This guide is right for you if you:
-drink too much coffee -don’t even need coffee -speak a million miles a minute -never sit still -can only watch TV while cleaning your room or painting your nails -are a total spaz -are anything like me
Why would yoga work for you?
If you’re anything like me, you’re active as all get out. You might have a solid gym routine, or a fabulous person trainer like mine, Mallory. You might not need another form of exercise at all. But yoga isn’t exercise just for your body, it’s incredible for your mind.
Like, we all know that, right?
But when I first started yoga, I was like this is the most boring exercise in the world. So I shifted my mindset. Now, I think of it as a mental exercise, and it completely satisfies me. I don’t expect to keep my abs with yoga, but I do expect it to open my mind, calm my anxieties, and deepen my appreciation for life. It does that. So, if you’re anything like me, you need yoga.
So, you want to start yoga (kind of) and don't know what to expect?
I have made this guide for you, my friend! Take these steps to ensure you don’t die, explode, or buy $130 yoga pants for no reason.
What to buy:
1. Yoga pants- $18.
I got all my yoga pants at TJ Maxx and let me tell you they are fabulous. (Like the space pants one in these pics!) I feel like Katy Perry or some version of a Barbie rockstar in them. Especially when someone told me they’d never seen them at Lulu. I was like “Oh that’s because they’re elite Lulu, custom made, actually.”
2. Yoga mat- $a zillion dollars.
Hate to say it, but the ten dollar Ross mat will only get you so far. I know, this is sad. Go ahead, buy it. And then after yoga session #5, look for a better option. And then when you find it, tell me, because I’m still plucking teal fibers out of my hair for hours after yoga thanks to Ross.
How to prepare:
1. DO NOT DRINK COFFEE THE MORNING OF.
Drink water instead.
2. Paint your nails.
Why, why are you painting your nails exactly? Because I know you. And I know as soon as you’re in downward dog you’re going to look at your chipped nails and be like “I need to schedule time to paint my nails… should I do purple? Or classic red? Or just go nude?”… and then everyone’s in tree pose and you’re still staring at your nails. I know you.
3. Wear a fitted shirt.
Because if you don’t, you will suffocate during downward dog and you will die. Put your hair UP. If you wear a ponytail at the back of your head, you swill squish it and then you will have to redo it and that like totally messes up the zen flow or whatever. So wear it atop your head, or at the base of your neck if you must.
4. BE ON TIME.
Once (only once), I was late, and I came into everybody doing wandering bear pose.. and that is just *not* something you need to walk into when you're not in the zone. And if you're lucky, nobody notices, but if you're normal, then everyone notices and you spend the rest of the 68 minutes feeling plenty of yogi guilt that you ruined somebody's only peaceful moment of the day. GOOD JOB. Actually, don't just not be late. Be early.
1. Turn your phone off.
2. Sit in the middle.
Then you can see some people, and also show off for the people in back. Best of both worlds.
3. Close your eyes.
Just do it. If you open your eyes, you will notice everything. That the man next to you is sweating, like why? Is he sweating? It’s been three minutes? Or that the girl in front of you has a way better lizard pose than you do and how is that even possible because you were in gymnastics and she obviously wasn’t… You get the point. Close your eyes. Eliminate distraction and focus on your pigeon pose, woman.
4. Bring your awareness to your breath.
I have no idea what that means, but like actually do it.
5. Choose one mantra and stick to it.
The yoga teachers are incredibly talented at saying a lot of flow of words and not stuttering and sounding very soothing. I imagine it’s 75% of their yoga teacher training. So they are throwing all kinds of calming inspiration at you, and some of it sounds like BS and some of it you’re like “Yessss, and all of the sudden I realize dread locks are a great idea…”. And once you have that thought, stick to it. Mine is: Make space for contentment. My fave yoga teacher, Terry, focuses on making space for contentment in our lives, wiggle room for the bad stuff so that the good stuff can expand and take over your life. I love that. I get that.
I schedule 30 minutes after yoga for down time, so that I don’t have to jump into anything crazy when I'm still "yoga stoned". Sometimes I I just go to Kreuzberg and get some kombucha and stare at a wall and throw peace signs at people and contemplate dreadlocks and the beautiful universe. Or whatever. It’s fabulous.
Yoga at home: This sounds like a great idea. But for spazzes like me, there's no way in hell I would ever actually do it all the way through. I *love* going to the studio, where I'm forced to be in the zone, it smells like lavender or whatever that magical scent is, and stopping in the middle to do dishes would be completely socially unacceptable.
Frequency & classes: I go three times a week, sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening (my yoga studiohas like a hundred classes a day) and I take Yin classes or healing classes, which are more focused on stretching, holding poses, meditation, and/or, obviously, healing. I know you think I have a young whipper snapper body, but this temple of mine is permanently injured (that's a whole other story) and yoga really helps!
My yoga studio: I go to the Yoga Centre in SLO (which is pictured), after painstakingly trying every other yoga studio in a 30 mile radius. Yoga Centre is my studio soulmate. I love the teachers there and the open space and those windows and the smell and the location. Everything.
Find a place that's right for you, and don't feel the need to rationalize. If you don't like a space, practice elsewhere. The yogis understand.
Yoga isn't for everybody, but it can be for anybody, even spazzes like us. Let's do this thing.
If you started yoga recently, or are about to, tell me about it!! And where do you go? Or do you do it online? How much do you love it? I totally love it. I've also had so much caffeine today. Whoo!
p.s. This post is for Tiffanie, who asked me about my experience! Can't wait to hear about yours, girl!
p.p.s. Taking pictures at the Yoga Centre was.so.fun. And this is Mallory who is responsible for all my other exercise as my personal trainer. Thanks girll.