Starting yoga seems simple, right?
Just find a class.
Just look for an online channel.
Just put on the yoga pants.
Just do it!
There isn’t necessarily a right way to begin yoga, but there are definitely some things to consider if you’re going to stick with yoga for more than a class or two. Let’s look at a few.
First, always talk to your doctors before you begin any new practices. This isn’t just legal jargon that yoga teachers should say. Yoga involves standing, sitting, stretching, and bending. This should be taken into consideration, especially for people who:
- are taking blood pressure medication
- have diabetes or a heart condition
- have high-risk pregnancy complications.
Your doctors know what is best for your specific health situation, so the first step is talking things over with your team of medical professionals.
Another thing to consider is that there are different types of yoga. You may have seen words like vinyasa, yin, hot, ashtanga, or restorative in the descriptions for yoga classes. Yoga classes vary between platforms, styles, and teachers. It can take a while to find your groove, but the good news is that with so much diversity, there is space for you. Don’t give up. Your yoga community will be stronger because you are there, and you will be stronger because of your community. Here is an article that breaks down the different styles of yoga. You may find this helpful when looking for a yoga teacher or a yoga class.
The final thing to consider is your goal. What is your intention?
Maybe it is physical: you simply want to stretch out your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and build stronger bones.
Maybe it is mental: you want to bring clarity or awaken deeper awareness.
Perhaps it’s for spiritual reasons like being transformed by the renewing of your mind, or being conformed to the virtues you hold as core values. Solitude, journaling, or conversing with a friend are great ways to identify your bigger why. Setting your goal will help you find your teacher, connect with your community, and connect with yourself.
So Sarah, what type of yoga do you teach?
I teach hatha yoga that is slow-paced and restful. There are elements of yin and restorative postures as well as mindful meditation. I offer modifications throughout class. Each class is different, literally, every time I teach! I do not use scripts. I ask students how they are feeling and tailor the asana for what they want to focus on. In group classes, I generally theme around virtuous elements like peace and joy, or physiological elements like stretching the muscles of the shoulder.
Because yoga is so multi-faceted, there is simply no way for me to teach every type of yoga. Hatha is generally a preferred style of yoga for the workplace, for people with limited mobility, people with special health considerations such as pregnancy, or beginners who may find a fast pace intimidating.
Here are some things I can not do. I am not a licensed healthcare provider. I do not accept insurance, offer medical advice, or converse about diet or mental health. I do not offer physical adjustments, sound therapy, essential oils, or aromatherapy. These are outside of my scope of practice. Be sure that any yoga teacher is transparent with you about their training and the scope of their yoga practice.
Personally, I have practiced yoga for almost 20 years. As a Registered Yoga Teacher® with Yoga Alliance, I have completed hundreds of hours of training that are dedicated to safe and ethical practices for healthy individuals. I have also completed Yoga for Cancer Teacher Training at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center so that I can help those affected by cancer. I have specifically studied yoga for pain management– whether it is managing recurrent pain, through pregnancy and labor, or after you have been released from physical therapy. If this sounds like a good fit for you, then email me. Let’s get started!