1. Just start. Stop thinking about it and get your ass out there and on a mat. Stop making excuses.
2. Don’t expect that you are going to be great at it you’re first go. Actually, don’t expect that you’re going to be great at it any time soon… Yoga is a practice of life and you will never become and “expert” you should expect to always keep learning, evolving and growing.
3. You do not need to be flexible to start. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard people use that as an excuse. If you don’t start practicing, how do you ever expect to touch your toes? That shit doesn’t just happen one day when you decide that you’re ready. It takes work. Start where you are and go from there. Honour yourself.
Honour your body.
4. Shop around. If you don’t like the initial class, whether it was the instructor, the energy in the room, the style, the studio, keep trying. There is literally a yoga for everyone. Just like dating, there will be some instructors and classes that you mesh with and some you don’t. Don’t give up. keep your options open and explore them.
5. Be like Yoda. Do or do not. There is no try. Decide. Show up. Commit. Repeat.
6. Give yourself permission to show up and honour that commitment. Give yourself a solid high five for making it to class. It’s an investment in your self and it’s a fucking rockstar thing to do. Good job! #highfive
7. Leave your phone in your car. Yoga is a place of peace and release, you can’t do that with your phone buzzing in your ear. You can live without your phone for an hour. Nobody is going to do die. Unless of course you are a surgeon, then there is a possibility of someone dying if you miss a call, but otherwise… leave your damn phone in the car… and don’t come to class if you are supposed to be in surgery.
8. Show up 10 minutes early to class and just lay and chill on your mat until class starts. Allow your body some time to adjust to your practice and accept that you are about to do some serious soul searching. Give yourself permission to DO that soul searching. Open your heart. Open your mind. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy.
9. The “yoga community” has a lot of flowery and hippie-type, granola people. That’s a fact. If this is not you, that is ok. This is also a fact. You do not need to shop at Whole Foods, be vegan, wear hemp and protest the cruelties of the world to be part of this community. You can, but you don’t have to. Showing up for practice also means showing up for YOU. Being comfortable with who you are as a person. When I first started my journey, I struggled with this. Over the years though, I have realized that it is far more important and liberating to just. be. you.
Be proud of your authentic self and state your intentions proudly.
The me I am proud of:
I am yogi. I don’t practice daily, but I practice when I can and that’s ok. I eat meat. I cuss like a sailor. I like watching MMA fights. I struggle with anxiety. I am a self proclaimed self-help junkie. I have body image issues. I am a single mom. I am a hard ass fucking mutha-hustler.
I love me <3
9. Social anxiety got you like, nope, too much people-ing for me. It’s all good in the hood, girlfriend! I feel ya. We are lucky enough to live in an age where we can access absolutely anything and everything with the click of our mouse. YouTube is an excellent resource for classes and tutorials. While studio classes are, in my humble opinion, better because you get proper guidance on your form and hands-on support, but an at-home practice is far better than no practice at all!
10. Oh, and don’t worry about what to wear to class. Just throw on some leggings (we all know you have em) and a t-shirt or tank top and go. Before skipping off to class, I always like to bend over in front of a mirror to make sure you can’t see the naughty bits through your pants. Just because the’re black doesn’t mean they don’t become fucking pantyhose under pressure! I’ve made that mistake before, probably more times than I should admit. Oops!
11. Bring a water bottle. Staying hydrated is important!! Bring a mat or don’t. Most studios have everything you’d need for a class. Use their stuff until you invest in your own.
12. ENJOY the experience by not putting undue pressure on yourself. Go with the flow. Chill. Breathe. You’ve got this.