Post # 1
So I moved a few months ago and don’t know anyone in my new area, so I’m trying to get involved in some more activities here locally. I’ve been really interested in Yoga or Pilates classes, and the YMCA in our area is offering Yoga classes that would fit into my schedule. I’m not trying to lose any weight, mostly just build some strength and flexibility.
Only thing is- I’ve never done Yoga before! They have a beginners class so I’m not worried about showing up my first week looking like a pro, but I’d also like to take as much advantage of the class as I can. Does anybody have any recommendations/tips/exercises as far as improving things like flexibility at home?
I used to be a cheerleader in high school, but it’s been probably… gosh, 6 years since I’ve done anything like that? So my flexibility has declined pretty drastically since then. I can still bend over and put hands on the floor/toes, but I’m not exactly doing splits anymore or anything. I’m starting a new job next week and I’m waiting to join the next round of classes starting in June, so I’ve got about 6-8 weeks.
Any stretches that might be helpful, or any other tips? Thanks a bunch!
Post # 2
I love yoga I take it at my college! If you are taking beginning yoga then they will start you off with easy poses and you will work your way into harder poses as time goes on. But in a beginning yoga class you won’t do any really difficult poses that is for more advanced classes. I recommend you look online basic yoga poses and get firmilar with the terminology. Also go on YouTube and try some beginning poses there are tons of videos. Once you go to the classes you can do your own practices at home days you don’t have the class that will help you become more flexible and you will have an easier time doing the poses and harder poses. Enjoy the class it’s alot of fun and relaxing!
Post # 3
I’ve been doing a lot of yoga lately, and I noticed that its not really about flexibility – instead its about strength. You could practice downward dog, and some planks? I wouldn’t worry about looking silly, you are going to the class to learn. If you were great you would be the teacher! Just last night I tried to do a headstand during class and fell and almost knocked down a bunch of lit candles! Teachers appericate those who are willing to try and fall.
Have fun 🙂
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas
I have been doing yoga on and off since college, and I have NEVER been flexible. I’ve never been able to touch my toes. I just go and challenge myself. I use blocks and bands and blankets. You will already be lightyears ahead of some of the people in your class in terms of flexibility, trust me.
Post # 5
If you’re doing a beginner class, expect many of the other participants to be in the same boat as you. I’m sure you’ll see varying degrees of flexibilty. If I were you, I’d go to the classes first to learn the proper form so you don’t injure yourself by trying something at home you saw in a YouTube video. No need to feel ashamed or worried you won’t keep up! Yoga’s so much fun and I hope it’s a good avenue for you to meet new people.
Post # 6
There is no need to practice at home for a beginners yoga class. Certainly not for 6-8 weeks 🙂
You could just DO some yoga at home while waiting for your class to start in June.
Post # 7
I love yoga! Occasionally I’ll do it at a local studio, but I also do it at my office. We have a yog a instructor come in every other week to teach. She’s pretty hardcore, but will offer variations for those not as advanced.
My problem isn’t so much flexibility though as it is upper arm/body strength. I have none. So I can’t do back bends or anything where my arms have to hold me up. But as they say, practice, practice, practice!
Again, don’t worry about lack of flexibility. The instructors will offer variations for you. I guarantee there will be more people like you than not. 🙂 Enjoy!
Yoga is also great for your mental well being. While in class, I’m often mentally cursing the instructor for putting me through such a rigorous activity, but as soon as it’s over, I feel absolutely incredible, but physically and mentally.
Post # 8
Thanks! I’m sure I can look up some poses. After reading the responses it sounds like I may have to worry about my strength more than my flexibility anyway. 😛
Thanks a bunch! It’d be nice to meet some people in the class for sure.
Good advice… now you’ve got me thinking I should do some pushups or something instead of just stretches. 😛 My upper body strength is almost nonexistent. (I’m a tiny li’l person!)
Thanks for the encouragement! It helps to know that I don’t have to worry about it so much.
Post # 9
I had no idea what I was doing when I walked into yoga – my flexibility isn’t great either, so don’t even worry about that. Yoga is a very individual practice so you only push your body as far as you want to go. A good instructor will tell you that if it hurts or is uncomfortable, you shouldn’t be doing it.
I can’t say I use a ton of upper body strength but its all those little stabilizer muscles that I find hurt the most the next day if I’ve had a vigorous class. A regular class, I may be a bit sore the next day but nothing too bad. I would avoid flow classes until you’ve got the standing series and mat series down (only a few classes and you’ll know it by heart!) because they use a lot more of your strength mucles for flows (one pose to another to another etc)
My only tips are for when you actually go to class. Bring a bottle of water and if you need water, drink! If you get overwhelmed, just lie on your mat and take some breaths. You’re still doing yoga even if you’re only in savasana 😉
Obviously you’ll want a mat but if you’re doing a hot class, bring a regular sized towel to put down to help give you some grip and a hand towel to wipe off with. They do have props to help with certain poses and an instructor will help you out with that should you need it.
Know that everyone has struggled with certain poses and can’t hold them or just can’t do them period. If you can’t do a pose, don’t sweat it. The instructor will give you a modification or another pose to do in its place. The thing I love about yoga is that everyone of all shapes, sizes, skill levels and expertise do it so it never matters what the person beside you is doing!
Good luck and have fun OP!
Post # 10
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! I’m really excited to try the class now. I could probably just do a search for ‘yoga mat’ on Amazon, right? I’m assuming it’s not gonna be as complicated as finding the perfect running shoe or something.
P.S. – I love your avatar! 😉
Post # 11
My first mat was one from walmart and my current mat is from Target! You can spend a bunch of money but I would say wait until you really know what you want out of a mat. I’ve found the cheap ones are just fine for me. I’ve done a ton of research on mats trying to find the perfect one and its such a personal choice. I sweat a lot so an absorbant mat was a priority but every single mat I looked at had people raving about it and people hating on it. All that research and I ended up with a mat from Target because I just wasn’t ready to spend the money on a Manduka or a Lulu mat.
That being said, if you’re using your mat during the floor series and its not padded enough for your knees, simply fold your towel (or even fold your mat!) under your knees to help take some of the pressure off. You can always upgrade your mat later. My studio rents them for like $2 or something, so you can always do that and try out what they have and see if you like it before you buy anything.
If you do go for a regular store one, try to get one that’s a smidge thicker than the 3mm. That one was a bit hard on my knees, but the 5mm was okay with my yoga towel.
Thanks about the avatar! One of my fave childhood movies 😀 She cracks me up!! MAAARRVELOUS mad madam mim! 😀