Finding your Zen
Up until now, most of my blogs have been more “how to” and less of my thoughts and perspective. This blog sheds light on how I find a little peace despite the chaos. Most of us can probably agree that our current state of politics is far from ideal. When did we become so divided? It’s easy to feel stressed, sad and separated. Yoga has helped me to tap into a universal feeling of calmness and connectivity. There are many different types of yoga. I went years where I only practiced hot yoga, and now I prefer a more gentle or restorative. For those of you who are new to yoga, the benefits are vast and available to all ages and fitness levels. When I first started my practice, I found that attending classes in a studio with a trained instructor was crucial to deveoping the basics. But everyone is different and you may find a home practice rewarding from the very begining.
A few things to consider when looking for a studio:
1.) Pick a class that is right for where your body is today. Most studios will take your $, but anyone that is not very physically fit, advanced in years or overweight should not take an intensive or hot class. I recommend trying a non-heated slow vinyasa, gentle, restorative or yin class.
2.) Do you have any pre-existing injuries? Many studios are offering programs for people with back problems. Always inform your instructor prior to taking any class.
3.) Are you comfortable with the instructor adjusting you? Adjustments are often done on your back or hip and foot alignment. You need to be aware that most instructors will go around the room and help align the students. If you’re uncomfortable with this, you must tell them.
4.) Studios vary dramatically on the spiritual element. If you are weirded out by chanting and meditation, you may want to stick with a yoga studio that focuses solely on the physical aspects of yoga.
5.) Yoga is not for women only! More and more I am noticing that studios have a fairly even ratio between men and women. Better yet, take your spouse or special friend.
6.) Just do it. There’s so many reasons to put it off but you won’t know if you don’t go. Most studios offer first classes for free or deeply discounted.
Several years ago, I was attending an inversion workshop and I will admit I had some negative thoughts around ever doing one. But within an hour, I was able to do an unsupported headstand, which I had thought completely impossible. What a dramatic change of perspective. Until we go outside our comfort zone, there is limited opportunity for change.