Being a beginner is, in some ways, the best place to be. Like beginning any new endeavor its exhilarating, challenging and intimidating. You may feel overwhelmed or embarrassed because touching your toes is something you only did as a kid. But, you’ll never touch your toes again if you don’t try! So often people come to class once or twice and they spend most of their time looking around no doubt comparing themselves to others. They may say things like “I used to be able to do this,” or “I’m not strong enough or flexible enough to do this.” Yoga is not, I repeat, not about being hyper-mobile, waif thin, or never eating a bacon cheeseburger again! Yoga is about paying attention to your body, your thoughts and your good and bad sides. Its about embracing and accepting everything about you! Its a personal journey that has nothing to do with the person on the mat next to you performing the “perfect” pose; because there is no such thing as a perfect pose.
A beginner gets to fall in love with him or herself again. You get to experience your body from a new perspective. You get to remember what it feels like to touch your toes. Like anything in life worth doing it takes dedication and hard work. The first steps are often times the hardest. Beginning anything is difficult. Usually there is that little voice inside you that nudges you to keep going even if something frustrates you or isn’t super easy. To truly get the benefits of yoga it takes many months of dedicated work. So, no, yoga is not for everybody! Don’t let negative self-talk or any of the other millions of excuses stop you from really trying it! Make the commitment to practicing yoga for two to three months before walking away. You wouldn’t take one Zumba class and see that you didn’t lose any weight and never come back!
The yogic journey is not all fun, impressive poses. There is hard work. There are days you don’t want to come to class. There are times when being a beginner is embarrassing or frustrating, but then there are times you feel amazing, your body doesn’t hurt and old injuries begin to heal. Its easy to go through the motions of life and never take time to slow down enough to reflect. We forget to look at life as a gift and each moment as a new beginning. Yoga gives us the opportunity to remember.
The path of yoga is a long road with many twists and turns that is both humbling and exhilarating. Each day is unique like a snowflake, so each day the body and mind feels different. Some days you may feel strong and flexible while other days you’ll feel tired, tight and agitated. Personally, it is those days I remember why I chose yoga as my journey because I have somewhere to turn. I practice yoga and get to experience my true self and I feel better. The most empowering thing my life is knowing I have the power to choose in each moment how to react and interact in the world and yoga has been my teacher. I get to turn to myself for answers because everything I need I already have.
Natalie Hain is a certified Yoga Teacher at the 500 hour level. She teaches in Blanco and in San Marcos. She is available for private and small group sessions. Email Natalie at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Visitwww.casadeyoga.com for a full list of yoga in Blanco, Johnson City and San Marcos.