We’re so excited to be partnering with YogaClub to talk to you about one of our favorite subjects: adding yoga into your life!
A few years ago, I had an annual gym membership that I went to one time. Once. In the entire year.
I think that adequately sums up my feelings about fitness and working out consistently at the time––it was something I gave myself a hard time about, but could never find the motivation to do.
“Today is the day! I’m going to go the gym after work,” I’d tell myself and a few hours later, I’d find a new excuse not to go. “I don’t feel well” or “I left my sweat towel at home.”
One day, my coworker invited me to go to an outdoor yoga class. In my city, there’s a free yoga class daily with a scenic ocean view. I had seen it when driving by a few times, but I didn’t know much about yoga and was too afraid to go alone. So, when she asked another co-worker and me to join her, I excitedly said yes.
And that was it. I was hooked. After years of not committing to any fitness, I kept going back, day after day, without any resistance.
Yoga is about more than a physical practice, and that’s what drew me in. It’s about connecting within, staying grounded and focusing on your breath. It depends on the type of class I’m sure (and I have only experienced a couple types) but through my experience, it’s all about doing what you can with what you have.
We’re not all at the same flexibility or strength level, and it’s about expanding your potential but not pushing too far beyond your comfort.
I had never been to a workout class where I didn’t feel pressured to push as hard as I could, and I think that’s why I kept coming back. I just needed to show up, learn, breathe, and try my best without any judgement.
That said, I get that yoga can be intimidating and it’s not always that easy to get into a consistent yoga practice. So here are some ways that you can get into a yoga routine as a beginner or as someone who has lost touch with your practice and want to get back into it.
Start with online classes
If you’re too intimidated to go into a class without knowing the name of a single pose –– except maybe the classic downward dog, then maybe you’ll feel best with an online class. There are thousands of yoga videos online that you can start with, and you don’t really need any equipment to give it a shot. Practice a few sequences daily or weekly, until you feel comfortable going to a class.
Test out a free class
I mentioned before that there’s a free class available in my city, and maybe that’s available to you as well. If not, there’s hopefully a studio near you. A lot of studios offer a free first class or an amazing deal for the first month. Check Groupon or browse Yelp for nearby studios and do some research. An amazing way to get into a new habit is to do an unlimited first month and commit to going at least three times a week.
Get yoga clothes that make you feel the part
Feeling confident and comfortable is one of the most essential things about yoga, especially when you’re trying to stay focused. You want to feel like you can breathe and move freely to really stay grounded during your practice. And let’s be real, you want to look good while you do it.
I love using YogaClub, a subscription box for quality yoga clothes, because they make the process of picking out beautiful (and practical) yoga clothes so simple. You take a quick, fun quiz on their website, and each month, they pick you out a yoga top, bra and yoga pants based on your individual style.
They picked me out the cutest pants from Teeki that I absolutely love. (It’s too funny; My fitness instructor randomly has the same yoga pants and she loves them too!) They’re so comfy and they make me feel like a mermaid. (It’s the ones pictured! Tell me if you agree?!)
Also, I didn’t have to pay what I’d pay for these pants, top, and comfy bra if I was to pick these up through the retailers. You’ll get them up to 50% off the retail price. YogaClub has cool brands like Free People, Gaiam, and Splendid. And if for some reason it’s not a match for you, they’ve made exchanges effortless.
You’ll get $20 off your box with the code YOGA at checkout. Also, can we just talk about how cute of a gift this is for fellow aspiring yogis in your life?!
I’m all about feeling comfortable in style, while learning the new poses and getting confident as a beginner yogi. And if you’re like me, you’ll basically live in yoga clothes already, even well-after you’ve done the workout.
Open up to the message
Going to yoga class feels like you’re both meditating and working out at the same time. Depending on the type of practice you’re doing, it can be way more challenging than it looks. But there’s no intense yelling to motivate you to work harder; it’s a gentle nudge to keep breathing and keep focusing.
Most yoga teachers will send you wisdom along the way and teach you something new or show you a way to look at the world that is a loving reminder to carry throughout your practice and rest of your day. A lot of people, like me, come back to yoga again and again because of the spiritual element. You feel like you’re both in a workout class and a spiritual workshop at the same time.
Remind yourself of the benefits
Beyond the obvious benefits of yoga like improved flexibility and balance, there’s also been studies that show it can improve your sleep, help with depression and anxiety, boost your energy, reduce inflammation and decrease period cramps. I mean, need I say more? I also want to be super flexible when I’m in senior years, so that’s a great motivator.
Experiment with different types of yoga
There are so many variations of yoga and teaching styles; it’s important to go through a few different types especially if you tried one and it didn’t go well. If you intuitively think that yoga is for you, but the class you tried was awful, consider trying a different type.
Types of yoga to look into:
– Hatha yoga
– Hot yoga
– Bikram yoga
– Yin yoga
– Ashtanga yoga
– Iyengar yoga
Use it as a positive coping mechanism
Yoga has been shown in studies to improve your self-concept and coping skills, even with dealing with serious past trauma. When you’re going through tough times, yoga can be a healthy alternative to other coping mechanisms that you might normally go to. Instead of turning to junk food or toxic friends, you can go to yoga. When you continuously go to yoga in hard times, it’ll naturally (over time) become your main source of therapy.
Create your own sequence
If you’re familiar with yoga, but are struggling to make it part of your routine, try doing it at home and DIYing a sequence that feels good to you. Play a good yoga playlist, like this one, and stretch in the way that you need. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because no one is watching. And even if they are, act confident and no one will question you.
Let us know if you’re doing yoga and how it’s adding to your life. And don’t forget, you can get $20 off YogaClub with YOGA at checkout.