Updated: Jul 14
All of us at some point in our lives have been a beginner at something! Where ever we are now, we had to start somewhere!
Starting something new can be overwhelming if not daunting! It can be reassuring to know that you're not alone and that's what I've always loved about our beginners yoga series - you're amongst like minded folks who are also embarking on their journey into yoga - and it's entirely possible they're feeling exactly the same way you are!
In a dedicated beginners class or series, there's a greater emphasis on the how and why of yoga, so you can expect to learn a little more about proper alignment and technique so that you can start out small and gradually progress. This can be especially helpful particularly if you're someone who struggles with sore wrists or perhaps has a physical limitation that needs to be adapted; beginners yoga classes are usually smaller in size and offer the student a chance to ask questions and receive individual guidance from an experienced yoga teacher. And because yoga is accumulative, a series provides an ideal way to start with one class a week and continue coming once the series finishes!
Keep in mind that a class for beginners is NOT JUST FOR BEGINNERS...even if you've been doing yoga for many years, you'll be surprised what you'll learn when everything gets brought back to basics - the trainees in our Yoga Teacher Training program attend our Beginners Series and they're always amazed at just how much they learn or re-learn in such a short amount of time!
Our Beginners Yoga Series at Bloom has been offered for more than a decade, so we've refined our class structure to suit a wide range of ages, bodies and abilities in a small group setting.
Here are our TOP 5 TIPS FOR YOGA BEGINNERS:
1. Set an intention
What is your WHY? What brings you to yoga and what do you hope to gain?
Is it more flexibility? To build strength? To tune in to your body? Reduce stress or perhaps improve your wellbeing? Whatever your reason is for beginning, you need to be true to it! Use this as your motivation to practice and continue learning, yoga is after all a practice in self-study: svadhyaya. Your intention and the needs of your practice will change over time and that’s okay, our yoga practice is always evolving and changing! When I first started practicing yoga it was because I was going through a particularly challenging time in my life and I found yoga helped me to be present with all that was going on. Over the years, my practice has shifted to be more intuitive, playful and a celebration of my body! There is no right or wrong intention when it comes to practicing yoga. It’s really a personal choice and depends on your own specific needs. Whatever happens...remember why you started!
2. Yoga is not a one size fits all practice!
There are so many ways in which you can practice yoga! Find a yoga teacher, a class or a studio that resonates with you! It might take a little bit of time, but it's important to try different teachers and studios in your local. You'll soon discover that they will all have a different approach to teaching, so pay attention to how you feel before, during and after class. Did you have an a-ha moment? Did you enjoy better sleep? While yoga is not designed to be easy, you should still feel as though its offered in such a way that it's accessible to you for where you are now. Do you feel energized? Relaxed? Different teachers, classes and yoga styles will resonate with you at different times in your life, so be discerning with your time and energy; do you need more...or less in your practice? If you tried yoga and it didn't give you what you needed - don’t give up. Try other classes with new teachers before you abandon yoga completely. It usually takes a couple of classes before you get connected and really start to feel the yoga!
3. Don't compare yourself to strangers (whether on the internet or in the yoga studio)!
One of the things I love most about yoga is the reminder of how good it feels to move in my body...and we can all make amazing shapes in our body! But if there’s one quote I like to throw out it's this: "Comparison is the thief of joy" It's impossible to avoid looking around the room at others, however yoga is an individual practice and if there are 15 folks in a yoga class, then in any given moment there's going to be 15 different but equally beautiful yoga postures going on! Every single body is unique, so don't get down on yourself if there's something you find difficult or can't do at all, part of the yoga practice asks us to look at the parts of ourselves where we struggle and in doing so, be content with where we're at. Every single yoga asana has a number of variations and modifications; a skilled yoga teacher should be able to offer variations so that you find the one that works best for YOU! By honouring where you're at, you'll begin to work with your edge and start to pay attention to the subtle language and sensation of your body.
4. Prop your pose! Even when you're not a beginner!
If you haven't been to Bloom Yoga then you might not have seen one of the best yoga prop collections in the southern hemisphere! Seriously!!! Props are not crutches, nor are they a sign of inability or weakness! The purpose of yoga props is to provide proprioceptive feedback, which is a fancy way of helping your body receive feedback and understand how a pose is really supposed to feel with full support, intuitive guidance AND safety. And truthfully, including props in your yoga practice is intelligent...it helps us to lean into the wisdom of our body. Your yoga teacher should include belts and blocks during class as a way to help you discover more about your body, and encouraging their use throughout the class...because they understand their immense benefit! Yoga props also serve as a wonderful metaphor for life - that we don't have to do it all ourselves! So, set the ego aside, treat your body with respect and let those yoga props take you places you never thought possible!
5. Yoga is so much more than just postures!
Modern yoga has been marketed in such a way that so much of what we see seems to be a finite goal of a yoga pose. The practice of yoga asana doesn’t just focus on getting to that backbend or handstand, the thing about yoga is learning how to be in your body; finding stability and ease with where you are in each and every moment. Our body changes and adapts to its environment, so through yoga we learn to scan our body and connect to our breath, both of which provide invaluable insight and perspective whether you're on the yoga mat or out in the big wide world! It’s the very experience you are having and not the shape that you’re taking. I've learned more about myself from the journey of getting into and exploring postures than I ever have about being in the postures. And over time I've come to love the postures that I once loathed, some I still don't like, but I recognise that in doing them I'm learning so much about myself in that moment! So don’t get discouraged or upset with yourself if a pose doesn’t come easily or ever at all! Anytime, I've mastered a BIG pose, my beginner’s mind is gone and something else will come along and grab my attention. It's in these moments, I am reminded that yoga is a continual journey of exploration and non-attachment that keeps me here, not the mastery of asana!
Whether you're brand new to yoga or are a seasoned practitioner, we all benefit from being beginners, from going back to basics and learning from the ground up!
If you're ready to (re) establish your foundation, Bloom Yoga runs specially curated 5 Week Beginners Yoga Series, Beginners Workshops and Intro to Yoga Classes regularly on our schedule taught by experienced, nurturing yoga teachers.