Yoga, yoga, yoga. It seems like you can’t attempt a simple ustrasana nowadays without someone asking you “hey, how’d you learn that yoga stuff?” There seems to be an enormous uptick in the popularity of yoga, and with that comes curiosity, questions, and concerns about how it can impact one’s life. I’ve seen the admiration for yoga explode on certain social media outlets and I’m proud to see a lot of new yogis taking their practice to the next level. Trust me when I say I’m no yoga guru, I began my practice in October of 2011 with a simple Groupon (yes, that’s correct) and I’ve been hooked ever since. I can remember the first day I walked into the yoga studio like it was yesterday and I chuckle when I recall my early opinion of Power Yoga and the concept of yoga as a whole. I was uneducated, unsure, and mostly biased to the fact that I was certain yoga would be a cakewalk – WRONG, I was in for a major surprise.
Believe it or not, there are many different types of yoga. The list goes on and on but there’s: Bikram, Forrest, Gentle, Power, Restorative, Yin, Kundalini, Hip Hop, hell you can even learn yoga on a stand –up paddle board (I’ve done that, wicked hard!). The bottom line is, there is a yoga practice for everyone, and everyone has the power to develop their own yoga practice. My preferred practice is power/hot yoga. I completed my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training this year in a form of Power Yoga (West Hartford Yoga, CT). I fell in love with power yoga because of a few critical components to the practice: the preferred heated room, the challenge to link breath with movement, the power of meditation, and of course the overall asana. I practice and teach a power yoga style because I love to be pushed to my limit and I enjoy sharing that passion with people. Power yoga encourages you to stretch while strengthening, a concept I didn’t recognize would allow me to shed pounds and build an incredible core.
The number one question people ask me about yoga is “Kate, how do I get started, I’m not flexible?” and some people are expecting me to share a cool app, or dope website that will unlock the key to jumping into a scorpion handstand. Well my friends, that’s not what I have to offer. Fun fact about yoga, you’re not supposed to be flexible, that access is obtained over time. In my opinion the best way to try yoga is to find the nearest yoga studio in your area and just immerse yourself in something a little different and a little scary. In the off occasion a gym or dance studio offers yoga, that might be a quality option. However, there is nothing like feeling the energy of a class, the hands on experience an instructor is able to offer, and the overall explosion of senses being in a room where the goal is to just ‘be on your mat’. If you want to tip toe into the world of yoga in 2014 I suggest you start there. There are hundreds of wild yogi’s on Instagram you can gawk at their incredible poses, but what kind of inspiration are you looking for?
If you’re unsure about what type of class to try, there are two schools of thought. Typically I suggest people to try an “Introduction to Yoga”; most studios offer these types of classes monthly, or even a weekly workshop for you to become familiar with the vocabulary beyond downward dog and tree pose. However if you’re like me and think throwing yourself into the gauntlet is the only way you’ll be able to test your will at something that truly is harder than it looks, then I suggest trying a power/hot class on your own. There’s nothing like being the new kid in the class and huffing and puffing your way in a triangle pose, trust me, I’ve been there.
Overall I hope I can bring some insight to you about why I love yoga, and why it might be a wonderful fit to your lifestyle. Each week I hope to highlight a pose, or discuss relevant topics when it comes to yoga… like the mysterious yoga pant. I’m confident I’ll be able to share my passion for yoga and offer some insight to a wonderful practice that has changed my life. If you have additional questions or want to check out my #YogaSwag find me on IG: @FeinerThanU or on Twitter: @KateTheSnoFlak.