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Thrown in at the Deep End

What was your experience like when you joined your first yoga class?

Mine was mixed - I loved it …. but what exactly? OK so I loved the flow of movement, the way my body created different shapes, the sense of feeling stretched and opened yet strong and stable.

What I didn’t like - I was completely confused by the breath work and the strange sounding names and didn’t much like the not knowing what I was doing. I began to feel cross with the teacher, I was offered no support or guidance so did the best I could by copying what my neighbour was doing.

Despite experiencing feelings of confusion and mild annoyance I got to the end of the 90 minute session and decided I really liked the overall vibe of the class. That night I had the best sleep and that prompted me to return for more of the same.

It took me some weeks to get my head around what I was supposed to be doing with my body never mind using my breath! Meanwhile the teacher still did not offer me the support or guidance I needed and which would have so improved my experience.

Joining anything as a newbie can often be a pretty uncomfortable experience. I’m pretty resilient and tenacious so I don’t give up easily. I was motivated to stick with the class despite the confusion and mild annoyance and my determination paid off as I finally got into flow.

Over 25 years later I can still feel those feelings and hear those thoughts. It just goes to show how the quality of experience is so important to New Beginnings. And this is why I recommend people attend a beginners yoga class/course before diving into a regular yoga class. It’s also why I have created a course that offers participants a supportive and fulfilling experience that builds confidence and commitment to pursue this amazing art form.

Foundational Poses and Alignment

We all know that once we’ve got a handle on the basics of anything our confidence grows. A well thought out Beginners Yoga Class or Course will give you this level of confidence and self assurance.

Familiarity and repetition help embed knowledge and sensory experience. This is why I believe learning the foundational poses in yoga and learning how to practice them safely —for safely read “Alignment” in a supportive and encouraging environment is a recipe for success.

Check out this video to hear what an experienced yogi has to say about her first early experiences of yoga and you will see how it backs up my view.

The Importance of Alignment

If we repeatedly practice a posture using poor alignment we are at risk of injury. Learning to align the limbs and body can be a bit of a brain overload and possibly feels similar to when we first started to drive. Too much information too quickly and our brain wants to explode so we have a tendency to want to circumnavigate the hard stuff to get to the more pleasurable experience.

But don’t let your brain fool you. Be persistent, pay attention and you will reap the benefits from your effort and focus. When you learn to practice yoga in a safe way, knowing your body is not in danger you will be able to drop into a deeper experience. You will have more headspace to explore the breath and some of the other more intricate elements of a full yoga practice.

So what’s the big learning here?

Get the foundational posture under your belt.

Get clear on how good alignment feels in each of those postures.

Put in the work and benefit from a fuller and richer yoga experience.

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