by Kate Saal
Yoga is Scary
If you are one of the people who think this, you are in great company. Many, many people have this notion. After all “yoga” encompasses so much and means many different things to different people.
It is impossible in the short span of this article to cover all of the ways yoga may be scary because people are highly creative. However, it might be helpful to go over what some of the more common thoughts of the practice are.
To help us I thought we’d play a game I’ll call “Yoga myth or Hawaiian”. Each number below is either a myth about yoga or a famous Hawaiian. See if you can figure which is which.
1. Nicole Kidman
Hawaiian. Famous for being Australian, Nicole was actually born in Honolulu.
2. You have to be very flexible to do yoga.
Myth. (While we’re at it, add strong and balanced.) What is needed to practice is the ability to breathe. Flexibility is something you develop over time as your body adapts.
3. Don Ho
Hawaiian. Famous for being Hawaiian and for singing “Tiny Bubbles”.
4. Everyone will look at, stare and judge me.
Myth. In reality most people think this. How, though, can they be staring at and judging you when they are worried about you staring at and judging them. Also yoga is a practice of compassion, kindness and love.
5. Jack Johnson
Hawaiian. Born and raised on the North Shore. His middle name is Hody and yes he was a professional surfer before being known as a musician.
6. I’m too (pick one or more) old, out-of-shape, overweight to do a class.
Myth. This is a breathing and awareness practice. Everything else is optional.
7. Bette Midler
Hawaiian. Actor. Singer. TV Star. Author. She does it all and was also born in Honolulu.
8. I’ll be the only one in the class that’s having a difficult time.
Myth. No matter how long someone has practiced, we all seek out places that challenge us.
Now that we’ve looked at a couple of the more prevalent thoughts let’s explore:
Things to help make your first yoga class in Sacramento easier.
Get there 15 minutes early.
You can get settled, figure out where the bathrooms are and fill out any paperwork necessary.
Set up in the middle of the room.
It might sound strange but the recommended place for someone who is new is right in the middle. This is so you can always have a person in front of you as a guide, no matter what direction you are facing.
Attend with a friend.
It’s always wonderful to have the support of a friend when doing something new.
Take a class that focuses on people who are new to yoga.
Ask the studio to recommend which classes are most suitable for people just starting out.
Introduce yourself to others.
Yoga is about community and it will help you to feel part of it when you get to know other students. You’ll find they are just like you.