by Debi Darnell
So you've signed up for your first yoga class. Congratulations!
Here are five things I want you to know before you step into the studio.
Leave any fear at the door. You are brand new and that's a special place to be. You showed up and that's all you really need to accomplish with your first class. I'm glad you are here.
2. No Judgment
Seriously, no judgment. I'm not saying "no judgment" and then turning around and talking behind your back. No one is looking at you and thinking you don't belong here, that's the little lingering voice of fear sitting between you own ears. That's ok, we are all human, just tell that fear voice to quiet down. You showed up and that's all you need. And I'm glad you are here.
3. Be New
Ok, so the fear voice is down to a muffled roar. You might start to notice everywhere that you are too tight, too flexible, too skinny, too fat, too weak, too strong, too tired, too jittery, too...(insert your own self image here). All of these things can, and will, change with a consistent yoga practice. Allow yourself to be new and just absorb whatever you can from this first class. The more you practice, the more you will learn. Today, you showed up. I'm so glad you did.
4. It's not about the poses
Whoops! You looked to your left and there stands a... contortionist? Now your fear voice gets super loud and starts saying "Am I supposed to do that!?! Is that yoga??" No. (And yes but don't freak out). Yoga is a relationship between your breath and your body and the poses are ways that we add resistance to both in order to get stronger. When you look at the contortionist next to you, remember in this moment that you are new. (By the way, stop looking at the contortionist, give yourself a fighting chance.) So for the yogi next to you, yes, that is yoga in her body. Your pose looks pretty amazing too, but you might miss that when you're focused elsewhere. Thank you for showing up today, I'm so happy for you!
5. Teachers are yoga educators, not gurus.
Teachers are human beings, just like you. They practiced yoga for a long time and developed a deep love for this practice. In their years of practicing, and through teacher training, they have developed a level of understanding of the poses that allows them to share what they know with you. They are guides who are there to educate you on safe, proper, poses.
However, there is another teacher in the room who knows more about your yoga practice than anyone else, you. You are the ultimate leader of your practice. Take the class at your own pace. If the class is moving into a pose that doesn't fit right for you at this time, stay in the previous pose or listen for an alternative to be instructed. Talk to the teacher after class for even more options. They love to talk about yoga and would be thrilled to help you. And I'm sure they are happy that you showed up today!
This practice has the ability to be life-changing in all of the best ways. If you have any questions or would like to be pointed in the right direction, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I am one of those teachers who loves to talk about yoga.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congratulations on starting your yoga journey!
Read more on Debi's blog at www.debidarnell.com