If somebody told me earlier in life that I would attend a yoga class, enjoy said yoga class, and not cause myself an injury I would have laughed (complete with snorting). Yoga is a feat that I normally wouldn’t have given a second thought.
My loves are eating pizza on the couch and watching a gritty murder doc (ideally at the same time). The closest thing to yoga I would be doing is frantically jumping forward to stop a Malteser rolling onto the carpet. So, why am I writing about it?
My very good friend introduced me to a hot yoga studio, one where she felt the vibe was laid back, there was no judgment, and she loved the exercise. I need to confess, she is a lot fitter than me.
My mate enjoys hikes, runs and is generally more of an outdoorsy person (not outdoorsy such as drinking in the garden, like, ‘proper’ outdoorsy). However, her excitement and the glow she had on her face when talking me through her experience made me think “what’s the worst that can happen?” I can go once, confirm I don’t like it then that will be the end of that. The story turned out a slight be different.
Instead of rambling on about the benefits of yoga, I want to get straight to the preconceived ideas that I had – yoga is not for me, it’s not a me thing, it’s for other people, give me back my malteasers .
If you have ever seen photographs on social media of people doing yoga, the chances are you felt as if they all looked perfect. They have no belly bulge or jiggly thighs, and just generally appear to be flawless. To be involved in yoga, part of the challenge is letting that shit go. Nobody is looking at you, they are so focused on their own practice within the class that you could fall over 6 times and no one would bat an eyelid.
If you think those who go to yoga have the perfect face of makeup literally all the time, you are probably wrong. Mainly because as soon as you start sweating that mascara will turn into panda eyes pronto. Dress comfortable, be brave, and remember why you are there.
Flexibility is another fear you might have. You may think that to do yoga you need to be able to do the splits or get your leg over your head. If you can, that’s awesome. If you can’t, you’re just like the rest of us! Yoga will help you to stretch, it will increase your flexibility at your own pace. Everybody has different degrees of flexibility and the chances are your yoga class will cater for all of these. If it hurts you stop. If it feels good, that’s where you are at. Embrace that and be fine with it.
Being quiet. This is probably my biggest issue. I sometimes can’t really get into the ‘meditation’ part of yoga because my head is constantly like a two-year-old, wandering from one thing to the next at 100 kph. This part of the practice will vary depending on the class, it may take a few sessions to get there but being able to let go of the stresses of daily life is invigorating, and something most of us don’t really do enough.
My final thoughts for you are that yoga is an activity with so many positives. It is also a tad less scary if you can rope a friend into coming along with you, throw in a brunch catch up after it if that’s the deal breaker. That first class you attend can go either way, but at least you can learn it is for you, and me and everybody no matter your shape, flexibility or noise control.