We all know the mental, physical and emotional benefits of regular yoga practice such as increased concentration, better balance, and lower stress levels but did you know yoga teachers are increasingly seeing pupils make mistakes? It’s not down to the practice of this ancient art but the mental baggage that yoga practitioners are bringing to classes. If you’re a newbie at yoga then the best thing you can do before rolling out your mat, getting into child’s pose and focusing on your breathing is to clear your mind!
Your yoga teacher is not an all-seeing, all-knowing guru neither is he or she, your own
24/7 personal life coach. They are there to teach yoga, nothing more, nothing less. While instructors do encourage open communication, asking them if you’re doing it right every five minutes, sending them long emails between classes and begging them for help with your love life isn’t on. Despite what their Instagram profile shows your teacher is not in sun salute all the time. They aren’t frozen there waiting until it’s time for class and they have lives of their own. While many yoga teachers are friendly, caring people they are not trained therapists, doctors or even personal trainers. Neither are they priests or parenting experts, so you need to stop believing they have all the answers ASAP because they don’t.
Too Many Excuses
While it’s entirely understandable that many newbies are nervous going into their first class, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to master these beginner yoga poses having had just a few weeks of lessons. No one starts yoga able to put their legs over their head and flexibility will come just wait! Neither do you have to be a supermodel to attend a class as despite what social media shows us, yoga classes are open to everyone no matter what size you are. We’re even putting off improving our health by saying we don’t have the right gear and while cute yoga pants, crop tops, and shorts are lovely a pair of leggings, a T-shirt and flat shoes is just fine. Don’t expect to be a yogic master immediately as takes years of daily practice, training courses and intense workouts for instructors to perform the poses they do so ease up on yourself and focus on your breathing.
Being Super Serious
While it’s important that you pay close attention to your instructor, otherwise you might injure yourself, too many of us are taking yoga far too seriously. It’s meant to be a relaxing, calming and enjoyable practice that lets us focus on our inner selves, accepting our imperfections and understanding our strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t master a particular move straight away give it time! We all learn at different rates and someone else might struggle with the next pose so stop worrying. Figure out what you enjoy the most is it yoga accompanied by soft music? Chanting? Lengthy visualization or meditation sessions? Whatever suits you is the place to be so if your friends are encouraging you to change studios because the new one has a ‘juice bar’ then think carefully before leaving.