4 reasons why beginners quit yoga

Yoga_Mar30_AWe all know that yoga is a fantastic workout for our body and mind. People practice yoga for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to increase physical fitness, to escape from mental chaos, or to improve posture. Although widely perceived as a rewarding exercise, sometimes yoga can be overwhelming and demanding, especially for beginners. Instead of trying to adapt and work on their postures, some people simply choose to quit after their first few yoga classes. Here are the most common reasons beginners turn their backs on yoga, and how to overcome them.


When it comes to practicing yoga in studios, new yogis are often intimidated by the impressive yoga moves performed with ease by old-timers. Beginners are keen to make the most out of their first yoga classes. They expect too much of themselves, and will feel disappointed when they are unable to perform certain yoga postures.

A simple fact most beginners overlook is that yoga is designed to help them improve their flexibility. Things will definitely get better over time, if you show patience and discipline during practices. If you’re new to yoga, know that flexibility takes time to build, even for the most experienced yogi.

Level of difficulty

Imagine how uncomfortable it is to join an advanced class where students are able to perform the most complex yoga moves with ease. Instead of taking things slowly as they should, newcomers feel pressured into trying postures that are too difficult for them, and this often lead to the loss of confidence or even injury. As a result they may leave the studio and never come back.

The key to practicing yoga for beginners is acceptance. Focus on your postures rather than others’ – it may have taken them years to reach this point. Selecting the right yoga class for your level is equally important. You’ll want to start slow and enjoy the progress as you become more familiar with different poses.

Teaching style

When choosing a yoga instructor, teaching experience and yoga skills aren’t the only criteria you should consider. It’s also about the personality, professionalism and care that the instructor brings to a yoga class. Compassionate yoga teachers plays an important part in a student’s success. Their methods of teaching will encourage you to attend yoga classes. Bad instructors, on the other hand, will not only make your yoga classes less enjoyable, but they can also put you off yoga completely.

When you feel that your instructor is a bad match, always know that there are many instructors out there with different backgrounds, one of which might be more suitable for you. Don’t give up on yoga just because of one bad experience.


Beginners always have a hard time trying to learn the name of yoga postures which are derived from Sanskrit, whether it’s ‘sukhasana’ (easy pose), ‘salamba sarvangasana’ (shoulder stand), or ‘utktasana’ (chair pose). Pronouncing the names alone can be intimidating for new students and, with over a hundred yoga poses out there, sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

The good news it you will get used to it. Don’t let the words scare you off. There are ways to remember the ‘language of yoga’, and they will sound more familiar to you as time goes by.

Yoga is not as difficult as it seems, as long as you take the time to learn more about it. Contact us today for more information about our yoga classes.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Tips for yoga newbies

164 Yoga_AYou can see it now. You’re in a graceful one-handed tree pose as your now lean body glistens with sweat. No one in the class is saying it, but they’re all mesmerized by your form. And the few men in the class have even started to take notice, exchanging smiles with you between poses. Then suddenly, you snap out of your fantasy. As you lie on your back in shavasana panting, you begin to wonder how anyone ever sticks with yoga. If you’re new and frustrated that you can’t nail a scorpion pose like the top student, not to worry. Here are a few things to keep in mind as a beginner.

Don’t overexert yourself

Just because yoga is a low impact exercise doesn’t mean you can’t injure yourself. If you push your body too hard attempting a pose that’s beyond your skill and stretch level, you’re likely to get hurt.

Yoga teachers give variations of different poses for a reason. They recognize that there are different levels in each class, and not everyone can do a full scorpion pose. So stick with the beginner version until your body is ready to take it up a notch. You’ll likely enjoy it more and gain more of a sense of accomplishment.

Remember, you’re not here to impress anyone

Go to a yoga class suitable for you, for the health benefits and the increased mental and emotional balance it can bring to your life. Many students, especially new ones, will fall into the trap of constantly comparing themselves to their peers. If you start doing this, ask yourself what the point of it is. Again, if you push yourself too hard too soon, you’re more likely to hurt yourself and give up on an amazing yoga practice that can benefit your health in the long run.

Yoga workouts don’t have to be intense

From Bikram to Vinyasa to Gentle Flow, the intensity of a yoga workout can vary widely. While some classes will leave you dripping with sweat, others will be more of a light workout that’ll loosen up your body. The point is that if you’re not after an intense workout, you needn’t go for an intense yoga class. Instead, find something gentle or light that you’ll really enjoy. You’ll still gain the benefits of increased flexibility and some calorie burn, and you’ll be more likely to stick with the practice for the long haul.

You don’t have to be a new age hippy to enjoy yoga

Yes, you can drink coffee and wine or enjoy a steak outside of class. Not all yoga students are vegan meditators who shop at Whole Foods. Most are normal people like you, who just happen to like yoga as their exercise of choice. When it comes down to it, that’s what yoga is – an exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything more than that if you don’t want it to be. And saying ‘namaste’ at the end of class is optional.

Remember, you’re a beginner

You’re new. No one expects you to be doing a wounded peacock pose the first week, or even the first couple months. If there’s one tip you should take away from this article, this is the most important one. With any new sport or skill, there’s always going to be a learning curve, and you’re likely to struggle at first. The students who end up doing the advanced poses and have lean physiques are the ones that stuck around when they struggled as a beginner.

Want to learn more about yoga and its health benefits? Contact us today.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Avoiding common yoga injuries

Yoga_Mar16_AWhile the benefits of exercise far outweigh doing nothing physical, there is still the risk of injury for anyone who exercises regularly. One wrong move during a workout can result in muscle strains or tendon tears, and the same is true for even more gentle seeming practices such as yoga. While yoga has many health benefits, it can actually harm you if performed incorrectly. Although most yoga injuries aren’t severe, they can accumulate over months of posing misalignment and over-stretching. So what can you do to avoid yoga injuries? As with any physical activities, you can prevent injury by practicing the poses correctly and not pushing yourself too hard.

Common yoga injuries

The first step in avoiding injury in yoga sessions is to understand the common types of injuries that occur and how misalignment in the positions you take can put you at risk of hurting yourself.

  • Wrists – To perform certain yoga moves, you need to press your hands on the floor. As a result your whole body weight is placing pressure in the wrists, which can be a painful experience if you stay in that pose for too long. You can distribute your body weight by spreading your hands to the sides so your full weight is not completely over them.
  • Shoulders – Yogis often injure their shoulders by going into a shoulder stand pose, lifting their feet high in the air and letting their shoulders carry all the weight. Make sure your shoulders are strong enough to support your weight, and if you feel any pain when doing shoulder stand poses, switch to another pose until you’re ready.
  • Hamstrings – Yoga poses like folds and the downward dog can injure your hamstrings through over-stretching. Bending your back forward to touch your feet while keeping your legs straight causes your hamstrings to stretch a lot. To avoid pain, try bending your knees slightly.
  • Knees – A common cause of knee pain is the lotus pose which requires you to sit in a cross-legged position for a long period of time. If your hips aren’t flexible enough, your knees will feel under tension and can even be quite painful. Try placing a cushion under your knees for extra support until your body is more used to sustaining this pose.

Avoiding yoga injuries

Incorporating these pieces of equipment and techniques into your yoga practices will help you to gain all the benefits of your poses while preventing injury.

  • Supporting equipment – If you can’t hold your poses without feeling pain, you should use props to support your moves. These include blankets or mats to prevent your body from touching the floor, blocks to help you get into poses more easily, and straps to increase your flexibility.
  • Warm up – Warming up before doing yoga prepares your body for more challenging poses later. Do a few basic stretches for your arms and legs. Take a few controlled breaths to relax and refresh your mind.
  • Communicate – Talk to the yoga instructor beforehand, and make sure you inform him or her about certain poses that you’re not capable of doing. When a pose is not working during the session, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to stop. It would be more foolish to hurt yourself. In the meantime, work on another pose that suits you better instead.
  • Listen to your body – If you feel any sign of real pain during a yoga practice, do your body a favor and take a break. Knowing when to stop can help you avoid injury.

Yoga injuries can happen anytime if you’re not careful. If you want to learn more about a safe approach to practicing yoga, give us a call today.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Introducing AcroYoga, the yoga for two

Yoga_Mar9_AAs a health-conscious person who is interested in yoga, perhaps you’ve seen pictures in magazines or on websites of two yogis balancing on each other’s hands and feet. You might even have come across people lifting one another into mid-air yoga poses in the local park. The idea of practicing yoga not on solid ground may sound strange, and yet it is made possible with AcroYoga. This creative and playful activity is another way for yogis to diversify their yoga practice. And they’re not doing it just because it’s fun – it also comes with many health benefits.

What is AcroYoga?

AcroYoga combines the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics, and a touch of the art of healing. The practice involves a person acting as a base, who keeps the body in contact with the ground to support the flyer, who is lifted into various yoga poses to focus the mind and strengthen the body. While AcroYoga is usually performed in pairs, there is often also a ‘spotter’ nearby, who makes sure ‘the base’ has good balance and that the flyer doesn’t fall. The base usually lies flat on his or her back and uses the legs to support the flyer’s weight, as he or she performs several aerial postures.

Why should you try it?

AcroYoga helps you improve your physical and mental fitness, as well as relieving tension. The fun nature of AcroYoga’s practices are also a great mood lifter. Here are some reasons to give AcroYoga a try.

  • It’s satisfying – You can simultaneously enjoy yourself and get physical benefits from practicing AcroYoga. If you’re a base person, you’ll strengthen your muscles by lifting the flyer into the air using your legs and hands. If you’re a flyer, you can develop your balance and flexibility by performing yoga poses while aloft.
  • Improved concentration – AcroYoga is a practice that requires concentration. Whether taking part as a base or a flyer, you must focus on your movements and maintain balance – and trust – while working with your partner.
  • Building relationships – Practicing yoga can be a lonely experience if you do it alone. Even when attending yoga classes, inter-class engagement can be limited since you have your own personal space and work alone on your mat. AcroYoga, on the other hand, encourages you to communicate and interact with others.
  • No experience needed – Just as with regular yoga, you don’t have to be an expert to participate in a class. AcroYoga is still a niche practice, and many people will most likely be at a beginner’s level. While it’s great to have a partner to take with you, AcroYoga classes usually arrange pairs based on a similarity in size, so that you don’t have to worry about lifting a partner who’s twice your size.

Some starter tips

  • Hygiene – If you’re a base, you should have clean hands and feet, as you’ll be using them to balance and touch your partner.
  • Signal word – Establish a signal word with your partner. For instance, flyers can simply say ‘down’ if they want to get their feet back on solid ground.
  • Clothing – Wear fitting clothes so garments don’t get in the way when you’re practicing – especially important for a flyer.
  • Different partners – The best way of practicing AcroYoga is to train with different partners. You will learn from mixing it up, and will gain new experience and tips from your various partners.

Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a beginner, you can practice AcroYoga to boost your physical and mental fitness. If you’re interested in AcroYoga, get in touch with us today and see how we can help you prepare.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Here’s why to practise yoga at a studio

Yoga_Mar2_AYou might want to keep up a regular yoga class at your local studio, but you just don’t have the time. And with all the will in the world, you can’t put extra hours into the day. The next best thing seems to be to practise at home, in front of your laptop with the help of an online tutorial or perhaps a DVD. You can squeeze in your yoga between finishing the dishes and getting ready for bed, or first thing in the morning before you start your day. And while yoga anywhere is better than none, we’re still fans of yoga practised in a studio. Here are a few reasons to make the effort to get down and take a class once in a while.

Caring, sharing

One of the best parts of attending a studio-based yoga practise is getting to meet and interact with your community of yogis, each of them on a learning journey themselves. What better way to develop your yoga ability – and make new friends – than to spend time with others who are making similar endeavors to your own? Despite your best intentions, practising at home in front of your laptop is unlikely to give you the same sense of connection and support that you do at a studio. Just as the Buddhist sangha is a source of advice and guidance, so your yoga studio – and all those you know there – is a mechanism to keep you on track and motivated, even when you’re struggling.


We all know how full of distractions the home is. Whether it’s your email, the kids waking up, or the clothes that need to be hung out to dry, there is always going to be something to pull you away from your practise. That’s bad enough in most situations, but yoga is meant to help you escape from the distractions of everyday life. It should be an opportunity for you to free yourself from your thoughts, and enjoy a moment of reflection. That is far more easily achievable if you take yourself out of your usual surroundings, and into the relative sanctity of a yoga studio. It will make it easier to reach and hold your poses, and to separate your non-stop day-to-day routine from something that ought to be pure and undisturbed.

Getting right

Yoga is rarely easy – and it’s not meant to be. Getting that pose right should be a challenge, something to aim for and something to be proud of when you do achieve it. But managing that alone, with only a laptop for company, can be more difficult or even downright impossible. Without a teacher on hand to point out where you’re going wrong, show you how to correct it and also make sure you are not putting yourself at risk of injury, you could end up at best demotivated, or worse still badly hurt. Your yoga teacher uses their experience to monitor each of their students’ progress during the class, and to adapt their instructions and the direction of the session accordingly. That means you get a learning experience that is customized to what you and your fellow yogis need most – and that’s more than an online tutorial can ever give you.

Want to get the right balance of personal practise at home and studio yoga sessions? Talk to us today about our classes.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.