New to Yoga?  Here’s the Lowdown!

Beginner Yoga Picture

We remember how intimidating it can be to take your first yoga class, but really there is no reason to be! The yogic mindset is one deeply rooted in non-judgement, and here at The Soul Shack we not only embrace that philosophy whole heartedly, but one of approachability. At The Soul Shack, you don’t have to be afraid that you don’t know what to wear, know what the poses are or how you think your body may respond to them…the most important thing is that you are here, making an effort to get in touch which your body, mind, & spirit and to try something new that can open endless doors to healing, positivity, creativity, and overall well being. Although we stress the point of students coming as they are, we have come up with a few tips and helpful information to help calm your anxieties, doubt, or hesitations about trying this amazing practice that can truly change your life in huge ways.

 

What to Expect:

– To take your shoes off. Some people find this a little uncomfortable at first, but it truly is the best way not only to do the yoga poses correctly, but to keep our sacred space clean and germ free! Cubbies are located in the back of the studio. Expect to leave your shoes & personal belongings in the cubbies as well, so that we have more space in the studio.

– To be asked if you’ve done yoga before or have any injuries. This can often be a very intimidating question for people, but please try not to sweat it! Your yoga teachers are here because they LOVE teaching and LOVE helping people take this same journey that they are on and are more than excited to figure out the best way to teach you and your fellow classmates so that you can all get the best 1st time experience possible, as well as to avoid the possibility of injury, discomfort or confusion!

– For it to feel a little weird! Very few people take their first few yoga classes without experiencing some type of confusion, challenge, frustration, sensation, or day-after muscle soreness. Please know that these are all COMPLETELY normal feelings to have and that in fact, is probably an indicator that you are truly engaged and connecting to your new practice and body. There are so many layers of body and mind awareness to travel through, it’s only natural to feel a deep release of sensation, pain, anxiety, frustration, when traveling through these layers and allowing these things hiding within our minds and bodies to be released. 

– For most of the people in the classroom to be “good” at different things! In our modern world, and especially in our current American culture, we have been programmed since before we can even remember that life is about good and bad, that for every activity, sport, relationship, etc. there is always going to be someone that is better or worse at something than another person, or that the reason to even do most things is to get “good” at them. At the very heart of yoga, exists the philosophy that there is NO good or bad. What a relief, right? Yoga believes that all beings are in a constant state of change, and that we all have accumulated different strengths and weaknesses due to our environment and life experiences. Your greatest strength may be your classmate’s greatest weakness, and your greatest weakness might be your classmate’s greatest strength. The beauty of life is that we are all different. A great yoga instructor knows this and is there to help all the students in his/her students find their own balance.

 

What to Wear:

– Whatever you feel MOST comfortable in! This could be anything from baggy sweats to the latest most fashionable brand of yoga clothing. Maybe even a mixture of the two! We don’t care what you wear as long as YOU feel comfortable to move freely!

– Like we said before, no shoes. We prefer no socks as well, as this reduces the grip your feet are able to get on your mat, but if it’s a cold day or you don’t feel totally comfortable going barefoot around complete strangers yet, we understand and urge you to do what feels best to you in the moment.

 

Benefits of Yoga:

– Improved physical fitness. As opposed to most other types of movement or exercise, yoga emphasizes using EACH and EVERY muscle (perhaps ones you don’t even know exist yet!) and in equal, symmetrical fashion, so that strength, flexibility, stamina and balance are cultivated in the most natural, safe, and enduring way. Don’t believe us? Take any yogi to the gym and see just how strong we really are!

– Stress reduction and management of anxiety, depression, and other causes of mental discomfort. Yoga has been scientifically proved to help immensely with these problems. That’s because not only does yoga teach you to breathe in a more full, deep, and slow way, causing much more oxygen to enter your brain and blood than normal, as well as having a calming effect on the nervous system, but also teaches us how to look inside of ourselves places we’ve never been, or maybe don’t like going, so that we can find the source of our pain and either love it out or breathe it out!

– Boosts the immune system. You’ve probably heard it before and wondered how it could be true, but it is – the practice of yoga regularly (3-5 times a week) allows the body to move in so many different ways that we’re not used to move, thus breaking up trapped blood, lymph, air, and even energy, thus creating a total rejuvenation of that particular body part or system your yoga class or practice has focused on that day, week, or month! Not to mention the endorphin rush that comes along with doing yoga…Check out any of our links below for more info and science on the subject if you’d like!

– Great for weight loss, improving bone density, alleviating joint pain, anti-aging, lowering blood sugar, realigning the spine, hips, knees and etc., great for concentration, improving memory, reversing memory loss, combatting addiction, eliminating insomnia, and so so much more!

 

Additional Information:

Web M.D. – The Health Benefits of Yoga

American Osteopathic Association – The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga Journal – 38 Health Benefits of Yoga