How to: Start Practicing Yoga

This may seem like a weird topic to some because it sounds so easy. When I began getting serious about my own yoga practice and posting more pictures and captions about the subject, people started confronting me about how I got started and helping them do the same. It seems easy to those of us who have always been active and didn’t really need a jumpstart into the world of yoga. However, to those that had never done yoga or many other sports really needed guidance on how and where to get started. I want to make sure everyone knows that there is no shame at all in not knowing what to do. Here is an easy, quick start to finding your own yoga practice.

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Step #1

Immediately find a credible yoga studio near you.

This is such a crucial part into becoming a yogi. You can practice on your own and do hours of yoga by yourself, but you need physical adjustments and direct instruction if you want to really improve which is typically done in a class. Teachers should know exactly what YOU need versus the person on the mat next to you, and this can really only be done in a class like setting. The more you practice with other people, the more you will feel comfortable with being on the mat yourself.

Step #2

Know to not compare yourself to any other yoga practitioner.

There is nothing more destructive and defeating than comparing yourself to your neighbor in a yoga class. Who cares if the girl next to you bends in a way that you don’t. I can guarantee you that she isn’t paying attention to you so don’t even bother paying attention to her. Take pictures of where your are today in different poses. On those days where you feel like you aren’t good enough, take pictures of where you are and compare them to the past. It’s truly incredible how much we improve without even knowing it. Yoga is a beautiful thing that can show you how powerful you really are.

Step #3

Be passionate about why you are doing it.

If your main goal is become the beautiful Instagram pictures that you see, don’t even bother starting the journey. Yoga is meant to be a very personal, authentic experience to learn about yourself mentally and physically. You need to have a genuine reason or purpose of starting this type of sport. You need to want to do it to improve yourself and not just for the impressive pictures.

Step #4

You have to hold yourself accountable for practicing at home.

In order to continue improving, you must practice at home on your own. Whether you have 5 minutes before you go to bed or 2 hours in the middle of the day, you need to spend time on your mat every day. It doesn’t matter if you just meditate for a few breaths or sweat your butt off for a long period of time. You just need to get your feet on the mat for the day. Allow it to be your safe place. Push yourself to work at this day in and day out.

Step #5

Turn it into a lifestyle and not just an exercise.

Go online and start getting books about Yoga and watch YouTube videos of credible instructors on different poses you want to be able to do in the future. Start eating healthier and attending classes every week. It doesn’t have to consume all of your time, but make it a priority. I always tell people if they want yoga only as an exercise, that’s totally fine. But in the same breath, it’s worth SO much more than that. I think anyone practicing Yoga should know the history and the culture because it’s so amazing to me. It can be turned into a lifestyle which is much more rewarding than just an exercise.

Step #6

 Don’t give up.

No matter how fast or slow you think you are progressing, just keep at it. That’s what is so different about yoga; there is no winner or loser and you don’t compete with anyone but yourself. It doesn’t matter if after a year, you still can’t do the splits. Your body will open up at the pace that it wants to. Just keep working at it, and you’ll realize one day how far along you’ve come. Just no matter what, do not stop stepping your feet on that mat.

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These are just a few of the steps I think you need to be dedicated to in order to dive into the practice of Yoga. It isn’t always as easy as people make it seem! It’s hard work but very rewarding if you let it be. If you have any more questions or want to know more about Yoga in general, please comment below and let me know! Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Sydney

February 12, 2017