I never imagined that at some point in my life I would be practicing yoga. Never. Because I thought that only flexible and strong people can do yoga and I was no where near flexible. I could not even touch my toes with my hand! And yoga intimidated me. Standing upside down? Splits? There’s no way I could do that! And I have no money to go to yoga class. I can’t practice yoga without people teaching me. These are some of the excuses I told myself when I first wanted to learn yoga. Thankfully, we live in a digital era where information is abundance. So why not make use of the technology.
Fast forward and almost two years of practicing yoga, here I am doing headstand, splits and bunches of poses that I thought impossible for me when I first started. Few people asked me how I get started or what’s the best way to get started. As a self-taught (thanks to Youtube and Instagram) I truly feel un-qualified to answer that and should just leave it to the experts. But I feel obliged to answer. I love sharing what I know. And I believe in the power of sharing knowledge.
I started practicing yoga by downloading videos from Youtube. I remember downloading heaps of Tara Stile’s beginner videos. For the first few months, I practiced with video and then I started remembering all the moves and did it on my own. Now, I still used video in my practice but I also incorporate my own flow. Only when you started you’ll understand that the more you practice the more it will feels like your second nature. You just have to started. Go download some videos and start doing it. Really doing it. It’s that simple.
I also did some reading on Yoga. I feel that when you want to start doing something it is important to read, read and read. You have to know what yoga is. The history of yoga. How it evolved into what it is today. Do your research. It may not come out in your exam but at least you learn something. And believe me there will be people asking what you know about yoga and that’s when your knowledge come in handy. My point is, when you want to start doing yoga or anything you need to know what you’re doing. It’s like driving a car, you don’t know what you’re doing chances are you gonna get killed. Okay, you might think that’s not an appropriate analogy but I hope you get the point.
Last but not least, to those who want to learn yoga on their own it is important to not rush it. You don’t want to injure yourself. I often read that when learning yoga it is best to have someone to spot you. That’s why most people go to yoga class. However, if you’re like me who cannot afford to go to class it is important to learn all the basic things about yoga. Your safety is the most important thing that you have to bear in mind. Be gentle with your body. Remind yourself that we’re all made different. Some people can get into splits in a week. But there are also people who took years to develop flexibility. Some people can balance on their hands in a matter of second while some took many many years. You get the point? They key is to be patience and believe that with practice and constant effort you’ll get where you want to be.