Step One: Starting Out Yoga

John Sovec

JS_Starting-Out-Yoga_12.04.08.JPGThe other day, a new student attended one of my more advanced level classes. Just as we were getting started, I found out from her that she was brand new to yoga and this was her first class.

As a teacher, this is always a difficult predicament. On the one hand, I want to be welcoming to someone who is new to the world of yoga and encourage their commitment.

On the other, there are safety issues that have to be considered, among them the ability to do challenging poses, the stamina to last through the length of the class, and the necessity of understanding and being self-aware of your body – all of which are essential components of the yoga experience.

In this case, we reached a compromise. The new student did the breathing and warm-up portion of class with us and then I had her rest. I invited her to attend one of my beginner level classes, explaining that it would be a safer and more supportive way for her to take her next step into the world of yoga. This worked out very well and I was happy to witness her safely and wisely take those all-important first steps into yoga.

This recent incident has given me the idea to start a series looking at some safety tips that people should consider when starting yoga instruction.

The first step is to check with your doctor and make sure that there are no health issues that would affect your yoga practice. If your doctor is not familiar with yoga, take in a book or magazine showing the types of exercises and poses that you might be doing in a yoga class. This will assist your doctor in ruling out any poses that might agitate any ongoing conditions that you may have.

After you have discussed this with your doctor, share the information with your yoga teacher so that he or she will be aware of any concerns that need to be addressed as you initiate your practice. This will assist both you and your teacher in setting up a solid foundation to your practice.

Once you have set up that foundation, you will be able to move onto our next step – the importance of self-awareness in assessing your fitness level – which we’ll discuss in the second part of this series.

Safety Tips for Starting Yoga:

[tags] new yoga student, advanced yoga class, first step in yoga, safety tips for yoga beginners, safety before starting yoga practice[/tags]

Author: John Sovec

John Sovec is a psychotherapist and yoga teacher serving the community of Pasadena. In his therapy work John specializes in focusing clients on uncovering their personal strengths, building upon those strengths, and encouraging clients to live the best lives…

3 Responses to “Step One: Starting Out Yoga”

  1. Carolina says:

    just came across. Nice blog

  2. john sovec says:

    Thanks. I hope as the series continues it will inspire people to safely step into the world of yoga.

  3. Thank you for this series John.

    I know that it has inspired several people I know to begin their yoga practice because you make it so simple for one to understand.

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