We can’t seem to get away from the great yoga debate that’s raging these days in every news outlet across the country – does yoga help or hurt? I emphatically believe that if a practice hurts, strains, or stresses, then it’s not yoga. It can challenge us, help us find our edge, and raise our potential – yoga can, should, and often does all of those things. But that’s a fine line – the distinction between hurting and challenging.
So how do we know if yoga is right for us? The only way to know is to try, though there are some basic guidelines to follow when starting a yoga practice:
1.) If you’re new to yoga, seek out a class that’s labeled beginner, basics, gentle, or restorative. These classes generally have teachers who are trained to specifically help beginners get comfortable with a class. They are usually welcoming and warm environments that encourage learning and questions. You could also pick up a copy of a beginner yoga DVD. When I first started practicing, I used Rodney Yee’s AM / PM DVD all the time. It was a great primer for me and even now I sometimes take it out to review a simple, solid beginning routine. The basics always have something new to teach us. Continue reading