the right place. Acknowledge where you are starting from—the present state of your physical and mental body—and work with what you have! Change will only happen when you work with what is real. Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
3. Breathe.
…Sometimes we all need a reminder. Inhale, exhale. Enough said.
4. Keep it simple. 
Yoga is not a competition. You do not have to out-do—or even match—your neighbour’s poses. Yes, yoga involves moving your body, but it’s called a practice (not a sport!) for a reason. Your first few times on the mat, just do the basics. Focus more on connecting to your breath, and being present with—and listening to—your body, rather than trying to twist yourself into a soft pretzel. Trust me; you will look more graceful and masterful if you keep it simple.
5. Nourish yourself.
You can’t get anywhere in your car if there’s no gas in the tank—it is the same with your body. Make sure to drink lots of fresh water and take in foods that make you feel good. Sometimes, finding nutrition that gives you energy for yoga is a trial-and-error adventure. Practicing yoga will really bring to light how you treat your body—be present and learn from this. Arrive for practice satiated, but not full. And, as much you can, choose easy-to-digest foods to fuel you.

To power my own yoga practice, I love using Vega Vibrancy bars, a primarily raw and sprouted blend of plant-derived protein, carbohydrates, enzymes, vitamins and minerals in a YUMMY and convenient form. With these you will forgo the bloat and discomfort of having a big meal, but they will leave you with the satisfying nourishment to get you through.
Finally, nothing combats nerves like eliminating a little of the unknown. As a last step before you step on the mat for the first time, get familiar with some simple, common yoga postures to build your confidence.

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1 comment:

Deborah Fisher said...

great post!!!! Love your blog Deborah!