4. CLASS VARIETY IS HUGE
The variety of yoga classes are HUGE. Classes range from hot to power, teens to even chair yoga. If you’ve been to a class and think it’s not for you I really urge you to try a different style before throwing in the towel (or mat!).
The same goes for teachers. Everyone has their own style and even a power yoga class can be a completely different experience depending on who’s teaching it. My top tip is to find a recommended studio near you and try a variety of styles and teachers to see which works best for you.
5. IT’S NOT THE EASY OPTION
My husband thought yoga wouldn’t be enough of a challenge before taking one of my classes. After sixty minutes he was covered in sweat and ached all over..! A yoga class can challenge you far more than you realise.
The movements link to the breath and are strong and mindful with a focus on alignment. A dynamic vinyasa class can challenge your strength and stamina whilst a yin class can challenge your ability to be still and calm the ‘monkey mind’.
6. IT CAN BE MODIFIED TO SUIT YOUR BODY
Injuries don’t necessarily mean that yoga isn’t for you. If you’re injured, I would recommend you have an assessment by a suitably qualified health professional to confirm a diagnosis and provide appropriate advice. However, having an injury, in most cases, does not mean you cannot continue exercising or practicing yoga.
By combining your rehabilitation exercises with modified exercises you can facilitate and even speed up the recovery process. At the end of 2019 I released a 12 week body and mind programme Strength Through Yoga The Circuits which was cowritten by a physiotherapist. The programme includes information on common injuries and how to modify your practice to suit your body.
7. YOU DON’T NEED TO PRACTICE FOR HOURS DAILY TO SEE THE BENEFITS
With modern day life, practicing yoga for an hour or more regularly may not always be possible. There is evidence, however, that exercising for just 10-30 minutes is still beneficial. Don’t let time constraints stop you or be an obstacle!
8. IT’S ACCESSIBLE TO ALL
Yoga is for EVERY body and is accessible to all. The word yoga means to yoke or bind, and is often interpreted as “union”. Yoga is a complete and holistic path to enlightenment or liberation and is non-exclusive. The physical postures or asanas are designed to purify the body and provide physical strength and stamina. If you can’t touch your toes, it’s fine! You’re still performing a forward fold.
9. MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS ARE NOT JUST FOR HIPPIES
Meditation has always been a central part of yoga. It is now also gaining momentum in the general health and wellbeing arena due to the growing evidence supporting its use for common issues such as anxiety and chronic pain.
It might feel difficult or even impossible at first, but with time you’ll notice the benefits it has on all aspects of life. There is a good reason why some of the world’s most successful people swear by it and include it in their daily routine.
10. IT’S NOT GENDER SPECIFIC
It’s true that if you step into a yoga class you may see far more women than men. However, traditionally the opposite was actually true. In ancient India, yoga used to be practiced almost exclusively by men. It was only its arrival in the West that drew in a large following with women. Regardless of this, yoga is all-inclusive. It isn’t gender specific and everyone can benefit from bringing yoga into their lives. If you’re too nervous about being the only man in the room at a yoga class, give a YouTube video a go – there are thousands, if not millions, of yoga videos out there that will give you a good session, so give it a go and enjoy the calm.