- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Get Started with Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in India. There is a broad variety of schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism,Buddhism and Jainism. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.
Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.
Starting yoga from scratch is not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of courage to go from sitting on your couch thinking about trying yoga to actually rolling out a mat and stepping onto it. This can be true of exercising in general, but it’s particularly strong for yoga because it’s different from other kinds of movement you’ve done before. If you want to take up jogging, chances are you’ve run sometime in the past. Your body has the muscle memory of how to do it.
For most people, the shapes of yoga poses are going to be completely unfamiliar, not to mention learning the culture and associated practices like breathing exercises and meditation. Yet people do overcome their hesitations and start all the time. Knowing what to expect and what will be expected of you goes a long way to boost your confidence going in. Remember that even the most impressive yoga teachers had to take the first step too.
The best way to start is to pick a class for beginners and show up to it. This is starting how you mean to go on, because this method works for yogis of any level. If you show up for class, even if you don’t feel like it, you will do yoga and you will feel better at the end.
If you belong to a gym or YMCA, they have yoga classes. These are a perfectly good way to start, especially since it's an environment where you already feel at home. If this isn't appealing or isn't an option, seek out your nearest yoga studio. These people know what they are doing and were all beginners at one time.
Take any beginning level class. The teacher will probably ask if it's anyone's first yoga class. Raise your hand. Your teacher needs this info and you might discover that you’re not the only one. See if you like it. If you don’t, identify why. Was is too fast, too slow, the teacher got on your nerves? These are all legitimate complaints that can be rectified by trying a different class.