13. Just because you’re alive doesn’t mean you’re breathing. Yoga teaches breath awareness — get in touch with the elemental part of your daily existence — breath, and feel what it means to relax.
12. Get over this modern myth that silence is frightening. When was the last time you were without the white noise of the world? In Sanskrit, Chitta vritti is the mind’s (egoic) ceaseless chatter. Learn to appreciate quietude through yoga.
11. Eyes on your own mat. A scattered mind is a lost mind. Multitasking means our efforts and attention may accomplish ‘more’ but actually have gained less. A start to yoga practice helps center your attention through yoga (meaning ‘yoke) of mind, body and breath. Called “Drishti” in yoga, an article from yoga journal says, “When we control and direct the focus, first of the eyes and then of the attention, we are using the yogic technique called drishti.”
10. You can die at the end of each yoga class. A traditional end to your yoga class is Shavasana . Lie down and reap the rewards of your practice as you float away and rejuvenate in this relaxed state, usually at least a 3 minute process within an hour long yoga class.
9. Discover ‘why’. As a student of yoga, through checking in with your body and mind, through moving your body, you will stumble upon creaks and groans in your physical self as well as glitches in your mental computation. Yoga helps smooth over tight muscles and fried brains by coaxing you into letting go of all the nonsense.
8. An 8-limbed path. Like medical science uses Latin to codify its language, yoga uses Sanskrit out of India. In Sanskrit, “Ashtanga” is referred to as an 8 limbed path toward Sammadhi – enlightenment. Spiritually, philosophically, intellectually or historically or even accidentally learning a few of the steps on this path are inevitable for someone in a yoga class. Depending on the teacher and level of class, you may hear some Sanskrit words (like asana – pose/posture) and any teacher educated through the Yoga Alliance or Yoga Alliance UK will be able to assist you in learning more at a fundamental level.
7. Social networking. No matter the reason, you’re bound to meet some new acquaintances who are just like you – curious and new to yoga. Setting sail on your journey with those in the same playing field increases the likelihood of sticking with your new yoga practice. Join your teacher’s Facebook, blog or website, ask them questions on basic postures, attend any extra workshops they my be offering in your local community.
6. Small business support. Honestly, yoga like many things has the potential to be free. It has also been marginalized in the fitness world at times, as some are not sure where it fits in. However, there are in many towns and cities a few yoga teachers who have gone to great effort to educate themselves to a modern standard and gain yoga qualifications. If yoga is their means of support whether totally or as a second job, you can help keep the presence of such teachers around by spreading the word of yoga classes.
5. Year round physical and mental fitness. Yoga does not have to be done in a studio. Armed with a mat, comfy clothes and a water bottle you can take your practice on the road with you. Traditionally, yogis in India would withdraw from the world and travel around on their journeys. No fancy equipment, just your body and peace of mind, and you’ve done it.
4. Hobby begets lifestyle. In high school back in Michigan, I started doing yoga whilst caring for my great grandmother at night. There wasn’t much going on in a small town fora 16-year old at her great grandma’s house. A few DVD’s (Pilates too!) later and I was hooked. It’s taken 10 years, two really of gung-ho falling in love and gaining momentum as I advance my practice, but what a yogini from Hong Kong once told me, “It at some point becomes a lifestyle,” has manifested in truth. You never know what’s coming for you. Enjoy the ride!
3. Approaches and schools of yoga as varied as the human body and geography of this world. Yoga is an umbrella term. When someone says, “I do yoga” they could be speaking of a multitude of physical/mental/spiritual/ things. Check out an infographic to quickly give you a sense of the truth behind such a claim. Don’t fret potential yogi, there’s something out there for you! It will find you or you will find it.
2. Banish negativity. Whilst promoting yoga in our nearby community, someone said to me, “No… no… I don’t like yoga. Tried it once and honestly if I’d been near the door I would have left the class.”Right- thanks for the honesty! However, the word ‘no’ and ‘can’t’ don’t really belong in the yogic atmosphere. However words like ‘maybe’ and ‘some day’ and ‘perhaps not today but soon’ are definitely welcome. Perfection is not the goal, the goal is just doing it and banishing egotistical doubts of failure. People who have a fear of ambiguity will often be skittish of yoga. It’s ok — See #11 for more.
1. Y.O.U. — something for you, by you. End of story. See you soon in class! Namaste.