It can be fairly intimidating starting a new yoga class. If you’re just started out with the practise and exercise of yoga, attending a class where you might be surrounded by experts who have been practising for years can be extremely daunting. I remember taking a beginner class a couple of years ago when I was just starting out and they gave some great advice but unfortunately, my confidence gave in.
So, I sat down and said to myself, I’ll use an app. There are so many to choose from and once I’ve got myself up to a certain level, I’ll be able to do all the basics and will feel a lot more confident in the classes. And that’s exactly what I did. A few months later, having practised nearly every day, I re-joined the class and everything seemed great. At the end of the class, the teacher asked me to stay behind as she wanted to talk me through some crucial mistakes I had been making.
According to my teacher, these were very simple mistakes which the majority of people make. All it takes is just a little nudge in the right direction. So, to help you to not make the same mistakes, here is a list of common mistakes that people make and how to fix them.
Speaking to my teacher, I explained why I didn’t return for a few months. She kindly explained that this was not an uncommon problem and that it was nothing to worry about. Always remember that everyone has to start somewhere. It doesn’t matter whether you can tie your body in a knot or you can barely touch your nose, everybody is different and everybody is practising yoga for their own reasons. Nobody is judging.
Don’t Eat Before Yoga
I found this out on my own terms a couple of lessons in but it’s not one I will ever forget. Make sure you don’t attend your yoga class, or even practise yoga at home, on a full stomach. Not only will the positions be harder to obtain and hold, but your body is in the process of digesting food. This means that your blood is actively working in your body leaving your body in a state of activity, not the restful sort of the state your body needs to efficiently practise yoga.
Simmer Your Brain Activity
Especially when starting out, specifically during the guided meditation stages of the yoga practice, my mind used to go crazy! Have I done the shopping? What work have I got to do when I get home? I wonder if a friend is about for drink in three days’ time? By actively allowing my mind to wander, much like with meditation, I am massively reducing the number of benefits that I could be getting while practising yoga. My advice is to concentrate on the voice of your teacher and your breathing, slowly returning your thoughts to this when you’ve noticed it has wandered.
Stay till The End
In my class, we used to have a lady that would leave about 5-10 minutes before the end of the session. This was when we would practise the Savasana pose, or corpse pose, where we would lie on our backs and cool down from the exercises. This supposed to be a time of gentle contemplation and relaxation but ended up being the time we heard her mat roll up and keys jiggling. It’s fair enough if she’s got somewhere to be but please, for the sake of everyone else and even yourself, stay until the end. What’re five or ten minutes going to be out of the rest of your day? And besides, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to practise the Savasana pose. It’s so important at the end of a yoga session for the many benefits it provides for our minds and bodies.
This list just touches the surface when it comes to yoga advice. There are many more things that could be said but they tend to vary from class to class. If you take anything away from this article, let it be this; Don’t put yourself down and don’t believe for one second that you’re not good enough. Attend your classes, practise hard and while you’re there give it everything you’ve got. Feel and enjoy the benefits that yoga classes can give you and start enjoying a happier, more positive you.