5 Tips for New Yogis

I love teaching Beginner Yoga classes and introducing new students to the practice that has taught me so much. I wasn't always so excited about yoga, though -- here are five things I wish I had known six years ago when I took my first yoga class. 


Start Slowly

No matter how athletic or fit you are, you may not be accustomed to syncing your breath with your movements, a core principle of yoga. I recommend finding a Beginner’s class, a Core Strength class, or a Deep Stretch class as an introduction to breath-based movement. 


Enter with an Open Mind

Leave your expectations at the door. Studies show your experiences are better when you have low or no expectations.


Be Intentional

Your yoga teacher may ask you to set an intention near the beginning of class. Choosing an intention like, “Breathe” or “I am here" can help reinforce your reasons for practicing. The deepest lesson of yoga is the ability to be present with your whole self, regardless of your physical form. 



Commit to trying different types of classes at different studios before deciding whether yoga is right for you. If possible, recruit a yogi friend to guide you through the process of finding the right class and teacher. (It took me about five months of sporadic yoga experimentation before I committed to a regular practice.)


Embrace the Journey

Yoga is a journey, not a destination. The non-competitive practice of yoga does not demand expressions of flexibility and strength.  Instead, the ultimate challenge of yoga is to maintain calm self-awareness in each posture. Breathing steadily through challenging poses on the mat teaches us to remain calm and steady during challenging times off the mat. 



—Namaste y’all—  

Dorsey Standish