I started yoga because of injury (which I think many people will also admit) and found that the decrease in pain and overall awesome feeling I now had was worth a return trip. Increased/improved flexibility is just one of the many changes you may experience after beginning yoga. You may also experience:
· Improved digestion, as your posture improves and you allow more space for your organs to function
· Better sleep habits as you calm your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight)
· Improved lung function as you focus on deep breaths in the asanas (poses)
· Decreased stress and stress hormone levels in your body
· Strengthening of the immune system
· Improved circulation
· A more balanced metabolism
…and the list goes on and on. For only an hour a day and all of these benefits? Why wouldn’t you start yoga?
There is one catch, though. As with any exercise program, you need to stay consistent. So finding a teacher and studio you like is very important. If you don’t like the first teacher or style you find, try another! There are countless studios out there, and even more if you live in LA. They are popping up like Starbucks around here.
Ok, you’ve decided to take up yoga, now what? Once you’ve found a studio to go to, visit their website and see if they have mats to borrow or rent (if you don’t have your own). You should wear clothing that is easy to move in, but not too baggy. You will practice barefoot, but if there is no way that you will remove them, some teachers will excuse you. It is more of a safety issue so you don’t slip on your mat and injure yourself. You will most likely sit on the floor for some period of the class, as well as stand and stretch. Don’t worry about what everyone around you is doing; I promise you, they are all too concerned about themselves to worry about you. Let your teacher know if you have any injuries or health conditions they should know about and you’re set!
You don’t have to be Gumby or Buddha to practice yoga; you just need a good attitude, a good teacher (cough where can you find one of those?? cough), and the kick in the booty to get there. May this serve as your booty kick =)