This post brought to you by Summer of Groupon. All opinions are 100% mine.
I used to practice yoga a lot (can I get a namaste?). After an injury last year had me in a walking boot and out of the fitness game all together, I pretty much abandoned it. I haven't been back in nearly a year! When I realized I hadn't gone in that long, I knew it was time to grab a Groupon and head back to the studio.
I mentioned that one of my goals is to work less and enjoy my life more . . . and yoga has always been a great influence in this way. There are a huge variety of benefits including more flexibility and strength, but I also love the reflection time.
I headed to OnlYoga in Midtown Atlanta for my yoga class. I love me some yoga, but I also love discovering small businesses in my city. And this one is small – but looks like they have a tight community. Awesome!
There were some wonderful colored lights on the floor and back wall of the studio which made me feel more at peace right away.
I really loved this little studio . . . even the art on the wall.
I'm going to be honest . . . I had a very difficult time getting back into yoga. It's been THAT long.
But after a variety of moves and then a proper hip opening series, I was really feeling good. Are you impressed? Don't I look like a professional?!
I'll also be honest when I let you know that my favorite part of any yoga session is the shavasana, or the very last pose at the end. I like to relax and reflect. I HIGHLY recommend yoga for anyone who wants to center themselves, get more flexible, or just take a few hours for themselves here and there. You don't have to be "fit" to do it, either! Every yoga studio I've been to has always been very accepting of all types of people and bodies. A few tips if you are a beginning yogi:
- Research your studio – is a good place for newbies? I'm sure they'll let you either sit in or observe a class if you like just to try it out! Speaking with the instructor beforehand can also help.
- Take it slow – don't try to do a headstand on your first class. Make sure your class is appropriate for beginners – some of the terms for the courses can be confusing, so ask!
- Wear comfy clothes – and realize that your shirt might come up for certain moves. Either wear a tighter workout top or something you can tuck in.
- Get a thick mat – or use two mats together. I'm only 37, and my almost-middle-age bones can't handle anything thinner than 10mm. If you can handle hardwood floors this might not be necessary, but . . . just consider it.
- Do what you can – I had a yoga teacher tell me once that if I didn't feel comfortable with a pose or if I was tired, I should go into child's pose. Do that if you need a break and don't try to be super yoga person on your first several visits.
- Realize that it takes a while – Gaining flexibility takes time. Be easy on yourself. Yoga is about finding your center and peace. Getting angry and frustrated defeats the purpose!
I got five sessions for yoga at a large discount on Groupon – you should check their Summer Shop for local yoga (and other) deals in your area!