Guest author Anna from Stream of Life yoga loves to practice, teach and live yoga.
I was very unhealthy and overweight. My routine included a host of unhealthy practices: hard work with little to no physical activity, poor eating habits and cigarette smoking. One day, I decided to stop smoking, lost weight and joined the gym to only cause more damage to my body. As a last resort, my doctor recommended yoga. I started practicing in 2000 and have been hooked since. I completed my 500 hour certification in January 2010. I’ve been teaching for several years and continue my education with my teacher and mentor.
There are various definitions of yoga which are expressed in different traditions. Patanjali defined the entire system of Yoga in Yoga Sutra I.2: Yogas citta-vrtti-nirodhaha – Yoga is a practice of stilling the fluctuations of the mind. From my understanding, yoga is a discipline to help us to break away from determinism and exercise a free will, living our lives to our maximum potential.
Where do we start?
To start, your yogic journey, you can google “yoga classes” in your local area and choose a few studios to try. Many yoga studios offer beginner classes and packages. You can also find community and free classes offered by teacher trainees. Try to select a few different studios and teachers until your heart clicks.
- Generally, it’s recommended not to eat for 2 hours prior to the class.
- Wear comfortable somewhat fitted T-shirts and exercise pants (remember to check your closet first before you hit the shopping mall!).
- Try to arrive early and introduce yourself to the teacher.
- You can rent a mat for a few dollars in the studio (some studios offer their mats for free).
- Don’t do the movement if it hurts: Please substitute “No Pain, No Gain” for “No Pain, No Pain!”
Remember, you are on the journey to a holistic and healthy relationship with yourself, with others and with the universe. Have fun and enjoy the journey.
If you fall so what, get up, smile and try it again!