Being a beginner at yoga is not a topic often talked about. Social media sites are often flooded with articles on how to enhance your already existing practice, like hip-opening sequences, or how to tell if your Chakras are out of balance. We often forget that we were all at one point, beginners and that even though the yoga world is always growing and expanding, there are still many who are nervous or not quite ready to take the step and join this wonderful journey of self-discovery and transformation.
Being a beginner yoga practitioner in Houston is not a bad thing, in fact, I would say it can be a great thing, especially since that there are so many great classes that a beginner yoga individual can take if you are in the Houston area.
Many of you may be wondering, especially if you have been curious about yoga for a while now, checking out studios in your area, looking up what the different kinds of yoga mean, what your first class will be like.
Well, that’s where I come in.
Here to share some of my experience of trying a beginner yoga class in Houston, I hope to relieve you from any fears you may be feeling, to help you pick the right class for your expectations, and to tell you to lower your expectations.
Yup, you read that right. But before I get into expectations, let’s first chat about what not to expect in your first yoga class.
What Beginner Yoga Is Not
We hear so much about yoga, from what we read online, what our yogi friends tell us, that it’s sometimes hard not to get caught up in the hype. So, if you are going to yoga because you figure it will solve all your problems in life, well, although I hate to disappoint, it will not.
And while I’m on the subject of what yoga is not, or rather what you shouldn’t expect in your first yoga class, you can forget your instructor giving a demonstration of every move, yes, even in a beginner class.
And no, you will not leave class feeling completely at peace with the world, that you will feel completely stretched out or more relaxed than ever before, and you may find that you will walk away confused and really not loving yoga, at least not after your first class.
And all of this is okay.
I can remember being on the other side of things, I had no clue what to expect at my first yoga class, and I think, maybe, that was a good thing. I was really clueless, I knew of poses like Downward Dog and Child’s Pose, but the reality was, I really didn’t expect to walk away with much.
And yet, over time, I gained so much. This is why I will say to you now, if you are trying a beginner yoga class in Houston, lower your expectations.
Why Lowering Your Expectations Will Give You More
It’s not that yoga doesn’t give you anything, so, you shouldn’t expect anything; on the contrary, if you have an open mind, yoga will give you more than you ever imagined. But, I have heard stories, talked to one-time-yoga practitioners, or read comments online about how disappointed a person was from a class.
Your experience, particularly your first experience, will be all yours, that is, it’s subjective to what your expectations were. Some expect a pose-by-pose demonstration, some expect a friendlier teacher, some thought they would be more relaxed after the class, while others felt like it should have been more challenging.
In many of these cases, an open-mind would have gone a long way, that and a little bit of research, beforehand. If I go in expecting a step-by-step tutorial of each pose, but the class is so big and the teacher doesn’t realize I am new to the class, I walk away disappointed.
But, if I talk to the instructor before the class and find out that the evening class is smaller and explain that I am nervous about the poses, in all likelihood the instructor will guide me more throughout the practice.
In another situation, if I know that I am a quick learner, then I may find that attending an Iyengar class that focuses more on poses, at a slower pace, may not be what I am looking for. I may find that a Vinyasa class is more in line with my abilities, so, knowing that there are a variety of yoga classes from which to choose is very important before I begin my first attempt.
Put a hold on the expectations that you’ll be more flexible, stronger, or more mindful after one class, yoga is a journey, one that you have to put time into. Yes, these abilities will happen, but they will take time.
In fact, the only thing I can really guarantee that you will be after your first class is sore.
What If I Don’t Like it?
When I walked away from my first yoga class experience, I felt unsure. I knew I would give it another go, but I certainly wasn’t wowed or anything. I think, if I can recall it accurately, I was like, really? This is what the hype is all about?
But I get it now. I truly get all that it can do and has done for me.
So, if you are one of those people who doesn’t like it, here’s what I have to say to you.
Don’t give up.
Yes, you may not have liked your instructor, but guess what, there are many out there from which to choose.
Maybe you didn’t like the class itself, but just like instructors, there are different types of yoga out there, you just have to do some research, talk to some experienced yogis to see if you can better determine what you are looking for.
Maybe you felt like because you were new, everyone was looking at you. Or you felt out of place because you couldn’t keep up with the pace of the class, or learn the poses quick enough.
Don’t worry, we were all beginners, and within a few weeks of continued dedication and practice you won’t be a beginner any longer, it truly goes by quickly.
My tip is, try and stay somewhere in the middle of the class, so that if the instructor isn’t demonstrating the pose, you can watch a more experienced yogi complete the pose or sequence.
Finding the yoga that best connects with you may take some trial and error, so I highly suggest buying a pass that covers a month, or a least a couple of weeks with a variety of classes.
Imagine it like a book you pick up or a TV show you decide to watch, you have to give it a few chapters or episodes before you can truly decide if you want to stick with it, or not.
Some Extra Tips
One Last Reminder
A wonderful instructor once reminded a class I was taking, don’t worry about the pose, right now you are where you need to be. I instantly felt reassured, because although my practice did improve over time, it took the pressure off of me to be immediately as good as what I deemed the best yogi in the class to be.
This idea is so crucial to yoga, and to life, I might add, and is a key fundamental notion to be aware of throughout your practice, and day-to-day experiences. Lastly, don’t take it so seriously, have some fun, and remember, you are exactly where you need to be.
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