So You Want to Learn Yoga, Part 1: Set Up Your Journey

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” ~ The Bhagavad Gita

Perhaps you’ve been hearing about the benefits of yoga and how it can improve your quality of life. Maybe a medical practitioner has recommended you take it up for health reasons. Or it could just be that with the new year you want to finally discover what this yoga stuff is all about. Whatever the reason, if you want to learn yoga, we’re here to offer some guidance on how to get started.

In Part 1 of this two-part post, we look at the big picture and prepping for your journey.

1) Explore different paths to find what’s right for you. There are almost as many varieties of yoga as there are teachers. You may find certain styles more appealing. If you’re athletic and like to explore physical challenges then consider Bikram, Power, or Acro yoga. Gentle, Restorative, and Yin practices are ideal for those just beginning a physical routine or who want to balance out an already physically challenging lifestyle. Vinyasa flow and hatha are the broad categories of yoga that you will find typically offered in studios, gyms, and recreational facilities.

2) Find a guide for your journey. You’ll want to learn from a qualified teacher whose style resonates with you. Seek recommendations to help narrow your options, and then evaluate your candidates by taking a few classes with each. When you find one who seems like a good fit for you and where you are in your practice at the time, stick with them. The more they get to know you the better they can direct you.

3) Be ready to go off courseAs you move forward in yoga, you’ll venture into different physical, mindfulness, and breathing practices. The further you travel in your journey the more you’ll come to realize that the road is not straight and narrow. For as you become ready and receptive to new lessons, the Universe will supply what you need to learn them.  That may mean a new teacher, a different route, and from time to time a respite from the road itself. Know that this is all part of this new adventure you’re embarking on and embrace it with an open heart and a willing mind.

In part 2 we’ll dive in with the nuts and bolts of beginning a practice.