Curious About Starting a Yoga Practice
Curious About Starting a Yoga Practice?
I remember the earliest stages of when I had decided to take the training to become a yoga teacher. It was a really interesting experience as the feedback I was getting from friends and family was everything from excited to scrutinizing. One comment made that I’ll never forget was “oh god are you going to become one of those yogis that thinks everyone should do yoga”. This really stuck with me because it was such a strong reaction. It was also a great lesson from the beginning not to force or talk too much about my experience because it is simply mine, not anyone else's. As more time passes I can also relate to this comment in that we all have a path, we all find things that we enjoy, we all are attracted to different outlets and don’t want to be judged or persuaded into something that doesn’t bring us joy.
Yoga brings so much more than joy to me personally; mental health, physical health, and community to name a few. All of which I would like more of our society to experience especially in a day and age where so much stimulation, chaos, and expectations are thrown at us. My first thought is knowledge what if people just don’t know about yoga. Who are the people and what do I do to connect to those that simply are not aware of what yoga is. I myself stumbled into my first class on the cape I can’t even recall how other than it was on a Friday night and had Jammin in the title which did seem too “serious”. The second class was in Cambridge and I come to find out later in life was one of the most famous westernized yoga teachers home studio, and boy was that intense. I am finding on a more frequent basis that men in my life are asking and wondering what yoga is all about. I am inspired to write this piece for them!
The questions or gatekeepers that I have come across include:
- Are there classes for men? There are workshops, which means it is a special class in addition to a studio regularly scheduled classes. Workshops are less frequent than a regular class schedule and they can center around just about any topic. A great opportunity coming up is: January 26th from 1:30 to 3:30 join Luke in Harwich at Power Yoga of Cape Cod for a special Intro to Yoga for Men Class. Also here on the cape just about every studio has well trained, talented, mindful of the body male teachers who might be ones you connect with. Teachers will offer classes based on what they are trained in but also what they feel. A male teacher might offer something you are also in need of, areas of the body specific to men. I find there are also studios or classes on a weekly schedule that is more heavily populated by men which I believe would be given anyone new to the practice a level of comfort.
- I need to be more in shape before I go to a class. I would say exactly the opposite. One of the foundational elements of yoga is putting the ego aside and simple step into it. The class will be lead and there may certainly be things that are said that don’t make sense or exercises that you can not do, the purpose is to do what you can! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogi I would say “find the edge of what you can do, and stay there, breathe into the pose” also “I am offering to teach you to do it if you can and skip it if you can not”.
- What if I am not flexible at all? Yoga is NOT about touching your toes or any other sign of flexibility. It is about so much more! There is the work of quitting the mind, moving your breath with intention, moving the body, building strength, and so much more.
- Is it expensive? It can be. $20 per class if you are just dropping in..but I have some great news to share.
- Off Season NEW Student Special. The best deal in town if your new is at Orleans Yoga & Pilates, now through March 31st if you sign up at your FIRST class you can get one month of unlimited yoga for $50! (not listed online, ask about it on your first visit there) PS with a drop in class is normally at $20 if you take 3 or more classes in a month you are getting a great deal :)
- Class passes are also like buying in bulk, every studio will offer them. 5 classes, 10 classes or 15 classes are a great way to take classes for less money per class.
- What to wear? Attire is basically like any gym clothes. Loose waistband, shorts, tee shirt, secure underwear, and consider layers in the winter months. Really nothing fancy!
When it might be appropriate?
- If you have a sore, stiff, achy body
- When experiencing anxiety
- After a relationship break up
- When feeling stuck in your life; work, relationship, location
- Loss of a loved one
- Weight gain
- Desire for being a part of a community or meet new people
January is a time that many of us find new routines or explore new activities I hope that if yoga is something of interest this has been helpful. My contact information is all on my website if you have any further questions I would be happy to connect.
The love and the light within me honors and bows to the love and the light within you!