Yoga should never feel hard, it goes against the point of it. Often when discussing yoga with people who have not tried it before they wrongly assume you need to be super bendy and have to be able to balance on your head.
Of course this is something some people are and do, but you don’t have to if it’s not right for you. Some people are more strong than flexible. Some are great at sitting still whilst others fidget like crazy. We are all different. Yoga can be simply sitting crossed legged with your back straight focusing on the deep inhalation and exhalation of your breath. It can even be just lying on the floor allowing yourself to fully relax, we all love Savasana!
If you find yourself struggling in a yoga class, here are 6 ways to make yoga easier;
- Do not eat up to 2 hours before you practice. A full tummy just does not feel comfortable when you are forward bending, twisting across it and turning upside down. You will just feel lighter if you hold off eating your dinner beforehand, and of course avoid those uncomfortable moments of wanting to fart in a class…..we’ve all been there!
- Avoid Caffeine. Caffeine, and too much sugar, stimulates the mind. The idea of yoga is to calm the mind. The two just do not go together. For example, half of being able to balance on one leg is to slow the mind, when you have a million thoughts whizzing around your head after a coffee you will wobble around all over the place. Caffeine also affects your breath, it becomes quicker and shallow. Yoga poses are not a race, the idea is to come slowly into them and allow yourself to just be still once you are there, this is very hard if you have a stimulant rushing through your veins.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Make sure your clothes have stretch in them and wont ride up or bother you through out the class. You don’t want to be distracted about your top exposing you or feeling uncomfortable with a too tight waist band or trousers with no give in them.
- Do not compare yourself to others. We are all unique, our bodies are all different and what you will be excel at someone will struggle with and visa versa. When are you are busy looking at what everyone else is doing you are not focusing inwards which is the point of yoga. If you compare yourself to others in yoga, and in life, you will only ever strive to be as good as them, but your own path is so much more special and unique to you.
- Surrender, do not force. Yoga teaches you how to “be” in the moment. The phrase no pain no gain is not applicable in yoga at all. The more you try to force a pose the more likely you are to tighten up and potentially injure yourself. Just do what you can and then surrender to the pose, focus on your breath and calm your mind.
- Breathe. Yes this is an obvious one and if you have been to any yoga classes you will have noticed the teacher goes on and on about remembering to breathe…. This is yoga! Without moving with the breath, focusing on the breath and deepening the breath you are just doing a stretch class. Your inhale brings you fresh new energy and expands your body, your exhale releases, lets go and relaxes. Use the breath to help you move through your yoga practice, and this will spill over into your life. I used to have panic attacks on the tube in London until I learnt to use my breath to keep me calm.
If you have any doubts or questions about going to a yoga class please do get in touch, I am happy to answer any questions; email@example.com