Things I wish I knew before starting Yoga

By Karen James

I maybe in the minority but can’t remember the ‘day’ I took my first yoga class, not sure of the relevancy to post so I’ll just dive in with things wish I knew.   Although it does pose another question, would I have been confident or remotely knowledgeable to share this information at the beginning? No, is the honest answer, but for anyone thinking of starting their yoga journey this post is dedicated to you!

Yoga is for every single body regardless of age, sex, gender, current flexibility status (to name just a few) – I know really it is, spoiler alert right here. Something not portrayed well in social media, as we see skinny very flexible mostly women and the odd shirtless toned men making shapes with their bodies that would make a normal person wince. Don’t be put off. If it’s something you want to try, do it. Even if you’re apprehensive to attend in person there are great online accessible resources.

 I would never have googled ‘accessible yoga’ simply because didn’t know it existed! Remember if you attend an in person class and it goes well hurrah and go again, if your experience made you feel anything less than empowered find another class, someone out there can’t wait to welcome you in and help you grow to love this beautiful practice. If you believe you’re not flexible enough to practice yoga poses, probably true, but should that stop you? Absolutely not!

“Yoga is for every single body regardless of age, sex, gender, current flexibility status (to name just a few)”

Don’t have to be on the floor, can use support, change the orientation of the body, sorry not sorry as just thrown a few things into one sentence. Changing up my practice sometimes use a chair or the wall not because I’m over 50 or that ‘I need to’, but because like the variety, and it doesn’t make the practice any less effective for my body, merely sustains it and who wouldn’t want that in the long run? I advocate the use of support (props) but understand hearing ‘use a prop if you need to’ could somehow mean you shouldn’t or worse no one shows you how to incorporate one. 

Once I started using props never looked back. They gave me space to move, considered my body proportions and helped create a balance and ease within the practice. If I can share one of the most valuable things I’ve learnt the pose is not the goal it’s how you feel in it. What does that mean? Well could look aesthetically and symmetrically perfect for social media and in reality be in agony, as pushed your body into a shape it can’t handle. Or look nothing like the social media picture perfect pose and feel perfectly okay and under no pressure.

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