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A young child performing 4 different yoga poses.

What Should Newbies Bring to Yoga?

08/27/2014, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

Bring these 4 things to your next yoga class.

 

Yoga is accessible to anyone who has a body and/or a mind.

And no, you don’t necessarily need both at the same time to reap the benefits of a yoga class. 

Many people do yoga precisely because they’re mind doesn’t work - they’re stressed, they’re exhausted, they’re aggravated by something at work or at home. A yoga studio is a fantastic place to shut your brain off and let your body take over.

In the same vein, yoga is beneficial for people who want to exercise their mind as well as their body. Yoga teaches mental focus and strength through carefully selected poses. Maintaining certain positions requires focus, but there’s also the serenity that comes with sitting in those poses for several moments. Yoga leaves you with only your own thoughts, which can be either therapeutic or just downright frightening, depending on the week you’ve had. 

Mental or physical, the key elements of yoga are beneficial for everyone. However, there are a few things everyone needs to bring to a yoga class when they’re new.

Energy

You don’t need a ton of it, sufficient energy is the most important thing you can bring to a yoga session. Yoga operates on the notion that whatever energy you put into the universe, you’re going to get the same amount back, just in a different form. 

Water 

Staying hydrated directly relates to your amount of energy. In actuality, you should be drinking water all day before going to yoga, but keeping refreshed in between poses (particularly if you’re doing a hot yoga class), will give you more energy to complete the class. 

An Open Mind 

Attending a class with the assumption that the mental side of yoga is worthless will doom you before you begin. This is an actual phrase I’ve heard in the last couple weeks, and it’s a weak reason not to try yoga. Being open to new ideas and alternative methods of physical activity is a characteristic we all preach in our children, so shouldn’t we be following our own advice?

A Distracted Mind

Yoga class is a place to purge your mind of distractions. We’re all busy, we all have too much on our plate, but there’s still so much baggage we can drop off at yoga. For instance, I have a hard time sleeping when I know I have 1 email I haven’t answered (that’s right, ONE), even if I received it an hour before I went to bed (which is usually 10:30pm if I’m lucky enough to keep my eyes open that late).

This is ridiculous. No one expects emails to get returned that quickly, or at least they shouldn’t. I'm allowing this stress to creep in instead of letting myself fall into a deep coma-like sleep. 

We all bog ourselves down with unreasonable expectations all the time, and it’s not right. At the winter club, most of us can only move as quickly as the hockey season allows us to, so why are we constantly pushing our own limits of sanity?

Well, this got away from me a little bit. The point is that it’s absolutely alright to be busy, but stress, nerves and worry accomplish nothing. There are outlets for these negatives elements, ways we can leave our stress behind and focus on what we can control. 

Yoga is one of those outlets. Try yoga now.

The North Shore Winter Club Yoga Schedule:

Mondays 
Power Yoga, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Wednesdays
Gentle Yoga, 9:45am - 10:45am

Fridays
Hatha Yoga, 10:30am - 11:30am
Deep Stretch & Relaxation, 11:45am - 12:45pm

Read more about the types of yoga classes offered at the North Shore Winter Club.

photo credit: J. Star via photopin cc

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