Yogamaniac's How to start Yoga

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How long have you been a yoga teacher and why did it appeal

Where did it all come from:
It all started when  I got a yoga book for Christmas 1998 and was hooked by it and did a class locally. I had been wanting to find something as I felt there was a hole inside that didn't seem to be filled with anything I did.  I felt lethargic and lonely.  This seemed to be the answer. Yoga felt like it fitted like a glove.  That thing I had been searching for.   I  moved abroad five months later and took up yoga twice a day at my local yoga studio in America,  in a place called Petaluma California.  I decided then to study with the Kevala Centre on a long distance course, knowing that my twice daily yoga at the yoga studio was perfect for my practical experience.  I had come this far and now it only seemed natural to want to broaden my understanding of yoga and hopefully find peace with my inner thoughts.  My course took 12 months where I passed in March 2000.  It did daily yoga sessions with many friends and felt the warmth and understanding flow through everyone I met.  To me yoga had become more that just a hobby.  It had now become my life and I was living my dream.  I then came back to England in 2000 and decided to help others find this sanctuary within themselves.  I have been teaching yoga ever since.


What are the benefits of yoga
Physical benefits of yoga.

Improves sleep

Helps create Immunity to disease

Pain decreases

Posture improves

Weight normalizes

Muscular flexibility and strength increases

Better Energy levels

More Endurance

Digestive functions improve

Pulse rate decreases

Blood pressure decreases

Cardiovascular efficiency increases

More productive respiratory breathing and less colds

Motion range of Joints

Grip strength increases

Improved Eye-hand coordination

Dexterity skills improve

Reaction time can improve

Mental Benefits of  Yoga




Learning efficiency


Stronger Sense of Well-being

Self-acceptance increases

Helps Social skills

Helps reduce Depression

Anxiety reduction

Balance improves

Mind/Body  connection improves

Mental ability to deal with whatever life throws at you with more calmness

Finding the inner child again, being a kid….(the park)


What some-one wanting to start should do (could they buy a DVD/join a group/have a personal trainer) and what should they wear and what equipment will they need (always important!).  How much does it cost to get started

If someone wants to start doing yoga, then going to a class is a very good way of getting an idea if it is for them.

Class based instruction is very good for hands on instruction especially if you are unsure of  how to place yourself in a posture, or even how to breathe.  Many people come to my class and worry about inhaling and exhaling at the wrong times and feel very nervous about it.  It can be very daunting to find out that you have only been breathing shallowly for many years and not using the full extent of your diaphragm and chest area.  Classes vary from £3.50 to £7 for communal class based sessions.  Most instructors do block discounts for a set amount of classes or run a set amount as a course.

A one to one session is good for the very nervous and unsure, and  an ideal way of introducing yourself to the joys of yoga in a very private but tailored session to your own needs.  The instructor can work around you without having to go and deal with others.  A good way of working at your own level with direct assistance and guidance at hand.  They are usually between £15 to £40 depending on where you are.

DVDs are also an excellent way of getting to grips with yoga.  Good if you want to repeat something that you need to work on to get right.  Also give you the hide away in my lycra factor, if being out in public is not for you.  Good for regular private practice.    Dvds range average about £15.

Books are also a good way to gain more understanding of how it all fits together in yoga.  You can browse the pictures and text at your own leisure and keep a page open while tying yourself up in knots.  My first book I bought was:

Yoga, the Iyengar way by Silva Mira, and Shyam Mehta.

I found it very simple to follow.  Idiots guide to yoga was also another favorite, with a bit of humor in it.

A combination of class and dvd based sessions is a good way to help you along to a relaxing and successful yoga experience.

 Clothing is usually quite relaxed not too tight, but no so baggy that when you bend down it covers your eyes.  Leggings, Slightly Fitted t shirt is ok.  You do not need to go and buy lots of fitness clothing.  You might look the part but with yoga that bit doesn’t really count.  It’s about getting relaxed with the way you are that is important.  I would say that yoga in jeans does not work though to the lack of stretch ability.  Check out what you have in the cupboard and see if that will do.

If you get into yoga and enjoy it, it is a good idea to get your own kit.  Yoga mat, strap(tie), blocks, blanket, (kitchen sink).  Most mats nowadays can be washed in the washing machine so do not worry about it festering after a while.  Look around and if you can try and get a mat that seems to grip you, feels like your feet won’t slip, and that has some good padding to it.  Good when floors are hard.  You can get kits between £15 to £50.  There is a price that suits everyone.

 How hard is it?

 Yoga is about finding yourself and putting it all together finding breath with movement, finding  mind with heart.  I say my yoga is a meditation in movement.  Yoga is what you make it.  It can be as simple or as tough as you want it.  There are many types of yoga.  It is worth looking around to get the right teaching style for you.  A teaching style is a teachers interpretation of yoga through their own experiences and their own teachers/ gurus experiences down through the years and generations.  There is yoga for everyday life  and situations.  Yoga on the bus, yoga in queues, yoga while waiting at the doctors.  Yoga can be done any place any time anywhere.  Yoga can be done off the mat and sometimes it is good to get off the comfort zone to find that  the inner sanctum can be found wherever you go, not just on the sticky tapas mat.  You cannot contain yoga in a box.  It has no boundaries.

 Three top tips.

1          Be flexible of mind, doesn’t matter if you will never touch your toes.  It’s the letting go that counts.
2          Shop around.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t enjoy your first class.  Like icream there is  more than one flavor.
3          Most of all enjoy it.


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