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The start of a spiritual journey...(10 Posts)
So I finally plucked up the courage to go to a beginner's yoga class.
I get there in my jogging bottoms & t-shirt - 'wear whatever is comfy for you' - to find the other 4 newbies had gym-honed bodies in leggings & skimpy tops. They looked amazing.
We were all yoga virgins but during introductions it was clear they were frequent gym goers & all had done Pilates whereas my exercise is walking & swimming when the pools are open.
As for the actual class?
Just imagine if Mr Bean tried yoga. I could do some things ok but I toppled over several times moving between poses including literally falling over sideways.
Please tell me it gets better. And please tell me that some of you were equally hopeless at the start.
I was on a yoga thread yesterday and a poster very helpfully said that she got better once she accepted that she was shit at yoga. I'm going to do a 30 challenge, starting today, with the same attitude.
I think that's how you get better, otherwise you will give up.
I haven't been to my yoga class for a while for one reason and another but our teacher's message was always no to look at other people or measure yourself against them. Everyone has their own journey. Also, clothing is no indication of ability. I bought some really nice yoga leggings and I was shit - couldn't touch my toes, couldn't balance on one leg, couldn't step between my hands when coming out of downward facing dog. I did it for the enjoyment though.
I was terrible. I'm still pretty bad. Very uncoordinated etc. I actually gave up twice with in person classes.
Since lockdown I've been practicing with my local group online and also online with Donna Noble https://nobleartofyoga.co.uk who specialises in body positive yoga and complete beginners.
I can't tell you if you get better or not since a total beginner myself (I'm guessing though it's the same as with anyth and you'll get better with practice). I've had multiple first yoga classes but no second ones for similar experiences as what you describe. I felt clumsy, about as flexible as a bar of iron, scruffy in my worn out tracksuit and fat. I spent most of the class comparing myself to the others, feeling fat, ugly and just an overall failure plus the breathing made me dizzy.
BUT very recently I had a totally different experience. My last "first" yoga class had probably been about five years ago. I had had three miscarriages and a baby in those five years and hadn't done any exercise at all. Also I happened to be bang on in the middle of the most horrendous depressive episode. Yet somehow the experience was so different.
I had accidentally chosen the wrong class. Instead of the 60 minute beginners class it was some kind of an 90 minutes advanced flow something. People in there were probably very cool and flexible and everything. BUT I actually have no awareness of it since I didn't have any time or headspace for comparisons. I had read about meditation, body-mind connection etc a lot and wanted to have an experience that would somehow connect my unhappy mind with my unhappy body and make it a funcitioning entity again. So I totally focused on feeling how my body felt. After 20 years of various forms of eating disorders I can tell you that being non-judgemental about my own body has never been a thing. But suddenly it totally was. I only took the movements and stretches as far as felt right for me, I didn't compare and just focused on the movement and how it felt in my mind. It felt like I was in a weird trance where only me and my body existed for 90 minutes. Afterwards every muscle of my body was shaking and I couldn't walk for about a week.But I hadn't l pushed myself.
I'd highly recommend trying it! Just totally focus on being present in your body and how the movement feels in different parts of your body. If it feels difficult not to compare maybe you could position yourself in a way that limits your view?
Good luck! I'm looking forward to my first second lesson next week. I hope it'll get easier for you too.
Thank you for all your encouragement! It's good to know that it's not just me feeing
a little weird & hopeless & clunky.
I am determined to get at least the basics - if I have to do repeated beginners classes, so be it!
The instructor has emailed a link to her YouTube channel essentially covering all we did in the first lesson so I'm going to give it a try at my own pace!
I've bought a pair of leggings - feel a bit self-conscious in them but if they help me get the moves right then they'll be a good buy.
Onwards & upwards!
Go at your own pace. Ignore everyone else in the class. It's called a practice for a reason.
Some days your will do better than others.
If you stick with it, your flexibility will improve and in a few months time u will be so glad at the poses u can now do.
The thing about yoga is that it should just be about you and your practice. I’m not coordinated at all and wouldn’t dream of going to a group dance type of exercise class as my coordination is poor. I’ve been to many different yoga classes over the years and I’m always relieved and pleased to see that no one is really interested in what I’m doing as everyone is concentrating on their own balance/pose etc. I think yoga is one of the few truly inclusive exercises. Keep going OP and enjoy it.
On another note @Jocasta2018, if you want a yoga related laugh, Google “yoga mat for sale on Craiglist .” 🤣
You might look differently at your next class 😁