Great Article I found!  This is written with my sentiments exactly;) Enjoy and check out Kate Stone

 

Yoga2

Dear New Student:

I want you to like yoga. I do. And I want your body to like you, too. But with class sizes exploding, there are a few things you should know going into your practice. Trust me, your wallet, your family, and your body will thank me in the long run. Probably also the short run.

If you’re new, be new.
Six classes do not make you experienced, used to yoga or a “yogi.” If the teacher says, “for advanced students,” 98 percent of the time it will never mean you, even if you’ve been practicing for years. “For advanced students” means, “if this pose feels easy, you are steady and you can do more while also breathing, then you may move on to this other crazy thing.” So, 98 percent of the time you will not do the crazy thing. Do not confuse that with weakness.

Yoga is not for everyone.
You might feel like this is a life-changing, orgasmic epiphany—that this bendy-Zen-ness must be good for all people everywhere, but it’s not. Stop trying to convert everyone you know. Yeah, I know, they might love it and it might be crazy super awesome for their herniated discs or whatever, but just stop.Yoga is not a religion, it is not a cult, and all that is good about it gets diluted exponentially with armchair evangelists.

If it hurts, stop.
Are there poses that are uncomfortable, bordering on pain? Yes. Get to know the differences between tiredness in your muscles, stretch in your ligaments and pure, straight pain in your body. Pain is a sign that tells your brain your body is in danger. Listen to it.

If nothing in #3 made any sense to you, you are not ready for a class with 40 people in it.
Try one with three people. One where you can ask questions about pain.

Figure out why you’re doing this.
Why are you going to class? Why are you pushing to the next pose? Why is it important to you to breathe heavily and move your body and step your foot forward? You may not have answers but asking these questions helps you figure out how you move around in space. Having a “why” also keeps you in the room when your brain goes, “Boooorrring.”

Yoga is personal.
Asana is particular to the person experiencing the poses at this specific point in time and space. The man with his head on the floor and the woman with her head on her knee are at their individual max.Stop comparing your limits to theirs. You cannot possibly know how anything feels to anyone else. Just because they look like they’re further along doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel just as difficult in their respective bodies.

If you want to win, go to CrossFit.
There are no Yoga Olympics. There is no “good, better, best,” or PRs at yoga. You might stick a handstand one day and then really suck at it later that same day. An important part of practicing yoga is being present in the moment, no matter what’s happening. And another important part is embracing impermanence. No matter how awful or how awesome, that handstand isn’t going to last and it isn’t going to win you any points.

Looks are deceiving.
Yoga was not designed to make 20-something white girls be as skinny as possible. Do not forget this. Never forget this.

You don’t need to buy anything. 
Beyond the class, that is…you can’t just run into a studio like a Zen vigilante. Studios are businesses, after all. But with that comes all the other commercial interests businesses hold, like retail options and marketing ploys. The capitalist side of yoga makes a lot of money from teacher trainings in particular and they do not care about you quite as much as you think. Don’t be sad, just don’t start teacher training after practicing yoga for only a couple of months. Please.

Breathe at your own pace.
For years, I hated Upward-Facing Dog. I would inhale to Up Dog and then the teacher would start talking and we would stay there and I would sway like a suspension bridge and continue to inhale, inhale, inhale…and then finally push back to Down Dog in a great huff of exhalation.

1It wasn’t until I started an Ashtanga practice that I realized you are, in fact, allowed to breathe like a normal human even if your pace doesn’t match the cues. This also proves the point that there are four billion* types of asana practice, and you can only benefit from trying more than one. It may prove just how gullible I was as a teenager too, but you, hopefully are just new to yoga, not to life.

*Pure exaggeration, not a factual number.

avatar

About 

Kate Stone started taking yoga in middle school as a rebellious move against sports camp. After years of gymnastics, not having to flip over after a backbend was a relief, and the practice stuck. After college, Kate moved to Chicago to teach mean children how to read. She was marginally successful but felt severely, physically ill-equipped to deal with the fighting in her classroom. As someone who takes things literally, she became a personal trainer. Kate spent eight years in Chicago working in gyms, bars and museums, feeling like she was supposed to have a real job. Last year she realized she doesn’t ever want one of those. Kate spent all of her money on yoga training, and is now a yoga teacher, writer and bartender living in Boston.

Advertisements