We’ve all heard about how good yoga is for our health and well-being particularly mental health but where and how do you start.
The thought of walking into a yoga studio can be enough to put anyone off so here’s a breakdown on what to expect:
What to wear?
Clothes that you can move in without causing a scandal, you’ll be stretching and maybe bending so you don’t want something so tight that it’ll strangle you but neither so loose it disappears over your head when you lean forward
I find a t-shirt tucked into long shorts works well, ladies, if you’re wearing leggings check out how opaque they stay under pressure.
Do I need a mat?
Studios will usually have mats you can use, for a class at a hall etc best to check first, you can get mats pretty much everywhere but the price reflects quality, we sell great mats at iconic for less than £20.
What about feet?
You will probably need feet.
No, I mean, my feet are well -feet!
Everyone has feet, almost everyone, you can keep your socks on if you want but you might not get enough grip on the mat, again there are companies that sell yoga socks with sticky soles but as long as they’re clean no one else is going to care about your feet. You will have to take your shoes off though.
I’m just not very flexible.
Then maybe you should try yoga! I practice (almost) every day the first couple of stretches are the hardest anyone has ever done ever. Then it gets easier, by the time I take a class at 7:30 I can almost undo my laces without making that sound.
Honestly though, for tight joints, muscles and even swelling yoga is fantastic, it’s like getting a massage from inside never push it but just gently release the pressure and things start to get easier.
The elephant in the room?
Ganesha? He’s a groovy wee hindu god, likes fruit.
Incense, essential oils, atomisers, they’re all there for a reason. It happens, some poses are designed to help it happen, some poses are designed to stop it happening, in general if you’re going to blow maybe step outside for a minute, better that than letting rip in your neighbours face in a forward bend. Or sneaking out a silent but violent and denying responsibility. Ganesha has a long nose, and a longer memory.
Ok, all of this seems fine I suppose but how do I start?
Find a class, try Google, Facebook, ask friends, check out gyms and health clubs -see what they have to offer, if you have any doubts contact the teacher of the class we’re usually pretty easy to find. Then just come and try it, but keep an open mind, most classes will be mixed ability but the teacher is there to help you get the most of the class.
The big display classes of 60+ people are fun but they’re not the best if you’re looking for some help in samasthiti ei.
What was that that’s foreign?
Relax it’s just Sanskrit, teachers use it like shorthand, that one is ‘feet together, legs straight but not locked knees slightly bent pull up on the thighs to lift the kneecaps back straight shoulders relaxed head up chin in hands up to prayer position’ or we can call it ‘mountain’.
For complete beginners, anyone who wants to get back into it or just spend a bit more time learning a few moves we run beginners courses at iconic yoga, once every month or so.
Next one is on 5 May at 12:30, there will be tea.