FIRST YOGA CLASS: 3 things you need to know in order not to get disappointed in yoga

When you try a new type of activity, it’s often the first experience and impression that are crucial in terms of whether you will keep doing it or you will give it up. Here are 3 things one needs to know so as not to give up on yoga in case of poor first experience.

1. Most important: Yoga implies kindness and common sense.

If the instructor forces you to do postures in a strictly defined way and at the same time endure pain or discomfort, they have nothing to do with yoga. Where there is yoga, there is no pain! Where there is pain, there is no yoga!

The same is with comments like “You’re doing it wrong!” Of course, if you are clearly going to harm yourself, the instructor can and must correct you, but they must do it gently, without any psychological or physical violence. Otherwise, again, it has nothing to do with yoga.

2. Initially, many yoga exercises are designed for healthy or almost healthy people. If you have any health issues, if you have undergone surgery or have had injury recently, then the best solution is to go to a yoga therapy class. If this is not possible, then at least consult with your doctor and be sure to inform the instructor so that they can adapt the exercises accordingly. It also makes sense to tell the instructor if you are pregnant or on your period.

3. Even teachers of the same school may have very different styles and approaches: for example, some teachers like to give more powerful and intense practices, others prefer soft and calm ones. If you didn’t like one lesson, it doesn’t mean that “all yoga is like that”. Yoga can be sooo different. Do not rush to label it with “this is not for me” – try different styles, with different teachers – and chances are high you will find an option that will work great for you personally.

Happy practice! 

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Hi, I’m Olesya Shanti, an Open Yoga teacher based in Moscow, Russia. I teach 4 types of yoga (hatha, kriya, mantra, pranayama) & meditation, both in English and Russian.

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