If I had £1 for every time I’ve heard “I would love to start yoga but I’m not flexible enough” then I’d probably be a millionaire by now. That said, I also understand that there are a lot of people out there who would love to start yoga but lack the confidence, or feel intimated. I wrote this quick guide to give you some reassurance – and the inspiration to start your yoga journey.

Want to Start Yoga? Then You’re Ready to Start!

Mindset is everything, and if you are ready to start learning yoga then you are ready to begin! You don’t have to work on improving your fitness, flexibility, strength etc before you start attending yoga classes. Yoga helps to build strength and flexibility along the way, and it is totally ok to be a beginner!

I sometimes share how I could barely touch my knees (let alone my toes) before I started yoga. Although a lot of people laugh when I say this, it’s 100% true. I was stiff as a board, particularly my hamstrings, and had no strength either. I wish I had a ‘before yoga’ picture but that was the ‘before smartphones’ era too! I was amazed at how quickly yoga helped me physically – and blown away by how much my relationship with myself and my mental health were transformed.

Embrace where you are right now, and trust that you are totally where you are meant to be right now.  The more we show up in our vulnerable, come-as-you-are state, the more we can break down these barriers of inauthenticity that are so prevalent.

Regardless of how pre-prepared you feel physically, if you already have the intention and desire to start yoga, then you are ready now.

[bctt tweet=”Regardless of how pre-prepared you feel physically, if you already have the intention and desire to start yoga, then you are ready now.”]

Beginner’s Mind

I think everyone could do with a healthy serving of this beautiful Buddhist concept.  When we start something new, like yoga, we enter a honeymoon-type period in our lives.  We can’t get enough, we’re wide-eyed with awe and inspiration, and we feel like everything fits into place.  However, after some time, we start to question ourselves and doubt our abilities.

“I’ve been doing yoga for 2 months! Why can’t I do a headstand yet?”

I’m sure we can all relate to this on some level. This is why I’ve heard a few advanced yogis mention how amazing it is to be a beginner yogi. However, if we cultivate a beginner’s mind, no matter what stage we are at, and accept that we are still learning (and trust me, we all are) we can recreate this sense of awe of our practice.  This can definitely apply to beginners too, as a reminder that we aren’t supposed to know everything and that we are all eternal students.

The Practicalities

There are SO many yoga studios to attend that it might feel a little overwhelming to know which one to choose.  I recommend beginners to start off in either a yoga class for beginners, or privately with a teacher. At The Yoga Transformative we teach a lot of beginner yogis in a 1-1 environment and it’s a great way to learn the foundations and beyond, while feeling supported the whole time. These classes can be held in our yoga studio in central Edinburgh, or online.

Many of our private yoga clients at The Yoga Transformative initially book a class because they are looking for a simple but transformative practice that they can do long-term on their own. One of our biggest priorities at TYT is to help our 1-1 yoga clients do just that! We want to help you learn a practice that supports your body and your lifestyle, and we always encourage our clients to do this by giving them ‘homeplay’.

Its also so wonderful to practice yoga at home on your own, but I would always recommend checking in periodically with a teacher and especially when you are in the first year or two of your yoga journey. Having a teacher will help make sure you reduce the risk of any injuries etc, and keep you inspired. YouTube can be a great way to keep your practice varied, and there are so many resources out there! Check out our YouTube yoga classes if you want to learn from us.

Group classes can also be a powerful way to start learning yoga – especially if you’re in a smaller class or one that is designed for beginners. I know a lot of beginner yogis feel intimidated, lost or confused in big group classes, and we’re working on creating something special at The Yoga Transformative to make sure you never feel overwhelmed in a class again! We are currently creating a group membership offering where we can get to know and support all of you guys individually even in a group class environment. Sign up to our waitlist to be the first to know when we open for enrolment!

The Equipment

To practice yoga at home, I’d recommend the following props:

  • A good mat : Invest in a good quality mat, which doesn’t have to cost the earth.  A grippy mat makes the world of difference if you feel like your hands slip a lot, and there are so many options out there.  We use Yoga Matters Eco mats at our studio because they are the grippiest and best quality mats I’ve ever known! If you want to invest, then Manduka offers lifetime guarantees, and Liforme mats are gorgeous and made to last.
  • Comfortable yoga/workout clothes : You don’t have to be decked out in Lululemon every damn day, and there are a LOT of less expensive brands out there.  I invest a lot in my yoga clothes, because I wear them most days! Find a few brands that you like and that suit your budget.
  • 2 blocks : I’d recommend a minimum of 2 blocks to help support your hands, which can also be very helpful in folds.  You can also sit on these blocks if crosslegged positions don’t feel good for your hips/knees.
  • 1 strap : Great to support you in hamstring stretches, and backbends like Dancer’s Pose!
  • Bolster (Optional) : Bolsters can be a little more expensive (around £40 for a buckwheat filled bolster) but they can really help with back pain and are so helpful for Yin and Restorative practices. That said, a few firm cushions can be a great substitute.

I hope that this post has helped inspire you to start yoga! More and more people are doing yoga, and there are so many options for all levels. There has never been a better time to start.

As you can tell, at The Yoga Transformative we are passionate about introducing you to yoga! If you’re interested in our upcoming group membership, designed to support you at every level of your yoga practice, you can sign up to our waitlist below.

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