There are many ways to get into the world of yoga, start practicing asanas and introduce it as a philosophy of life, but this is what served me
Every day more people are attracted to yoga and it is normal, we currently find yoga postures everywhere. Breakfast cereal brands, for example, or anti-aging creams regularly use images of women doing yoga to give a message of well-being. In addition, there are more and more clothing stores that include yoga clothes or accessories in their catalog.
For people who practice yoga, especially for those who do it with more spiritual than physical motivation, this has a double reading. On the one hand we are glad that yoga is spreading and there are more and more people who enjoy the wonderful benefits of their practice and, on the other hand, we regret that this philosophy or way of life is being used in the commercial field, especially because they are projecting an image of her that is not true to reality. But! In any case, who approaches yoga and stays, ends up discerning what it is, what it entails and what moves us away from its path.
In this article I am going to tell you how I got into yoga, I will propose three different ways to start you in practice and I will briefly tell you some things to take into account within each of them.
Almost four years ago I started practicing yoga at home following the example of Kino McGregor, a famous Miami-based yogini who executes asanas as striking as impossible and that I still admire today. My practice was to follow your challenges or try to practice a position that I liked. At that time I was very happy with this way of doing yoga and I did not identify any inconvenience so I continued some time like this.
At one point, and for health reasons, I had to suspend my yoga practice and other physical activities for some time, and although at first I did not experience any problems, nine months later my backaches were killing me. I was going to the physiotherapist for a month and a half every week and finally he said to me «Ale, I don’t have any more work to do with you, now you have two options: you sign up for Pilates, yoga or some other activity that you like or save yourself the money and you spend it on coming here ».
I do not know if I have not been very lucky, but I was shocked to have such a professional in front of – redundancy vague – professional. I followed his advice and started going to Pilates. There are people really in love with Pilates, but there was definitely no crush and four months later I was signing up for yoga classes.
I was lucky to bump into a magnificent, very sweet teacher, who made me see that yoga is much more than the postures we see on Instagram, but definitely the spark plug that started the engine was Swami Vishnudevananda’s Yoga book and that , if you want to take a broad view of yoga , I highly recommend you read.
As you can see, my approach to yoga was something special and I would still have some other ups and downs until I met my current teacher, with whom I connected from the first class, with whom I share my vision of what yoga is and thanks to which I can say today that I am yogini.
How to get started in yoga
I distinguish fundamentally three ways to approach yoga and, although I am clearly in favor of combining the last two and would never recommend the first one, I must observe it as a possibility, and that is that I started like this!
Practice yoga at home
Doing yoga at home is an economical way to improve our physical and mental state , allows us to get rid of the tyranny of schedules and is great as a habit for travel, vacations, etc. However, it has some difficult problems to solve, although not impossible.
- It is much harder to adopt the habit by not having a fixed schedule, or “obligation” to go to school.
- It is very likely that you do not enter the postures correctly, this being necessary to obtain from them all the benefits, you could also get injured.
- It is difficult to move forward or grow as a yogini without a teacher to learn from, books and videos are very useful, but they lack the essence of the student-teacher relationship.
However, let’s face it, sometimes it doesn’t give us life, and spending two hours going to yoga can complicate the day in excess. Work, home and children end our reserves of time and energy and, no, although mothers cannot believe it, those of us who do not have children sometimes cannot afford certain luxuries! So, although it is not the best option, I also have a good recommendation for you: the sun salutation.
- Get a good mat and some cork bricks.
- Spend 15 or 20 minutes every day. This is much better than trying to practice for an hour and you can only do it once a week.
- Pay attention to your breathing in each posture.
- Never, never, never forget to lie in Savasana and observe how your body is after the practice.
Look for a good school
This is the first advice I give when someone asks me something about yoga, how to practice it or learn, etc. For me there is nothing like finding a teacher with whom there is a special connection and regularly attending their classes, listening to him, analyzing his teachings well and nourishing himself mentally and spiritually of all that he can offer you.
The mental and spiritual nutrition that can be provided by a teacher with whom you connect, beyond the physical work of yoga, is a strong reason to try to go to a school.
- Think about what time of day you can fit your yoga classes and look for a school near where you are. Do several searches on Google Maps, do not limit yourself to the words “yoga classes”, for example: yoga school, yoga, meditation, yoga and meditation, school of, etc. The idea is that you find even the smallest and most innovative school, and don’t have to go to the gym on duty if you don’t feel like it.
- Always take a test class. For me it is very important that the concept of yoga taught in school is the same as I have, think that if you just want to do some exercise you could get very bored if your teacher starts talking to you about the Cosmic Mother or On the contrary, if your intention is to grow spiritually, you can take a big disappointment if the classes are oriented only to physical work.
Adopt yoga-related habits
This third way to start in yoga is complementary to the previous two, moreover, you could implement all three and you would have a round approach. It is about trying new habits contemplated in yogic philosophy and that have nothing to do with the physical part.
Some of the customs of yogis are a bit strange, but they all have their reason, I tell you some of them:
- Brush your teeth and tongue as soon as you get up. The mouth accumulates many toxins, especially at night, so the only way not to send them to our body again is to do a thorough oral cleaning upon waking.
- Drink warm water with lemon on an empty stomach. Yes, I know that this is everywhere and that in some places it is said to be silly and in others it is said to be miraculous. You see, neither one thing nor the other, does not burn fat, or lose weight, or fatten the bank account, but it does help to cleanse the body and improve digestion.
- Do not drink cold water during meals and eat more vegetables and fruits. The first is a matter of helping your stomach do digestion and the second is more according to ahimsa. Not all yogis are vegetarians, but it does not hurt that you contemplate the possibility of being a little more veggie.
- Practice awareness and acceptance in all areas of your life. I could not miss the opportunity to invite you to give your life an extra spirituality, not only as a form of auto coaching, but as a way to integrate yoga into your day to day.