New to Yoga?

            Certainly you have heard of yoga. It is currently enjoying immense popularity and, in addition to yoga studios offering its instruction exclusively, it is available at most gyms and health clubs, as well as many church basements, libraries, and living rooms. While this popularity has made the practice available to many more than would have had access to it a century ago, it has also spread some ideas about yoga through our culture. These can be intimidating for newcomers. If you are new to yoga, here’s what you need to know. If you are looking for a more in-depth explanation of yoga, try this link to What is Yoga?

1. Yoga is easy.

Often the media portrayal of yoga poses is extreme, but most are very straightforward and simple. They are easy to learn, remarkably beneficial, and adaptable to any body. This leads to the next point:

2. No flexibility required.

Really. Many people say, “I’m not flexible. I can’t even touch my toes, how can I do yoga?”  In the same way that aptitude at playing the piano is not a prerequisite for taking piano lessons, flexibility is not required for yoga. The same is true of strength or a peaceful, serene mind. People practice yoga to become flexible, strong, and peaceful, not because they are flexible, strong and peaceful.

3. Yoga feels good.

Most people walk out of a yoga class feeling as if they’ve had a massage and maybe a nice nap – relaxed and energized, focused and calm.

4. Yoga is versatile.

Whatever you may be looking for – relaxation, strengthening, freedom from chronic tension and aches, or a deeper connection with your body – the poses of a yoga class can, with time, help. It can be a great workout or a simple de-stressing. Yoga poses work the body against itself, with no external machines or apparatus, using the strength of one muscle to lengthen another and the body’s own weight to develop its overall strength from the core outward. Yoga also has the advantage that it has been designed to work on all systems of the body – to improve the effectiveness of the digestive system as well as the muscular system, range of motion in addition to concentration and focus.

Of course, the best way to see what yoga’s all about is to come to class and find out!