Every yogi I know was new to yoga once. Some have been new to yoga more than once, I know I have. When you start and stop and start again it feels new, even though you know some of the poses. When you’ve done one style of yoga and start a new style, that’s a new beginning. We can’t be good at something without being bad at it first.
If you’ve never done yoga before, stop waiting. Stop waiting until you’re thinner. Stop waiting until you have more time. Stop waiting until your kids start school or your job eases up. Stop waiting until you’re “ready”. “Ready” is a lie. You’re ready NOW! Once you start, you’ll know where you are, and you’ll have an idea how to get where you want to be. And be patient with yourself. It takes time. I tell folks it takes about 10 classes to get a feel for the patterns and shapes, and about 100 classes to start to feel like you “know” what you’re doing, and this is good news. It means you won’t get bored, and there will always be more to learn.
Starting a new style can be hard mentally, even if your body already knows many of the poses. The teacher sounds different, the practice room looks or feels different, the students even seem foreign – from their dress to their equipment. The poses look a little different in each style depending on where in India the system came from and who translated it and how the lineage was passed down. It’s so completely human to want to KNOW how to do something, and once we’ve learned, we don’t want to feel like a beginner again. The process of coming to know and love a new yoga system can be no less challenging, and fun, than the very first time you practiced.
Every time we begin something new we come with our anxiety, and we should also bring a lot of curiosity, and a healthy dose of possibility. Once we imagine we know, possibility is lost. This is why the best way to approach a daily yoga practice is starting at zero. Every day is new, every practice is new, and we are new today too.
Shake your practice up by going to a strange studio, practicing at a different time of day or with a new teacher, trying a different yoga system, or just bring “starting from zero” to your regular class, move your mat to a new spot and do your yoga from a new perspective. Renew that feeling of anxious curious possibility and see what it wakes up in you! If you’ve never done yoga before, we’re waiting for you to come play with us! We have classes 365 days a year. Today is the day. Begin.