written by Alexa Nehter
You want to hit the mat. You’re ready to go - but you’re scared and really, you don’t have a clue what to do. Have feelings like these been holding you back?
Below are the most common inertia points which are keeping you from getting onto the mat:
You don’t have to be flexible
This is a biggie because it’s why most people never go. Please understand that this is one of the reasons you go to a class. You want to open up – physically, mentally and spiritually.
This will happen with time; it’s why yoga is such a beautiful way of moving your body. Yoga is not about gaining something elusive that you’re seeking to make you better, but rather about appreciating and polishing what is already there. You are already flexible, strong and calm and the more often you learn to let go, to observe your body in space and move into new possibility’s, the more you will open up.
There is no such thing as being good at yoga
It’s more about your ability to be open to evolve physically, mentally and spiritually. Don’t be afraid to listen to your body. If a posture doesn't feel right for you, make sure you ease a bit off to make the posture lighter.
The focus of yoga is to undo tensions in our bodies and mind, not to show off with free standing handstands. You can trust that you will do the right thing at any given time, and that your body will tell you what it needs.
Join a Beginners Course
There are plenty of courses out there for novices, where you will be guided through the fundamental ideas and postures of yoga. This is a great way to start as your teacher will cover everything you need to know in order to hit the mat in almost any studio or community centre in the future.
CONNECT (pre… present and post class)
I love talking to students before class; yoga teachers just do. Talking to students helps me better understand where they are at with their yoga practice. Teachers will ask you about injuries or any issues you might be challenged with. Please also speak up during class if you don’t understand something or don’t know how to translate the instruction given to your body.
Sometimes you don’t even have to say anything, just wait – yoga teachers can usually see the question mark in your eyes. After class is a great time to give you teacher some feedback, to ask question and to check in for the next class, or to discover alternative postures or classes.
Try out different styles and teachers
Don’t let a mediocre yoga class experience put you off your journey of yoga. There are many different schools and styles of yoga, and the first one you try may not be the right one for you. Have a look around your area, talk to some friends about where they go, and try a few different classes.
There is something for everyone and ‘every Body.‘
Be open minded
There is a lot of information on yoga out there. The different yoga styles, the philosophy and the practices are interpreted in all kind of ways. Yoga is an ancient holistic science that you can integrate into your life as it suits you individually. You can make it your own.
You don’t need to know everything in order to practice. The history, philosophy or level of difficulty of the postures will be taught to you when the time is right. You will get important insights when you are ready for it. There is nowhere else to go; just be curious and open for learning.
SMILE & Laugh
Yoga shouldn’t be too serious. Yes, we want to focus and concentrate, but everything flows a little easier with a smile.
Smiling about your tight hamstrings, your confusion about where left and right is, or what to do next in a sequence is humanly natural and so beautiful.
Curiosity is the key
It is such a beautiful thing to be a newbie. You really have an advantage here, because that’s what yoga wants to teach us: how to be open minded, vulnerable and look through the eyes of a new born. This is the essence of the Zen master.
Everything is new, everything unknown. This is a very advantageous position.
German born and raised science educator turned yoga teacher, author, speaker, coach and passionate surfer Alexa Nehter inspires a wide audience with her relatable and encouraging approach to yoga and mindful, soul-electrified living.
Alexa facilitates retreats in Australia, Fiji and Europe, as well as courses and workshops to teach the true ownership of yoga and a life that is real, uplifting and juicy.
Her mission is to educate the world about the transformative power of yoga, mindfulness and the choice of living lightly, in a way that is inclusive, inviting and inspiring for others.