New to Yoga?
Everyone was a beginner once! Everyone had the same questions!
- What is Yoga?
- Is Yoga safe for me?
- Do I have to be really flexible to do Yoga?
- Can I do Yoga if I’m pregnant?
- Can I do Yoga if I have an injury or condition?
- Who is Yoga for?
- Is Yoga a Religion?
That’s a lot of questions! But there is a fairly simple answer (as well as a much longer one!).
Yoga is for EVERYONE!
It’s true! Yoga really is for everyone, whatever your physical or mental condition, whether you’re pregnant (see the section below on Pregnancy to ensure you always stay safe), an Atheist or life long follower of a faith, no matter your age or your physical condition, Yoga is something you can practise safely & will often find, offers great benefits to your physical & mental state.
Yoga, Staying Safe, Pregnancy & Physical Conditions
Of course, we all have our quirks; a clicky hip, tight shoulders, or a bun in the oven! Whatever our physical condition, it is always imperative that we practice safe Yoga.
If you ever feel pain or discomfort, you should immediately ease off the pose as far as is necessary, even if that means exiting it entirely. Always, always listen to your body, & if you have any concerns, speak with a doctor prior to starting any new exercise regime.
That said, the stretches & movements in Yoga can be very beneficial for some conditions / recovering from some injuries, & your physio-therapist can advise on what is worth pursuing & what should be avoided.
I’m not flexible!
Most of us start our lives pretty flexible & over time, our muscles & tendons get used to not being quite as elastic as they once were. The great news here is that Yoga can help you rediscover your flexibility; sure, you may start out finding poses nearly impossible, but through practice, your body will reveal its abilities to you!
What is Yoga? Is Yoga a Religion?
These days, Yoga is almost a different, unique experience for each individual who practises it; for some, it is an exercise & flexibility routine, for others that aspect is a means of unwinding & clearing the mind, ahead of meditating in order to achieve an improved mental state, or sense of mindfulness.
The key thing to understand is this; Yoga really is for everyone. You can take from it as much or as little as suits you, as long as you do it safely!
The Yoga I teach is a lifestyle, combining exercise, flexibility, meditation & mindfulness.
Which is to say that there is no religious component to the Yoga I teach, if you like, you could consider there to be an element of spirituality; thinking of your own individuality & consciousness, but this should be considered standard practise for any healthy mind! Some go as far as to describe Yoga as a lifestyle; often the meditative freedom it offers through stretching the body, burning off some of that nervous energy, finding an awareness of our muscles & limbs & just having time to let our minds go blank, is fairly transformative after all! But ultimately, its on you to find in Yoga as much, or as little as you need it to be.
That said, Yoga does intersect with several religions, including Hinduism & Buddhism. It’s history is deep & very rich (also, at times, a little impenetrable it must be said!) &, if it interests you, there are many, many great resources & teachers out there from which to learn more. It really comes down to you & what you are seeking, what you need.
Yoga for all
You’ll notice a common theme; Yoga offers as much or as little as you want or need to take from it.
If you want to push your body, undertake handstands & achieve impressive flexibility, you can do so with enough time & effort.
If you want to enjoy a gentle workout & seek peace & tranquillity through a deeper connection with your own self, many are those who have achieved such with Yoga.
If you want to rehabilitate after an injury, whether physical or mental, Yoga really can help (again though, practise safe Yoga & listen to your body & your medical professionals!).
The world is vast & the forms Yoga takes are nearly infinite, you can likely find any number of Yogis who can help you on your journey. But if you’re here, now, I am glad to be given the opportunity to share our journey together & help you along. I won’t sell, I won’t push.
I will, however, continue to hope you’ll join me in loving Yoga, loving yourself, & loving each other.