Most of us have, at some point, considered making yoga a part of our regular routine. I bet it would help my golf game, we think, or maybe we’re looking for something that can help us manage our stress.
But for all of yoga’s benefits, yoga classes can be intimidating. As a beginner, it can feel like everyone but you knows what they’re doing; never mind that everyone else’s yoga outfit is so put-together it looks like a team uniform.
It’s true that there are more options than ever for doing yoga at home. But even with pre-recorded classes, the knowledge gap (How am I supposed to know what Warrior Pose is?) and the flexibility gap (How will I ever be able to move like that?) can be discouraging.
Overcoming those gaps will, of course, take time and repetition. But in the meantime, Best Health Magazine breaks down 7 things you can do outside of yoga class that will help build your confidence.
Some of that advice is straightforward. They advise, for example, that you not start a class with a full stomach. But there are also things that are less intuitive, like strengthening your wrists. Because many poses involve wrist strength, working to make yours stronger (or simply warming up your wrists before class) should make those poses easier to hold.
Finally — and though you might not want to hear it — the clothes you wear to class are important. For one thing: looking good can help you to feel good. But you also want an outfit that won’t impede your movement. For this reason, yoga instructor Dempsey Marks prefers form-fitting pants and tops: “I don’t like the way loose clothing hangs and gets caught on my limbs during practice.”
Again, yoga is like any other activity: competence comes with practice. But a tweak or two to your yoga routine — especially if you’re struggling — can help you stick with it through those first couple of classes.