What you need to know when starting to practice yoga Written by Sara Lane, Yoga instructor at Bodytree

Brand new yogis come to their mats for the first time for so many different reasons.  Some to move their bodies – seeking strength, flexibility, or mobility.  Some for their minds – seeking calm, quiet, or relaxation.  Whatever the reasons you are stepping on your mat for the first time – welcome to yoga.

Hopefully, as a beginner, you have started this journey in a beginner level or gentler class.  A beginner class will introduce you to some of the foundations of movement.  You will be introduced to the postures, or asanas, and you will be introduced to using your breath in an effective way.

Here is what you can expect… You can expect to feel like a beginner and that might feel strange or even frustrating at first.  Don’t give up.  You can expect to move and breathe in new ways that will get you to explore your own body and its capabilities.  You should expect effort as you are asked to move and breath in a mindful way.  You will come up against your own limitations – physically or otherwise – and your teacher will guide you in learning to effort-fully and compassionately lean into them – with strength and openness.  You will be surprised what you are capable of.  You will become stronger, more mobile, and more flexible – in your yoga practice and in your life.

Don’t expect to touch your toes or stand on your hands or have a perfect-seeming yoga practice.  That is not the point anyway.  The goal is to stay present in your body, your mind, and with your breath so that you might begin to experience clearly your own worth, your own health, and your own life.  Returning mindfully to your mat over and over again is the yoga practice itself – showing up, being challenged and learning what arises when you are, letting go of what doesn’t serve you or make you better, and breaking old patterns of movement and thought to make way for new, healthier ones.

Bodytree host an array of fabulous yoga classes at their wonderful retreat, for any bookings or further information please visit: https://www.bodytreestudio.com/yoga/