The yoga scene in Melbourne is active and growing – perfect for those who are curious about the practice and would want to try it out. If you are new to yoga, you probably have a lot of questions about the practice. Equally, most Melbourne yoga centres also have several things that they would like beginners to keep in mind when they start their yoga journey. Here are some pointers to ease your way into a good yoga practice.
Let go of expectations:
It has often been said that people don’t really go to yoga class to learn the poses. They come for the benefits that yoga is known to give such as sleeping better, getting less stressed, and being healthier in body and mind. However, clinging to these expectations may not be fruitful especially if you expect results right after your first class. The benefits of doing yoga unfold over time and only if you do it with consistency.
Another set of expectations can stem from one’s previous assumptions about yoga and what yoga teachers should be. The reality is each yoga class is different and every yoga teacher conducts class in various styles. Some teachers chant, some don’t. Some have a more physical and dynamic class, while others focus more on relaxing and meditative postures.
By letting go of expectations, the chances of your getting frustrated about yourself, the class, or the teacher will be less. When you go to class for the practice itself, you will be able to appreciate your time on the mat more.
Let go of the (perceived) need to gear up:
For most people, the excitement in starting a new exercise regimen often means going on a shopping spree for new shoes, clothes, and other accessories related to that fitness style or class. However, expensive yoga clothes and props don’t guarantee that you’ll have a great time in class or nail a posture on the first try.
Wear exercise clothes that you’re comfortable in and will let you move around properly. Most Melbourne yoga studios already provide props like blocks, straps, and bolsters. The best time to buy your own props or get a more expensive but durable mat is when you have already built a consistent and solid yoga practice, not before your first class.
All you really need to practice yoga is yourself and your mat. And probably a water bottle as well.
Let go of what doesn’t serve your practice:
Expect distractions to arise during class – some of these you can immediately eliminate, while others are beyond your control. Your cellphone will surely distract you, so leave it in the lockers along with your watch and other personal belongings you don’t need in the class, instead of having these beside your mat. For distractions that are beyond your control – such as people wearing strong scents, or making loud sighs or grunts in difficult postures, or the chatter of a group of students in a busy yoga and pilates Melbourne studio – realise that what you can control is your reactions to these. This is where you get to really practice yoga, when you bring your attention more to your breathing, letting these external distractions fade away, getting into that meditative state as you flow into the postures.