If you are new to yoga, starting a yoga practice may seem intimidating. Yoga Journal Magazine photos of people in pretzel like positions may make you think you have to be the same. Starting a yoga practice is easier than you think. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs):
5 frequently asked questions from people new to yoga
1. Do I need to be flexible to start a yoga practice?
No, you do not have to be flexible to start your own yoga practice. Yoga works by stretching your muscles, so you can move better and feel less tired throughout your day. In any level, people start seeing benefits soon. In one study, people have increased their flexibility by up to 35% in 8 week, with a regular 3-4 times a week practice.
2. What are the pre-requisites?
There are no pre-requisites to starting a practice. If you have any injuries or physical ailments, let the instructor know so he/she may suggest modifications to the poses. Honor where you are and work from there.
3. Is yoga a religion?
Yoga is not a religion, it is a practice. Yoga is a practice that harnesses deep breathing to calm the nervous system, presence the mind, and go deeper into poses to build flexibility and strength. Beyond yoga’s physical benefits, a regular practice builds mindfulness and awareness. When people are more aware and mindful, they tend to also be kinder and compassionate.
I find the practice enhance my own spirituality. When I feel good and connected, I tend to also manage stress better and treat those around me better… and that starts a cycle of giving and kindness. And isn’t that a good thing?
4. How different is yoga from other gym group classes like zumba or pilates?
Yoga is a good complement to physical exercises. Zumba is an aerobic exercise inspired by Latin American dance. Yoga complements with flexibility and strength building poses. Pilates and yoga both build flexibility and use deep breathing to build core and spine strength. A key difference is that yoga works out every muscle in your body equally. Each posture is accompanied by a counter-posture to ensure you create balance in your body.
5. What benefits does yoga bring?
Yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years and about 15 million Americans enjoy its health benefits today. Yoga helps build a total mind, body, spirit connection. Beyond the flexibility and strength benefits, through mindful deep breathing, we calm the nervous system thereby creating a more positive mood, better concentration, and appreciation of the present moment – the only moment we live our lives.
Yoga builds a total mind, body, spirit connection.
If you have not tried yoga, try it. If you are in the Rochester, New York area, come practice with us!