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How can I start a yoga practice?

Don't worry about being too stiff, lacking coordination or balance. Instead, consider this an exciting start.

Many people feel intimidated to show up for the first time in a yoga class for different reasons. For example, some are afraid of not performing the poses correctly, or dealing with physical limitations, or even feeling frustrated with their performance.

Those are tricks from the mind. We create our ghosts and excuses to avoid the experience. Unfortunately, our physical capability is a reality, and we have to deal with it. But it is not a reason for you not to practice yoga. Yoga can help you to better deal with any physical condition you might have. You need to understand your body and make the appropriate adjustments to have a healthy and pleasant experience. You can use props like blocks, straps, bolsters to help you offset a limited range of motion or tightness and make a pose easier to get into and hold.

Yoga is not about doing the perfect pose. It is the journey to get there.

Some people start a yoga practice aiming to perform challenging poses and inversions. Feeling challenged is very important to build self-confidence, and it is fun indeed doing poses like the peacock, crow, and headstand. But give yourself time to get there.

Yoga poses can always be adjusted to become accessible to everyone. In an open level class, all experience levels are welcome, and students can challenge themselves with poses modifications, always based on a wise self-judgment and under the supervision of a teacher.

You can also find a class that suits your level of experience and proficiency in yoga. For example, if you are a beginner, maybe you prefer to go to a yoga basics class or level one class and learn the fundamentals of the postures in more detail. No matter how you start, this is just a way to calm your mind. This internal negotiation is part of the journey too.

Although many people think that yoga is only a physical practice, yoga is much more than that. The physical practice - the asanas - is just one of the eight limbs of yoga. Each limb - including the asanas - teaches us how to deal with our minds and connect with our authentic selves. We learn this in the first sutras of the book Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the most relevant books on yogic philosophy.

Don't create too many expectations.

Don't feel frustrated if the physical practice doesn't happen exactly the way you envisioned. Each day our bodies feel different. Improvements will come with time and practice. Be persistent and patient. Go with the flow. You will be working not only on the physical aspects of the pose but also, and more importantly, with all the internal struggles within the mind and emotions that each pose will surface. By acknowledging this, you will experience yoga.

Always remember to be grateful for whatever experience you had - the good ones and the bad ones. Practice acceptance of what you have right now. Finally, be compassionate about yourself. Remember to continually return to a loving and nurturing place during your practice. Those are healthy grounds for you to start a healthy yoga practice!

Let's start the journey!

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