This fundamental and fun class is perfect for those new to yoga or those who want to just get back to the basics of yoga!
Back to Basics instructor, Melanie, has given you some awesome and helpful beginner tips on our newest blog post! Check it our here:
Yoga Tips for Beginners
By Melanie Comegys
I vividly recall my first yoga class. I was excited to be there and enjoyed the community, scents, sounds and feelings the experience brought to me. Little did I realize it then, but it was my very first step in a thousand-step journey. The more I practice, the more I realize how much there is to learn about yoga.
TAKE IT SLOW
There is no rushing this. There is no end to it. Take your time during your yoga practice. Find one or two poses you like best and really hone in on those poses each time they come up in class. Over time, you will add to your repertoire of poses.
Whether you decide on a gentle, natural breath or a deeply engaged ujjayi pranayama, remember how important it is to breathe. A natural breath is three to five seconds on the inhale and four to six seconds on the exhale. Make a concentrated effort to make both inhale and exhale equal in length. Yoga breathing can be used to make the practice more intense or more relaxing. If it becomes too difficult to engage a breathing practice and listen to the teacher’s cues, then just breathe naturally.
TRY IT ALL
A wide variety of yoga styles are offered at Joy Yoga Center. This variety is what sets us apart from other studios. Try as many teachers and classes as you can so you can find the style you like best. Our yoga teachers have been trained all over the world and in all styles of yoga. Some styles are organic and flowing, while others are more alignment-based. Some styles focus on the physical and athletics of yoga while others concentrate on its spiritual aspects. At Joy Yoga Center, we offer the whole world of yoga, so take advantage and try it all.
FIND YOUR TEACHER
You will learn the most from the yoga teachers with whom you feel a connection. Find the teacher who resonates with your learning style and brings out the best in you. When you feel at your best, you will be open to receive and learn a great deal.
FEEL YOUR SHAPE
No two people are shaped the same. Whether you are skinny and short or large and tall, your body will dictate how you move and make shapes on your mat. Your bones and ligaments, which determine your range of motion, are dictated by your DNA. The genes handed down to you may keep you from doing certain poses in the way that you have set in your mind’s eye. You may, for instance, have a shortened Achilles tendon, which will keep your heels from touching the floor in many poses. Or, your hip ball socket joint may prevent a range of motion you feel is necessary in a specific pose. Do not be fooled by what you think the pose should look like. How it feels when you do it is what matters. Keep it safe and within the frame of what your body will allow.
SET AN INTENTION
We are so happy you have taken the steps to be here. So why are you here? Are you here for exercise alone? Do you want to work on emotional stability? Are you into the mechanics of the body? Has a psychic or spiritual encounter brought you to yoga? Whatever the reason or reasons, set an intention for your practice today. Say to yourself, “I am here today to…”
STAY IN YOUR UNIVERSE
So you’re a first time yoga student and the Slow Flow class you signed up for looks more like a room of seasoned practitioners than it does first timers. Pay no attention to the person next to you doing a modification to the pose that was not instructed and had no idea was possible for the human body to do. As intimidating as this can be, this person is clearly working on something that has nothing to do with you or what the teacher may be teaching. Stay within the realm of what you are capable of. Stick to the intention you have set for yourself. Stay within the Universe of your own mat and ignore what the students next to you are doing.
We love questions, and before or after class is the best time to ask your teacher whatever you like. Our life as yoga teachers is about service. We are brimming with knowledge and eager to pour forth like Niagara Falls.
Joy Yoga Center is a place for learning, but there are no tests and no grades. When you take time to retain the knowledge you learn here, you will grow. Learn the etiquette of yoga studios. Learn about the community in which you practice and the style of yoga your favorite teacher teaches and was schooled in. Take an active interest in learning more about yourself and what makes you tick in class and the aspects of yoga you are most interested in. We encourage you to grow and hope to foster a community to support your growth.
Yoga is truly a practice. We learn by practicing. Take what you’ve learned in class to the outside world with you. Whether it is a Sanskrit chant, a mudra or a mantra, a meditation or a posture, we hope you use some of what you learn in our classes in the outside world. The pearls of wisdom you learn in class can be used as tools for dealing with the regular day-to-day. This is true for first time yoga goers as well as seasoned practitioners.
You will not be an expert after one class. We don’t expect you to be an all-star from the get-go and neither should you. Trying to squeeze 5,000 years of information into one class or even one lifetime is unrealistic. Come to practice, build up your repertoire of yoga knowledge. After practicing yoga a couple of times a week for one year, before you know it, you will have advanced far beyond what you thought you were capable of.
Melanie Comegys is an E-RYT 200 with Yoga Alliance. She has been a corporate trainer for nine years and practicing yoga since 1999. She currently teaches at Joy Yoga Center and works for Baylor College of Medicine Orthopedic Surgery. She leads the Beginner Yoga Workshop series at Joy Yoga Center every Saturday at 12 noon. Visit her website http://www.melaniecomegys.com or follow her on Twitter @MelanieAnneCome.