As a certified yoga instructor, I get a variety of responses when I introduce myself to someone new. There is always some interest in the benefits of yoga but unfortunately, one of the most common responses is, “YOGA? Pfffttt! I’m not flexible/relaxed/confident/X/Y/Z enough to do that”.
While that is sometimes a bit disheartening as a practitioner, the good news is that I get to inform my new acquaintances that they don’t have to be a super bendy, green smoothie-drinkin’, guru goddess with razor sharp curves to do – and benefit from – yoga.
Like many services in the health and wellness sector, the trick is to find a yoga practice that you are comfortable with and suits your personal goals and style.
How to find the right yoga practice
I always suggest to people who are wondering if yoga is for them that a good way to find a practice that suits you is to think about what you would like to get out of yoga. Here are two questions that may help:
1. Are you feeling physically tense from sitting/standing all day or as a result of mental stress?
If you answered yes to this question, you’re likely to be attracted to a more active style of yoga such as “Vinyasa Flow”. Vinyasa Flow provides amazing benefits with a full body stretch to reduce tightness, back pain and muscular tension as well as improve flexibility and core strength over time to maintain a healthy body.
2. Are you feeling self-conscious, anxious, overwhelmed or stressed?
If this is the case, “Hatha Yoga” might be a better option for you. Hatha is a slow and relaxed way to enjoy 5 – 10 breaths in each Asana (pose). This class promotes body awareness as you’re encouraged to tune in and listen to your body and thoughts. Your instructor will guide you to move with mindfulness and slow down your breath rate as you appreciate the journey of progression to a more relaxed, peaceful and positive self. Hatha yoga sessions often finish with a short meditation and tips to help to find a calm state of being (helpful to use in stressful situations such as exam time for teens or busy work periods for adults).
So, is Yoga for you?
Yes! I guarantee there is a style of yoga for everyone and when found, the benefits will make you happier and healthier.
Catering to mostly inner-city office workers, Revive offers a 45 minute yoga class every Friday at our East Perth clinic. Our 12pm class combines the physical benefits of Vinyasa Flow with the mindfulness common in Hatha.
I take great pride in making every class accessible and useful to every participant – regardless of experience. For example, when explaining a new Asana to a mixed-level class, I will often demonstrate different options to allow those who are just beginning and those with experience can all find a pose that is enjoyable and rewarding for them.
If you would like more information about the classes we hold at Revive or about yoga more generally, please contact me, Lauren, at Revive Health and Happiness, firstname.lastname@example.org or 6381 0297.
Hoping to see you looking more confident and relaxed soon!