My first love is running. No doubt about it. But yoga. Ah, yoga. You hold a special place in my heart. I kind of lost that loving feeling for a couple of years. My home studio closed and I couldn’t find another one that fit. And then I just wanted to spend all my time running, not taking time to do more than 20-30 minutes of an at home class. I was “doing” yoga but not really practicing.
Since January, when I found a new home studio, we’ve reclaimed our love for each other. I’m in the studio 3-4 days a week. Bending, twisting, stretching, lengthening, being present and letting go. Just like running, when I love something, I talk about it. A lot. So I’ll bring up things that happen in class – a pose we practiced, one that felt oh so good on my back or just how the yoga vibrations were especially good on that night.
To my friends who aren’t into yoga, they just smile, nod and say, “Oh cool.” Or “I’d love to do that, but I’m not flexible.” One thing I’ve learned from yoga is that it’s for everyBODY. If you’ve never done a yoga class before or are new to yoga, you probably have a few questions. The following are all beginner’s questions about yoga that I’ve been asked before.
1. How is yoga different than stretching? Yoga is the connection of mind, body, spirit. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps to direct your attention inward. It’s not a task or a goal to be completed. Yoga will improve your strength, coordination, and cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.
2. I can’t do yoga. I’m not flexible. Despite all the pictures you see of yogis being made into a human pretzel, that’s not the main focus. Once you bring your un-flexible body to yoga you’ll find that it will help you become more flexible. But don’t think it’s a requirement to walk through the yoga studio door.
3. I can’t sit still. I need to move. You go to yoga and the silence is so deafening you can’t help but start to fidget. Your mind is racing thinking of everything and anything all at the same time. I didn’t pay good money to sit here. I want to sweat! I felt the exact same way when I started yoga. And I still prefer the quicker paced Vinyasa style yoga. But even a few minutes at the beginning and end of class of disconnect from all the chatter of daily life, will become a welcomed time to just have your world revolve around your inhales and exhales. Trust me, you need it.
4. Is there going to be chanting? My new studio does more chanting than I’ve ever done before. The first class I took, I just kind of mouthed the words, not really knowing what I was saying. Thankfully the teacher did “call and response” so we listed to a line and then repeated it. There’s no obligation to chant in class. If chanting isn’t your thing, join in for the Om’s. A wall of Om’s is quite powerful!
5. What if I have to fart? This question actually came from Ron. OK and I thought the same thing before I went to my first class. I’ve been in plenty of classes where someone has farted in class. It’s to be expected with all the bending, twisting and inversions, right?! It happens, move on. Hopefully it’s not a room clearing stinkfest, though. If you are truly worried about it, make sure to not eat any foods that you know give you gas on days you have yoga. No one wants to smell broccoli when you are doing Ujjayi breathing.
What are/were some of your questions about yoga?