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Getting started with yoga

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Yoga may seem difficult. But it is essentially simple — and for everyone.

So many people think about practicing yoga, but just don’t know where to start. Completely understandable as there seems to be a zillion teachers and programs all saying different things.

On top of that, add the zillion excuses we can come up with as to why we actually haven’t tried. “I’m not flexible enough,” or “I don’t want to look silly,” etc.

But, listen, yoga has been around for thousands of years — there must be something to this. One big secret: everyone can touch their toes, you just need to bend your knees enough! 

Yoga finds us when we need it the most. Yoga brings us back to our bodies. When we step onto our mat, we feel our bare feet and gently flex our muscles. 

When we start to breathe a little deeper through our nose, we become calm and deeply rooted into the present. This sensation is like coming home. No movement required. THIS is why people continue to come back to their mats again and again. 

Yoga breathing is meant to easily flow in and out throughout the practice. Let go of worry and just allow your breath to feel natural. 

With so many different styles out there, start with one that looks appealing, or ask your friends about teachers they have connected with. Trying yoga in a class, where the teacher can watch and offer corrections, is ideal. If you are home, practice by a mirror so you can take those quick alignment checks as you go.  Trusting yourself through the process. 

Finally, try a few different styles and teachers until you find the right fit for you. In any city you will find women only, men only, beginners’ classes, athletic classes, even naked yoga – something for everyone!

Just like figuring out your favourite cardio workout, it might take some time, so have patience in the process. 

We are only as strong as we are flexible. We should be working on our flexibility by stretching four to seven times per week. Adding yoga is an easy solution. Yoga alternates stretching and strengthening in every pose through the class.

With a regular practice, your range of motion will improve. Along with that your balance, coordination, and clarity of thought. You will have more restful sleep, more energy throughout the day, less stress and a generally calmer and more focused demeanor.

The benefits of Yoga are endless. What are you waiting for? 

More Inspiration: Check out this great article on finding creativity for your fitness routines.

Author: Lisa Greenbaum, E-RYT 500 and C-IAYT yoga therapist, has worked with many individuals by using yoga to release trauma, find ease from chronic pain and tension and develop a deeper connection to mind, body and spirit. She has over 750 hours of yoga education and logged 4,000+ teaching hours. She is also a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer with canfitpro, and a Women in Fitness Association (WIFA) Global Ambassador.

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