I’ve been trying a few different exercises in the last few months and really wanted to share my experiences and thoughts with you. I think there are many experts and gurus out there to tell you all about fitness, but not necessarily how it is the very first time, right? So here we go, yoga comes first, as it was indeed the first thing I’ve tried (on the current weightloss journey) and – spoiler – it’s my favourite!
So… to put it simply – it’s not very easy, but it’s not discouragingly difficult. What I love about yoga is that you yourself and the teacher can adapt the exercises to your abilities. They can show you alternatives and will reassure you that you should listen to your own body and slow down or take a break in the child’s pose whenever you want. Now that I look back, I think the best thing for a person not very confident would be to find a beginners course and join from the first class. That way you wouldn’t be worried about other people knowing what to do/ how to do more that you. But many studios have different types of classes, many called “beginners” or “beginners-intermediate” and you will be completely fine joining these. Or even joining something like “hatha flow”, “vinyasa flow” etc.- as I’ve said, most teachers are really really good at what they do and will accommodate you. Some studios, like hotpod yoga, do an “introductory workshop” lasting 90 min. once a month. It’s a great idea to attend such, but to be honest, whatever one will be your first class you will be OK.
The studio environment, mats etc. may feel a bit weird at first, especially if you don’t attend any other studio classes, if you only do weights, run outdoors or do nothing at all (until now!). But just pick any mat and sit comfortably, or maybe even have a chat with another person there. You really shouldn’t be worried about being judged. It probably applies to any types of classes, but at yoga it’s especially true. At the beginning I was very conscious of my weight (I probably still am a tiny bit), but then – maybe not at the first, but at other classes (yoga, or barre etc.) I saw other women, similarly curvy, and that made me feel OK and not alone. So if you are curvy/ overweight, or completely unfit, inflexible, or anything else – don’t worry, cause there’ll be someone like you, if not at that very first class, then you’ll come across them later, for sure.
The teacher will ask you about any injuries, or anything else they should know about, so you should obviously tell them, so they’ll be able to give you some tips or alternatives. If they suggest the beginners use some blocks or other props, don’t hesitate as they will make things easier. Still, you may be surprised how hard it is to hold some poses for more than a few seconds. But it’s a challenge I love, personally. I hate burpees or pointless jumping back and forth. But I can try and go a bit lower in that warrior pose 🙂
In contrast to other studio classes, there’s nice bit of relaxation/meditation at the end of the session that you may find surprising. But just enjoy 🙂 The “OOOMM” or “Namaste” that some teachers say at the end may sound weird, but just don’t put to much attention to it if you find it awkward, it’s all part of the fun that you’ll soon learn to love.
You may think it would be a good idea to check out some yoga sessions on You Tube beforehand, but to be honest – I wouldn’t recommend that. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere and have no yoga classes around. The reason I say that is because it’s hard to know if you do certain poses or movements correctly. The mirror may help, but only with some of them. A good teacher is really invaluable. They can instruct you, correct you, give you tips…. I’ve bought a yoga mat and plan to do yoga at home, but I really wanted to learn the basics in the class first, so I would know what I’m doing. So till now, I’ve only done yoga at home twice. There will be more, for sure, and I can’t wait for that, but classes are irreplaceable. And when you’re completely new and just deliberating if you should go – just go! 🙂