Three years ago, I had my first yoga class at a local community centre where I learnt about deep breathing and meditation. It was great to be able to exercise,sweat and burn some calories during yoga classes but I never felt that sense of motivation or achievement I had right now while doing yoga. Performing sun salutation poses and stretching out like a cat didn’t just make any sense to me at that time. So what if I am able to stretch my calf muscles and flex my hamstrings?
You see, all of these didn’t make much sense until I started to take my health matters seriously. I knew that I wanted to exercise in order to strengthen my body and achieve optimum health.So I went back to yoga this year and ever since I started my series of yoga classes in the gym, I’ve been so hooked onto perfecting my yoga poses. Hell yes, I’m addicted to yoga.
When people asked what exactly yoga is all about, my response wouldn’t exactly be “fitness” but “a personal journey between your mind,body and soul.” Though I couldn’t qualify myself to be a true yogi, I hope I am able to share tips for those who’ve been wanting to try yoga or those who have just embarked on their yoga journey, like myself.
1. Believe that YOU can do it.
It doesn’t matter whether you are fit or super unfit, everyone can enjoy the benefits of yoga. As I wasn’t very fit to begin with, I was afraid that I might not be able to catch up during a yoga class. What if I’m the only student in the class who can’t do bow pose? There will always be that bottleneck anxiety that keeps you steering away from going for your first or subsequent yoga classes. But you know what, even the best yoga student or instructor has to learn yoga from scratch. We may be weak at some point but that does not mean we should give up and stop going for yoga practices. No doubt that practising the art of yoga requires patience, but most important of it, it requires you to believe in yourself.
2. Find a yoga studio with instructors who love teaching yoga
I couldn’t stress more as to how important it is to find a yoga instructor you are really comfortable with. They are often the ones who will motivate you to come for their classes and help you to grow stronger with each subsequent session. I personally tend to prefer instructors who will make the effort to correct your yoga poses and explain the significance and benefits of each pose. For instance, the recent yoga class I had with the bloggers at Space and Light Studios was a really fruitful session for me as we had not one but two highly-experienced yoga teachers who taught us the foundation and basics of yoga. It is through them that I realized that most of the muscles in the body is actually engaged for almost any yoga poses.
These days, yoga studios and gyms often provide free trials for people to try out their classes before signing up to become their members. There’s no harm trying out a few classes to see if it suits your wants and needs. Read on further to find out how you can secure 4 free trial yoga classes from Space and Light studios!
3. Make sure that the yoga studio provides clean and hygienic mats
Most yoga studios and gyms provide yoga mats so you don’t exactly need to bring or buy a mat. But do check that their mats are clean and hygienic because dirty yoga mats can harbour bacteria and fungi which may cause skin infections and rashes!
4. Don’t be a lazy bum and get your bum onto the yoga mat ,now!
“It’s going to rain so maybe I should just chill at home and skip yoga class.” Okay, don’t even think about coming up with such excuses to not attend your yoga class. Put a stop to your brewing pot of thoughts before your 101 excuses translates into real-time action. To make onward progressions in yoga, you will need to attend yoga classes regularly. Once you slip into the ‘lazy mode’, you will find yourself drifting further and further away from yoga til you reach the point of no return. Don’t wait til you’re much older before you regret how you wish you had started yoga way much earlier. Oh gosh, why didn’t I start getting hook to yoga earlier?
5. Stretch like you have never stretch before!
To increase body flexibility, you need to stretch as far as you can and hold it there. Do not give up and do not retreat. It’s all about endurance and perseverance. Breathe in deeply so that your body can sink in deeper into the stretch. A deep stretch is always good as it releases the muscle tension and relieves body aches. You’re going to feel superb the next day!
6. Start from the basics
During the bloggers’ yoga session at Space and light studios, we were taught right from the basics – how to do a proper sun salutation. Though I would have probably done it like a hundred times, I still have a lot to learn in terms of doing a perfect sun salutation with flow and precision. Once you’re able to perform the proper sun salutation, you will find it easier progress to do other intermediate or advance yoga poses which requires alot of leg, arm and core strength.
7. Don’t forget to breathe!
Throughout the class, you may find your instructor saying this over and over again. Sometimes when we are too focus in garnering our strength and might to do difficult pose ( say side-arm plank) , we tend to hold our breath as we forget that we have a pair of lungs which were needed to be filled with air. Seriously, do remember to breathe deeply because it really helps to ease and relax the body while staying at the yoga pose. For instance, I used to be rather weak in doing planking and very often, I would collapse after staying in the plank position for 15 seconds. But today, after concurrent yoga practices, I managed to hold on to the pose for more than a minute! I thought I could have won the Planking challenge held during Space and Light Studio’s yoga session for bloggers but sadly, I failed! But,on the bright side, I am just glad that I made progress in doing a high plank.
8. Fight it out like a warrior
There are going to be times where you felt unchallenged and bored of doing the same yoga poses over and over again or trying to do the handstand but failed to do so even after trying so many times.But you know what? Just tell yourself it’s okay because over time, you will be stronger as long as you fight it out like a warrior and never give up upon yourself. Today, I might not be able to do the superman pose and pendulum swing during my floating yoga class but hopefully, in a few months time, I will be able to do the poses beautifully. Whether it will take me 1 month or a year to do a handstand, I know that I had to fight and press on. For me, I see this as a constant challenge for myself so that I’ve a goal to work on for every yoga class.
9. Do yoga with a heart of gratitude
At the end of each yoga session, my yoga instructor would always talk about having ‘a heart of gratitude’ and respecting our bodies. Today, you are able to attend a yoga class was all because you were healthy and fit to begin with. So,be thankful that you are able to flex and stretch your arms and legs without any difficulty. Respect and treat your body well by feeding it with good,healthy and nutritious food so that it can continue to function at its optimum to bring you to reach greater heights in your yoga journey. That also explained why I’ve switch to a healthier-eating by staying away from processed foods as much as possible. Through this journey, I learnt to love and take great care of my body.
10. Be part of the yogi community
Just two weeks ago, I remembered distinctly of what our yoga instructor told us. ” Yoga is all about building relationships,” she said. She explained that when doing yoga, it is also about forging healthy bonds and relationship with people. It is through these relationships that motivate and attracts people to come together to practise yoga. Why practise yoga alone? Form a yoga community or group with your friends who will play an important supporting role in your yoga journey. They are the ones you needed most when you find difficulty in doing handstands. They will be the ones who will lend you a helping when you crippled and fall. You see, that’s the beauty behind yoga. It’s not just about trying to get fitter and toner.
I’ve been doing yoga regularly for about 6 months now but it’s my first time doing yoga at Space and light studios where I was taught from the basics of yoga by Lynn and Sumei.
The handstand is one of the advance poses in Yoga but that day, we bloggers were given the challenge to do a handstand with the help of two other people. I really thought that I wasn’t able to do this but I was thinking, ‘Heck, I’m just going to give this a shot.” And when my two feet were dangling up in the air, I really felt that jolt of happiness and satisfaction going through my body. I never knew I was that strong. But I’m definitely hoping that I would be able to do the handstand on my own one day.
This is one of my favourite yoga poses that helps release the tension in the back muscles.
Getting ready to do the bridge pose.
After an hour of yoga session, we had this planking challenge to see which blogger could do a high plank for the longest time. I was tad disappointed that I failed the challenge but at least, I now knew that I could actually do a high plank for more than a minute! That’s a great improvement for me who couldn’t even hold a planking pose for more than 15 seconds previously!
Okay, readers, here’s the good news I’ve been dying to share with you guys!
All of you will be entitled to 4 free trial classes at Space and Light Studios, a exquisite yoga boutique studio at Tanglin road, in Phoenix Park!To sign up for the 4 free trial classes, you will need to quote “YOGIBLOG 5” when you called up or register at their studio. The 4 yoga classes are to be used with a period of 2 weeks. This trial promotion is valid only until 30 November 2013.
It’s really a lovely place to be practicing yoga where it’s stow away from the bustle and hustle of the city streets and roads. The tranquility,serenity, exquisity of this place is something most city dwellers would trade their time and money for. You don’t have to go all the way to bintan or bali just for a yoga retreat when you can actually do yoga right here at Space and Light studios for a body and mind detox.
Other facilities at Space and light studios:
Space and light studios also has a mini store selling yoga wear and equipment.