Whenever we start something new we may have a certain feeling of anxiety and uncertainty about the unknown and, in most cases, this fear is completely unfounded–we continue on with things quickly and easily. Still, sometimes this fear isn't unfounded and a simple little thing can cause us to have an entirely negative first impression and perhaps even dissuade us from ever wanting to try that activity again. Yoga has so many health benefits, on both a physical and spiritual level, that it would be a tragedy for anyone to miss out on them because they made an avoidable mistake on their first day.
By avoiding these three common mistakes, the new yoga student will be sure to do well with their practice.
Mistake #1: Feeling Unclear About What You Want From Your Yoga Practice
There are numerous different styles and forms of yoga and each has its different attractions. Ask yourself what it is about yoga in general that attracts you and then investigate a style that caters more specifically to that. You also may like to set goals: be they physical, mental or spiritual. If you do, then it's a good idea to discuss them with the instructor before the class begins. Yoga instructors are usually very approachable and happy to talk about their passion. They will be able to talk to you about your goals for the class and let you know if you are being realistic, aiming too high or too low. Make sure your goal includes a timeframe so it becomes something that is measurable.
Mistake #2: Jumping in Feet First
Having decided to give yoga a try, many people take a running leap and jump into a twelve month stage-by-stage class. These classes usually have an upfront payment arrangement, and progress from one level to the next as the week’s progress. They are a fantastic way to learn and become very good at yoga, but it's also very easy to choose a class that's just not ideal for you. The best way around this is to join a beginner's yoga class, also known as a drop-in class.
Attend one of these classes for a few weeks, and you will notice a high turnover of students as new people join and regular students move on. These classes are designed to give you a very broad feel for the different types of yoga. The level of the students in the class usually varies greatly, so you can expect the instructor to keep the classes the same.
The other key benefit of this is that the classes are pay as you go. This means that, while you decide what type and style of yoga suits you best, you won't be hit with a big financial cost. You're also not obligated to attend every class. With the longer courses you can fall behind quickly if you miss a week or two in a row. With the pay as you go classes, you will find that, while each class is different, the instruction remains the same for the benefit of the newer students joining in.
Mistake #3: Choosing the Wrong Teacher
Traditionally a yogi had to be an apprentice to a skilled Guru for many years before he could teach even the simplest of yoga techniques. These days, a three-day course over a long weekend is considered enough by some people. What you will be able to achieve as a student will largely depend on the skills and abilities of the person teaching you. Many mistakes happen when a yoga teacher is not quite qualified enough to teach, and therefore causes undue injuries to the new yoga student. It’s a good idea to check your instructor’s background and qualifications before you begin practicing with them.
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