by Samantha Garrison, BSc, RYT 200
Yoga is so intimidating, but the truth is yoga is for everyone. Practicing yoga truly can take anyone to a powerful new level of mind-body connection. My first time doing yoga was in PE class. I was lucky enough to have a teacher who was certified and so we practiced once a week. All of the sudden I felt my muscles working better and my stress going down. I started to run more and became more ambitious in my classes. Before that, I was just a tight surfer who struggled with shin splints and cysts in my wrists. When I started to stretch out my wrists during yoga, my cysts disappeared despite the doctor saying that he would have to perform surgery soon. Thank God for this blessing of healing. Ever since, yoga has become part of my life. I have the knowledge to help my body when it’s tight, and I know when to reach out and ask for advice.
The yoga that I teach and practice is referred to as Classical Hatha Yoga. It is very much taught and practiced the way yoga was first intended: to connect the body and mind. My teacher that I received my certification from was much older than me, but also much more flexible than me, and so I learned to flow with how my body felt. I want to provide you with the steps to learn and experience how your body flows. No matter how old you are, how big you are, or how athletic you are, your place in yoga is awaiting you.
Throughout my 8 years of practicing, I have found that yoga will always be a good experience if you are accepting of your body. Whether or not you have been practicing often, for the first time in years, or for the first time ever, your body will respond with grace and positivity, just give it a chance. To extend the life of this grace and positivity, it is important to implement yoga into your life as much as possible. Whether it is being mindful of the food you consume, taking care of plants, meditating, or practicing postures daily, you can practice yoga in everything you do.
If your doctor has cleared you for physical activity, taking part in daily postures will ensure that your blood is flowing to all the right places. Good blood flow feels good, so you may find doing these postures also results in an uplifting mood or feeling. Getting started may be difficult at first, but your body will loosen up a little more each day as it learns that you will take care of it.
Here are 5 basic postures that you can start with. Practice each posture once a day in order to prepare your body for more advanced postures.
Try to hold these postures for at least 3 deep breaths:
- Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
- Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana)
- Cat Cow Pose (Marjaiasana/Bitilasana)
- Reclined Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
After you have practiced these poses for about 2 weeks, you will be ready to try out more advanced poses. I so am excited for you to begin your journey! Feel free to sign up for an upcoming class and comment any tips or questions you have about beginning yoga.
May God Bless You All.
About the Author
Samantha is Co-Owner and Co-Founder of the Healthy People Project. She is a Registered Yoga Instructor with over 5 years of experience, teaching diverse groups and ability levels. At the Florida State University, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and developed a strong understanding of Biology through taking courses and publishing research related to sea turtle conservation.