Many beginners are intimidated by what they believe they need to ‘be’ before starting with yoga. Concerns over being too overweight or out of shape to commence practising yoga are common, as is feeling overly self-conscious or worried about what others in your class may think of you if you’re not able to achieve the same poses. It’s okay to be a little nervous, embarking on a new yoga regime is an exciting step towards a healthier mind and body, but if you wait for the ‘right time’, you may miss out on some of yoga’s most important benefits.
Some people may find Ashtanga yoga to be a challenge when they’re just starting out, but the rewards are worth the effort you put in. Practising discipline and understanding and respecting your body and how it moves are important for people of all sizes and shapes to learn, and particularly advantageous if you’re starting out on a new general health regime. Your new awareness will start seeping into other aspects of your life too, informing and encouraging you to continue maintaining your overall mental and physical wellbeing and your healthy lifestyle.
Continuing to pursue yoga can be extremely valuable to both body and mind, and your overall health. Ashtanga yoga focuses on detoxifying the body, by finding synchronicity through your breath and each set yoga pose. After some time practising the poses, you’ll not only strengthen your body, but you’ll also find yourself with a calmer mind and better circulation.
If you are considering starting out but are worried you’re not ready, know that you are not alone. Meet with our teachers and, if you feel comfortable, discuss your personal concerns. It’s important that you feel completely comfortable with your yoga teacher, and that if you have any specific health issues or injuries, that your teacher is made aware of these from the beginning. This way, modifications can be made to your posture/your practice to make it safer and more comfortable for you.
Most of all, it’s important not to dwell on the postures and moves you can’t do, but rather focus on what you can do. No matter how out of shape you may feel, you will be able to achieve more than you think – you may even surprise yourself! Don’t let being out of shape stop you from attempting the more difficult poses either, listen to your body and back off if you feel any pain, but don’t let your preconceptions of your size, shape or fitness dictate what you can or can’t do without at least trying it first.