Have you wondered about doing yoga, but feel like you’re just not cut out for it? Maybe you understand the health benefits, but have this inkling that you’re just not interested in practicing yoga the traditional way—in a yoga studio, with a teacher, instructing poses to you in Sanskrit.
Perhaps you have a die hard yogi friend who swears by traditional Ashtanga yoga, and you know for a fact, that’s just not your style. Although, you still want to try yoga, those strict, alignment-based classes in the Iyengar style are a turn off as well. You don’t want to carry around blocks, straps, and bolsters. That feels downright cumbersome! Not too mention expensive!
What’s a non-traditional yogi to do? I’ve got some ideas. And I’m going to share them with you here.
1. Begin With Online Mini-Classes
I love practicing yoga online. I’ve been doing it for years. The thing I love is the versatility. You don’t have to commit to a set amount of time, at a set time and place. If you’ve got a mere 10 minutes in the morning before work, there’s a class for that. Heck, if you’ve only got five minutes for a quick morning warm-up, there’s a class for that, too.
On the other side of the spectrum, maybe you’re alone for the weekend and bored out of your mind. You want a full-blown yoga retreat kind of class. There’s one for that too!
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Online yoga has become so full of variety, with so many kinds of teachers, so many forms of yoga, and so many classes, there really is something for everyone. Getting started with 10 to 15 minute mini-lessons is a really nice way to begin practicing. Especially in the comfort of your own home.
There’s no one to compete against. You don’t have to look cute. And you don’t have to go anywhere. Plus, it’s cheaper. What’s not to love?
2. Look for Classes That Suit Your Desires
Maybe all you want is a good stretch. Online or in-person, chances are, you can find a class for that.
Want to work on building strength so you can become a muscle-burning machine? Strength-based yoga classes abound—in studios, and online.
Or perhaps you want a full-out cardiovascular workout, one that’s going to make you build up a sweat and burn a ton of calories. There are loads of classes for that, too.
If you love to workout to some banging playlists, there are tons of yoga classes that share your passion for music! Bulldog Yoga is one of our favourite online yoga providers, not just because they have tons of classes for every yoga level, but because their playlists are make the classes even more fun!
Look for the class that suits your desires and you’ll be more apt to take it!
3. Skip the Sanskrit
Many of us are turned off by traditional Sanskrit. It’s a difficult language, and hard to remember the names to yoga poses in this ancient dialect.
Luckily, many classes skip the Sanskrit altogether—especially yin yoga classes. If Sanskrit’s not your cup of tea, try taking English-based classes. Sanskrit names are typically frustrating for new beginners who can’t understand what the names are for each pose. Starting out with English-based classes can take some of the stress away and help you flow between the poses with more confidence!
4. Find a Class That Looks Downright Fun
This is going to be different for everyone. What sounds fun to me, might not be fun at all for you. A fun class might be one with upbeat music. I thought about teaching yoga classes with flamenco music. It’s a genre I just love. This would be totally fun for me, but it might not suit you.
Someone else’s idea of fun might include mantras and chanting, with spiritual teachings or mythological stories woven throughout, but that might not be your idea of fun. Get my drift?
Find a class that includes that little something extra that makes it less stuffy than traditional yoga. Aromatherapy yoga, anyone? Now, that sounds fun to me!
5. Do What Feels Good
As you begin practicing yoga, keep in mind that it’s not about being good. It’s about feeling good. And having fun.
Your poses don’t have to look like anyone else’s poses. And, they’re not going to! This is your practice. Only yours. You get to do whatever is best for you, and that means whatever feels good to you.
This will change from one day to the next. That’s the beauty of the human body and mind. So, go with how you feel.
In this way, it makes sense not to get caught up in just one style of yoga. I know from personal experience that some days I want an hour long vinyasa class. Other days all I can handle is 20 minutes of a few traditional hatha poses. And still others, I want to luxuriate in a 90-minute yin class, and then meditate for 30 minutes after.
Every day is different. I typically honor my body (and mind), and I encourage you to do the same. That way you can ease into the practice, and know that it’s all about whatever works for you.
So, do what feels good, each and every day!
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