No balance? No strength? No flexibility? No worries! Joining a yoga class can be a daunting experience for many, particularly if you’re concerned about your level of fitness or your ability to bend and stretch. However, it is such a great way to improve your physical and emotional health it is definitely worth a try.
It is important you feel welcome and relaxed when you join a yoga studio. Regardless of whether you are a first timer or an experienced yogi, yoga is all about taking time for you, to reconnect with your body, calm your mind and feel revitalised at the end of the class.
Our goal at The Studio at LaVida Health is to help you reach your full health potential by acknowledging without judgement your current fitness, strength and flexibility and by working with you to get the most out of your practice.
I often talk about the importance of relaxation and meditation as part of a healthy lifestyle and so these practices are also a big part of our yoga classes. Being able to practise a calm mind is just as important as being able to practise the physical aspects of the class.
So what can you expect when you join a yoga class at The Studio?
You will be welcomed with a smile
That’s of course if you notice your instructor while you take in the beautiful view from our studio!
You will be asked a few questions such as whether you have any injuries or pain that we should know about, or any other conditions that might affect your practice, such as pregnancy. That way, we can make sure you are moving into the postures safely and give you modifications when required. We will also let you know where to put your belongings and tell you where the amenities are.
You don’t need to bring anything but yourself
Yes that’s right. We have mats and yoga props for you to use free of charge. There is no hiring fee. Of course you can bring your own if you prefer.
Wear something comfortable such as leggings or loose pants and a t-shirt. You will be barefoot on the mat during class. We don’t have ‘hot yoga’ classes at this studio so you won’t get all hot and sweaty and you won’t find students in what appears to be swimwear!
You won’t get lost in a crowd of other yogis’
Our studio is capped at 9 students per class which means you get individual attention to ensure you are moving safely into the poses and can ask questions if you are unsure.
I realise that being visible might be one of the reasons you might avoid a small class environment, because there is no ‘hiding in the back’. However; it won’t take you long to feel comfortable, especially when we often start a class with some relaxation.
The style of yoga I teach is Purna Yoga
Purna Yoga means integrated or complete and takes a holistic approach to yoga. This means that classes include the physical postures but also pranayama (breathing exercises), relaxation and meditation. A key focus of Purna Yoga is correct alignment, so I often talk through each posture explaining where your body needs to be. Plus I might use props to help you move into a posture safely or use them for more restorative and relaxing positions. The props we use include blankets, straps or blocks.
You don’t need to be flexible, balance on your head or have super strength
I know that the above statement may not fit in with what you think yoga is all about, but trust me, all you need to be able to do is turn up to class. We always give a few options to make postures more or less challenging. You can choose how far you want to go and we will show you postures you can come back to and rest should you need to at any point in the class. Within 5 weeks of regular practice you will notice an improvement in your body, whether it be more flexibility, better balance or more stamina for standing poses. It’s a bold statement I know, but I see it time and time again.
At the beginning of the class we will ask how the students are feeling. Sometimes you can tell that the students are tired or flat and we will incorporate postures that will help the students feel more energised or nourished. I like to change up my classes so I don’t have a ‘set routine’ that I work through, rather I adjust and adapt as we go so you get as much out of the class as possible.
I hope the above has allayed some of your fears about starting a yoga practice. I have always enjoyed introducing yoga to new students and seeing how much their physical or emotional health changes over a relatively short period of time.