The hardest part about doing anything new is actually just starting. We tend to make excuses, come up with reasons why we shouldn't do something rather than just actually going for it or we might be worried about stepping into the unknown. The most common thing I hear is 'I'm not flexible enough to do yoga'. YOU are a perfect person to be going to a class in that case. We only develop that flexibility by doing something about it. Not everyone who practices yoga can touch their toes (more importantly, no one cares if you can either!) If you wanted to learn to drive but never got in a car, how would you expect to learn?
'I don't have time for yoga' Another common excuse - did you know just spending a few minutes paying attention to your breath is yoga? Much of yoga is not just what you practice in class and on the mat, but also in your day to day life.
I love being a beginner at something and send myself off to classes where I know I will be the newbie in the room. I find it so exciting because you know you have so much to learn in front of you. If I don't enjoy it, then I won't worry because at least now I know it's not for me. Not sure about heading to class on your own? Bring a pal. Yoga is truely for everyone, it can cater to all different bodies, lifestyles, conditions so it's most likely they too would benefit for joining you!
Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. Yoga is a very personal practice and it is actively encouraged to avoid watching what others are doing. We want to be able to concentrate with what is happening on our own mats so that we can focus on ourselves more closely. We are all so different, it would be silly to expect that we can all do the same things so what looks easy for one might be impossible for someone else!
The important thing is to try it out. You might not find the right class, the right teacher, the right studio that suits your needs and expectations on the first go. There are so many types of yoga (Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Power, Kundalini, Bikram, Ashtanga, Iyengar; just to name a few) that it might take a few classes until you find the right one for you. Confused? Don't worry, it can seem overwhelming to begin with but asking questions always helps. The vast majority of yoga teachers are super passionate about what they do and will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experience with you! You are your own best teacher. You know your body better than anyone else. I can be there to help direct and guide you when needed, but ultimately you will learn to listen to your own body knowing when something feels good and when maybe its best to take a step back. Trust that your body will tell you what's right. It might seem scary to begin with but the benefits of yoga go way beyond that. Everyone should make time in their lives to pay attention to their breath, to listen to their bodies and to observe the mind.
For those of you who have a regular practice the challenge is to come to that mat each time and imagine yourself as a beginner. So that you can let your ego go, and be open to learning something new each time.