by Jerica Rossi
As people were walking into class, I heard a woman whisper to her friend, “I’m really nervous to go to class right now.”
As someone who loves diving head first into the unknown, I had a hard time relating, but I’m sure there are many of you out there who do. Whether you’re brand new to yoga – or someone who has been out of practice for quite some time – the nerves can be real. So let’s break it down and see what you can do about it.
I’m nervous because I’m not flexible.
Perhaps you think yoga is twisting into a pretzel while balancing on the edge of a cliff with your chiseled muscles glistening in the sun and a poised look on your face. It is – for some people. Then there are the majority of us who practice accessible forms of yoga for the purpose of focusing body and mind, to increase range of motion, to strengthen weak muscles, to recover from an injury or as a general preventative health measure – NOT because we want to balance on two fingers.
To do yoga you don’t need to be flexible, or young, or thin, or strong, or able to balance on your fingers or hands, or even be able to get up and down off the floor easily. You just have to want to try, to listen to your body AND, most importantly, to show up. It’s that simple.
“Yoga is not for the flexible; it’s for the willing.”
I’m nervous because I’m out of shape and I don’t want to be judged by other people.
To be blunt: screw what other people think. You’re there for you. This is your journey and not theirs. So fall over. Wobble in your tree pose. Take a resting pose when you need to – and do it all smiling because all you can do is what you can do.
We at WYC want you to know that our classes are accessible to all ages, skill levels and body types, and pride ourselves on being an establishment that strives to help EVERY BODY in the community reach their wellness goals.
Maybe calm your nerves by prepping yourself and following along to a DVD or Youtube video before coming to class. Or maybe convince a friend to join you so you can you feel a little more at ease. And let’s not forget – most people are preoccupied thinking about how other people are judging them that they aren’t judging you.
At the end of the day, not doing something because you are afraid of what other people will think only leaves you worse off. You’re the one who wakes up to YOUR life everyday – so chuck what other people think in the F*** it Bucket and move on.
I’m nervous because it might be too hard for me.
They call yoga a ‘practice’ for good reason. It is supposed to be something that you work on – that you in some way expand on with each session. The first thing you can do is choose the appropriate class for you. Give us a call, stop by or peruse our website to find out what to expect.
How many people are in the class? What is the teacher like? Are there going to be other beginners? Try our small Yoga Basics or Gentle Yoga classes to become familiar with the foundations in an intimate setting to help you along your way.
If you find yourself unable to keep up in class, or to hold/balance in a certain pose, take a child’s pose or go into a modification. Give the teacher a little wave and ask them to help you find a pose that feels better for your body. Maybe you’ll take a class where you can’t keep up for most of it, and the next class you can. It’s that feeling of progress – or that you at least tried – that will positively serve your mental and physical well being and give you a boost of confidence.
I’m just plain nervous for a myriad of reasons.
If you’re still nervous after exploring these tips, the best thing to do is just show up. That’s the hardest part. It’s not always easy to come into tune with yourself or to accept what your body can and cannot do, but being present with these discomforts is half the battle. Do yourself a favor and just show up to class – and show up for yourself.
Jerica handles marketing + management for Waynesville Yoga Center. When not working, she can be found behind a camera lens, embarking an adventure or contemplating life while perched in tree pose. Taking classes at WYC has helped her face – and conquer – her own yoga fears.