Guest Post: The Yoga Journey

I couldn’t be more excited to share my first guest post of 2012. I have mentioned a few times before that my roommate and great friend, Katey, has joined me in my yoga journey in Calgary.

One of my favourite photos of us. *jazz hands*

We are discovering different studios in the area thanks to Passport to Prana, and discovering ourselves thanks to our practice. I always preach that anyone can do yoga (and everyone should), but since I have been practicing for a bunch of years you may not believe me. Instead, read Katey’s story and believe her.

Do yoga. Breathe deep. Smile. Twirl. Toss glitter. Write.

___

In the past few years I can count on one hand the number of yoga classes I attended. I always heard my friends speak to the benefits from regular practice, and I always told myself I would make more of an effort to go. But work, life and an insecurity to try something I knew nothing about stopped me before I could even start.

When I was writing my 2011 goals I decided to tack yoga on for good measure. I started the year off well, but as work got busier it was harder to make it to class on time. When I did make it to class, I had no understanding of the poses and I was too embarrassed to ask for help. To me, it was like everyone already knew everything about yoga and somehow I missed the memo. I didn’t want to be that kid who asked the question with the obvious answer, so I just went along with it hoping it would all connect on its own. It never did and I soon gave up the practice entirely. Poor form, I know.

When Laura moved to Calgary in September, I was already thinking about giving yoga another try. Lucky for me, Laura (a refined yogi – is that a thing? I’m picturing her in a velvet jacket smoking a pipe in tree pose…..yeah….that’s not right) {don’t think I won’t try to recreate this} was on the search for a Calgary yoga studio and had ordered a Passport to Prana card. After she told me about it I decided to order one for myself. It was a great opportunity to give yoga another shot and I would be more committed because I was going with someone else.

After our cards arrived, Laura put together class times and descriptions, and included her own thoughts on each class. I was so thankful that Laura took the time to do this. It was incredibly helpful and made me feel comfortable heading into class.

Our first class was a beginner hot class, and while it was a great refresher on postures, I left feeling indifferent. It wasn’t anything special and it didn’t make me want to return. With that said, we continued on our studio tour (read: I felt obligated to go because I made a commitment to Laura). I was surprised that with each class I felt better and began to actually enjoy each practice. Laura’s comments on the studio/instructor/class were usually similar to mine and that helped raise my confidence level. It was as if that secret yoga memo finally appeared on my desk and it all just came together. When I began to email Laura with classes we should attend, I knew that I was committed to the practice.

With the first leg of my yoga journey ending, Laura suggested I put together some of my own suggestions to share with any of you that may be considering your own yoga journey. So, here we go:

  • First and foremost, remember: yoga is a practice. I still struggle with the majority of poses, but as soon as I feel that frustration build I remind myself of this. So what if I have to drop to my knees on plank? I’ll get there one day, but for now I won’t beat myself up about it.
  • A good instructor is key. Nobody likes a yoga snob – they are the reason I gave up yoga the first time around. I didn’t realize it at the time, but once I went to other studios it became clear. An instructor should be welcoming, helpful and non-judgmental. My favourite instructors have made jokes and have told us of poses they struggle with. It’s comforting knowing that even your instructor hasn’t mastered everything (see above point).
  • Commit to it. You can’t truly decide if yoga is for you unless you commit. Going once a month will not help you. Try at least once a week (more if you can). I suggest the Passport to Prana card – it’s a great inexpensive way to check out different classes and studios until you find one suited for yourself.
  • Ask questions. When I first started I didn’t ask any questions, but that’s because I was surrounded by yoga snobs. Once I found a studio and instructor I was comfortable with, questions were easy to ask because I knew I would receive a non-judgmental answer.
  • Find a yoga buddy. It’s less intimidating to try something new with someone you know. Plus, your buddy can hold you accountable to attend class.
  • And finally, laugh at yourself. I know, I know – you’re not supposed to talk in yoga, but sometimes you have to. Maybe it’s just me, but it helps when you’re struggling with a pose to give a little giggle. It lightens your mood and ensures you don’t get too frustrated.

As a former non-believer, I really suggest giving yoga a try. It takes time to find the class and studio that best suits you, but in the end it’s worth it. I’m happy I finally gave yoga the chance it deserved, and as we head into 2012 I’m excited to see where the practice will take me.

Advertisements

3 responses to “Guest Post: The Yoga Journey”

  1. earthygurl says :

    Great information! I’ve been looking more into yoga for strength and flexibility. Now I just need to do it:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: