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Things I Wish I Knew Before Beginning My Yoga Journey




Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

We think so too. But we would’ve really liked to learn a few things from others before making our own mistakes – or assumptions.

That’s one of the reasons we offer yoga for beginners and other classes that help beginners on their path to becoming better humans, not just better yogis. Still, though, there are just some things we wish we knew before diving into the world of yoga.

For instance, what types of mats are best? Does the mat even matter? How do classes with a private yoga teacher compare to those in groups? Is it really worth the extra cost?

There are lots of questions you don’t even know to ask if you’re a newbie. And just like with anything you try that’s new, in the end, you’re always left thinking, “I wish I knew that before I started.”

Which leads us here. Imparting our experience, wisdom, and continued learning to you!

Let’s talk yoga mats

What makes a great yoga mat, anyway? Is it really that important?

Well, yes. Actually, it is. If you haven’t already experienced the struggles with a yoga mat that doesn’t work well for you, you probably will at some point.

But we’re here to help you avoid as many yoga mat problems as possible.

Yoga mats for beginners

A high quality yoga mat is probably the most important piece of the puzzle to keeping you safe, stable and grounded during your yoga practice.

If you’re a beginner yogi, you’ll want a mat that is thicker until your joints get stronger and more used to the poses you’ll be performing. A thicker mat is also great for yogis that have knee, back, or shoulder issues.

You’ll also want one that provides good grip so you’re not slipping out of downward dog and nose diving to the floor. Follow these general guidelines when choosing a mat:

  • Choose a mat that is 3-5 mm thick.
  • Jute, cork, and natural rubber mats provide a good amount of stickiness to reduce slipping.
  • A mat with a foam underside gives more padding and support (but be careful using them on carpet).
  • Find a mat that is resistant to moisture, antimicrobial, and/or easy to clean.

Liforme is an excellent brand of yoga mats for beginners! All of their mats feature the AlignForMe system to guide yogis through their flow with ease. They also happen to be eco-friendly!

Private yoga teacher vs. Group classes

How do you take your yoga? With a side of privacy? Maybe you’d prefer to practice yoga out in nature. You could be the yogi that survives and thrives in a studio or group of other yogis in group yoga classes. Maybe you don’t even know which type of class is right for you.

Whatever the case, a private yoga teacher – or at least a few private yoga sessions – helps you build a solid foundation for a strong yoga practice.

If you’re a beginner yogi, a private yoga teacher benefits you by:

  • Instructing you on proper alignment for your body.
  • Addressing any current or former injuries that will affect your yoga practice.
  • Teaching you the true meaning of yoga so you can get the most out of your practice.
  • Assessing your breath and demonstrating how to sync your breath to your flow.
  • Making you feel comfortable and safe talking about your anxieties, stress, or areas of your practice where you know you need improvement.
  • Creating a customized practice designed specifically for you and your needs.

These are all important aspects of yoga.

Many novice yogis begin with private lessons so they feel more comfortable and confident moving into group yoga classes.

Private yoga lessons are customized to you and your needs, help you develop self-awareness, and give you the tools you need to go out on your own!

So when it comes to comparing group classes to private lessons, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. They are both beneficial in different ways. Here at myYogaTeacher, we offer both!

Misconceptions about starting a yoga practice

We could go on and on about all the things we wish we knew before starting our yoga practice. Unfortunately, we hear a few really common misconceptions that we want to nip in the bud right now!

You have to be flexible to do yoga.

This is absolutely not true!

Flexibility is often a side effect of yoga, which is really cool. It’s a great way to develop flexibility if you aren’t already flexible. But it’s not a good excuse to dismiss starting your yoga practice.

Taking a “yoga for beginners” class or hiring a private yoga teacher is a perfect way to start your journey to newfound flexibility.

Yoga teachers know everything about yoga.

If this is a thought you have, it’s probably intimidating.

You are inundated with images of perfect yoga poses, and IG posts of online yoga teachers wearing expensive yoga gear flood your feed. Talk of spirituality, asanas, harmony, meditation, and breathwork might have you thinking yoga isn’t for you.

News flash. Even advanced yogis and yoga teachers don’t know everything. They also can’t do everything. Which is totally fine! Yoga is about constantly growing and evolving as a human and a yogi! And what you see on social media isn’t always the best representation of what yoga is really about.

Almost all online yoga classes are created equal so it doesn’t matter which one I choose.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Before you start your yoga journey, it’ll benefit you to do a bit of research or, at the very least, talk to someone with a fair amount of knowledge about yoga.

Free online yoga is great. YouTube has tons of free yoga videos, and myYogaTeacher gives you a free 2-week trial! But finding the best yoga class and instructor for you will help you develop a practice that is safe, healthy, and optimized for your body, mind, and spirit.

Here at myYogaTeacher, we feel that people learn yoga best when their class is LIVE. Our yogis get the added benefit of immediate feedback and personalized interaction with their yoga teachers. LIVE classes offer a more comprehensive yoga experience versus pre recorded online videos one might find elsewhere on the internet!

So let’s recap!

Your mat choice is important. Private yoga teachers offer major benefits, particularly for newbie yogis. You don’t need to be flexible to begin doing yoga. And finding the right teacher and class for you is the best way for you to gain the most from a sustainable yoga practice!

Whether hindsight is 20/20 or not, you don’t have to make the same mistakes other yogis have. Remember these tips when you’re ready to begin your yoga journey!

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