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Nov 08, 2016

NEW TO THE MAT

Kickstart Your Practice
 

Yoga isn’t just for the young, the stretchy, the pretzel-like bodies of the world; it’s for anyone who wants to increase their muscle strength, sweat out the day’s stress and reconnect with good health. Sure, you’ve toyed with the idea of yoga – more flexibility would be nice, calming your mind seems like an aspiration you should have, the idea of not running on a treadmill or lifting weights is appealing.


But oh – to go to your first class when you can barely touch your toes these days, and the whole thing is done in front of a mirror where everyone can see that you don’t know what the heck a “tree pose” is, and well, isn’t everyone in there already in shape?!
 

Here’s the first rule of yoga, and one that will set you free: Keep your eyes on your own mat.

It’s pretty much against the rules to look at what your neighbor is doing – unless of course your face is about to crash into their foot. So, if someone is actually looking at you, guess what: they are a beginner too! And do you know how much our trained yoga teachers LOVE newbies?! We get so excited to introduce our passion, and we love classes when we get to help our members who are new to the practice.

 

Yoga Journal cites 38 ways yoga benefits your health, but here are a few:

  1. Improves your flexibility
  2. Builds muscle strength
  3. Perfects your posture
  4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  5. Protects your spine
  6. Betters your bone health
  7. Increases your blood flow
  8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
  9. Ups your heart rate
  10. Drops your blood pressure


How to Enter Your First Yoga Class Like a Boss
One of the intimidating part of a yoga class is that everyone seems to know what they are doing before it even begins. Not true, but we’ve got you covered. Here are a few pre-class tips:
 

  • Wear whatever feels comfortable. Having said that, don't hide under big baggy clothing. We get it; it’s intimidating, but tighter clothes make it easier for your instructor to help with you with adjustments, and there is nothing more annoying than having your baggy shirt flip over your head in downward dog.
  • Bring a mat, towel and water bottle.
  • Arrive in bear feet.
  • You can place your mat wherever you want to. There are no assigned spots, and if the class is crowded, people will readjust their mats to accommodate you, as we can get pret-ty close to one another.
  • No talking. The few minutes before the instructor starts are for yogis to shed the traffic nightmares and calm their minds before they begin. It is common to see people lying down (corpse pose), flipped over on their feet (child’s pose) or sitting cross-legged silently before class begins.
  • Arrive early and introduce yourself to the instructor. Let them know that you are a beginner tell them about any injuries or concerns you have.
  • Above all, respect your body’s limits. And if you ever feel dizzy or out of breath during class, it’s perfectly acceptable for yogis of all levels to simply lie down in child’s pose (you will learn what that is) in the middle of class, until you are ready to resume. 
     

Classes at Pura Vida
There are many types of yoga offered at Pura Vida, but here are a few that are ideal for beginners. All of our classes are for all levels – we mean it. While everyone is upside down and focusing on their own bodies, our instructor help adjust and assist you with new poses. Check our schedule for daily classes, then give us a try.
 

  • Align: An excellent place for beginners to prepare for faster-paced classes, this practice pays particular attention to precision of alignment and structure. Each yoga pose is experienced and examined thoroughly, often with the use of props, resulting in greater strength and flexibility as well as improved physical posture and deep power of concentration.
  • Vinyasa: These heated-studio classes match the comfort of fluid, graceful movement with the strength-building power of challenging postural flow. The result is a truly enjoyable process to cleanse, inspire, and inform.
  • Iyengar: This Hatha-style practice focuses on the asanas (posture) and pranayama (breath control). Each posture increases awareness and technique, addresses stability, and intensifies the depth of the posture. The use of props to helps promote whole-body well-being.
  • Restorative: A relaxing sequence of breath-infused stretch flows and moderately-paced asana practice meant to release tension, untangle knots, and restore energy. This session ends with a long relaxation meditation.


If you need some additional support, visit the front desk, 3rd floor fitness desk, or choose a yoga class and arrive early to meet your instructor. Let them know of any injuries, goals and that you are new to the practice. They’ll be sure to offer you extra assistance during class.