8 Things to Consider if You’re Curious About Starting a Yoga Practice

I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately, who for various reasons, are considering starting a yoga practice. After many conversations, I figured why not put my responses into a blog post. Certainly there are more people wondering the same thing. Below is a list of the most common concerns I’ve heard of late and my response/suggestions for getting started.

tree pose

Start where you are. I spoke to a colleague recently who is interested in starting a yoga practice, but is afraid she can’t sit still or settle her thoughts. I told her that’s ok. She is exactly where she’s supposed to be. When I first started practicing I left for savasana, also known as corpse pose or the final relaxation. I didn’t think I had time! In time I realized and enjoyed the benefits. If you take a class with me, I won’t stop you from leaving before savasana.

Research the different styles. There are so many different styles: hot yoga, fast yoga, super slow yoga, yoga for depression, anxiety, shoulder injury. Try some classes, ask questions, talk to your instructor, read a yoga magazine. Do your research to find a yoga style that works for you and your body.

Find an instructor you feel comfortable with. People I meet – networking, during a presentation – want to practice with me because they know me and trust that I’ll take care of them. Feeling comfortable with your instructor is critical to your enjoyment of class.

Do it because you’re curious. Does this sound familiar: “My friend told me I should do yoga.” SHOULD is the key word. When you’re told you should how do you typically respond? Try it because you truly want to try it. Not because someone told you you should.

Dress comfortably. $100 pants are not required to practice yoga. Dress comfortably. Enough said.

It’s not about what you look like. Truly, it isn’t. If you’re new, tell the instructor. Any instructor worth his/her salt will keep an eye on ALL students, especially newbie’s. Ask for modifications, take a break, recognize that we all have different bodies and abilities. And remember yoga should feel good.

Stay consistent. If you’re new, chances are the first few classes will feel like a challenge! You’re moving your body in a different way than normal. Over time, you and your muscles will relax and that’s something you can feel good about!

Sign up for a service like Groupon. I’ve noticed a lot of yoga deals coming through sites like Groupon and Living Social. One just came to my inbox today – 6 classes for $35. That’s a low risk opportunity to check out your local yoga scene.

Bottom line: yoga is a wonderful practice for so many things if you do your research, practice, and stay committed. Have more questions? Feel free to get in touch. I’ll do my best to answer them.

How about you? Have you recently started a yoga practice? What would you tell new students?

 

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3 Comments:

  • Judy

    Great information Stacey and I know you and I have discussed recently. You’ve already answered many of my questions and addressed some concerns. I really appreciate it!

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com/ Lance

    Stacey,
    Hmmm…seems like it’s been over two years ago when you first mentioned to me the benefits of yoga. (*ahem* I’m a slow learner…) I’ve now been doing yoga for the last six months…and I LOVE it!! (so…a belated Thank you to YOU…for the gentle encouragement along the way)

    And besides the cost of the yoga class, I’ve spent virtually no other money on this (I just last week purchased a yoga mat…).

    Anyway, GREAT points…all of them!!

    Happy yoga teaching (maybe someday I’ll sit in on a class of yours…)

  • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Hi Judy – You were the inspiration for this post. Thank you!

    Lance – I’m so glad you like yoga! Two years ago, huh. Time flies!

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