New to Yoga?

Chakra|Strong: Yoga Foundations with D’Andre – Tap Here for more information.

When I first came to yoga and I was a previous athlete turned fitness junkie. I loved fast paces and I loved feeling the pump of lifting weights. I loved the endorphin feeling of finishing a high energy workout, and found a lot of fun in changing my physique. I still love this to this day. But when I took my first yoga class, what hooked me was the well-roundedness of yoga. I took a Power Yoga class, and it was a physical workout, but it also provided me food for thought and philosophy. I became hooked. As I’ve studied yoga more and more, the more I see the value that it has to offer the way that we live our lives, and I quickly added Teaching Yoga to my resume as a way to add a holistic philosophy to my fitness routine and my life.

So, What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice, rooted in awareness and mindfulness that addresses different ways to keep our bodies strong and free of tension, our mind focused, and find meaning in life. Although today it is often seen as a workout consisting of “stretching” and body-weight calisthenics and gymnastics, originally, it was formed as a way to elevate the human experience, or to basically keep us at our best selves. Originally, it wasn’t a workout at all but consisted of concepts like serving your community, doing good deeds, following philosophical concepts, and the search for enlightenment. As the body itself is the vessel that we use, it became just as important a concept to take care of it, and as yoga continued to develop, the British influence of gymnastics made it’s way into the physical practice of yoga. The original practice of living a wholesome life, coupled with the gymnastics influence of strength, balance, and flexibility, it was packaged and brought over to the West. The word ‘yoga” means “union,” and so the practice of yoga is the practice of seeing all things as connected.

“Yoga is connecting our body, mind and spirit. Connecting the past, present, and future. Yoga is seeing the connection in all things.”

What are the benefits?

The benefits of yoga are many! Depending on what type of yoga you practice, but the benefits that I teach to, and feel from my practice are:

  • Strength and Stability
  • Body Awareness
  • Flexibility, Range of Motion, and Freedom to move
  • Peace of Mind
  • Focus
  • Connection to a bigger purpose
  • Management of energy
  • Control of Happiness
  • Positive Perspective

Why is yoga important in 2017?

I believe that yoga is making a huge statement in our world today. For so long we’ve been obsessed with looking our best, and we’ve had the notion that when we look our best, we FEEL our best, which can be true in some cases. But we’re starting to see that there are so many other factors that contribute to our happiness and stress management. I believe that seeing health and wellness from a holistic perspective can improve not only the yoga, fitness, and movement world and make it more accessible, but it can change how we live our lives as well. I’m committed not only to teaching physical yoga classes and holding the space for people to feel strong and open in their own bodies & minds, but I’m also committed to holding the space for people to connect to their purpose as well through yogic philosophy. To see more on my purpose and my story, tap here.

So I want to try Yoga, what do I do next?

  1. Watch this video on the benefits of yoga – it’s 25 minutes long, but I’m positive you’ll be interested in trying out some yoga after it – tap here
  2. Come take my donation based Yoga Foundations Class. We can chat afterwards about yoga and see if it was a good fit or what would be! For more information on this class, tap here.
  3. Experiment! With so many different yoga and types of yoga out there, there really a type of yoga for everyone. Some are more physical, others are more meditative, some are a combination of both. You may find that your fitness routine is working for you and meditation may be what you’re looking for. Experiment with different places with an open mind and see what you think.
  4. Yoga Studios are a great place to learn yoga under the guidance of a certified teacher. And a great place to connect with others. To see a list of yoga studios that I teach at, tap here.
  5. Online sources like youtube and are great sources to find and practice yoga in the comfort of your own home.

What are some common misconceptions about yoga?

  • Misconception #1 – Yoga is a religion.  Although it developed around eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, and has references to similar concepts, there is no active practice of religion in yoga.
  • Misconception #2 – Yoga is just stretching. Part of yoga is releasing held tension in our bodies, yoga encompasses breathing and awareness as well as strength postures too. It is a full spectrum of body/mind/heart work.
  • Misconception #3 – I need to be flexible to do yoga. Because of our general lack of range of motion, most of us need yoga more now that ever, ESPECIALLY if we aren’t flexible. It provides methods for strengthening underactive muscles and releasing overactive ones, providing benefits like less back pain.
  • Misconception #4 – I can’t sit still so I can’t do yoga. There are many different types of yoga practices, some of which are fast faced and great place to start if your mind is on overdrive. In addition, yoga is a practice, and simply understanding that nothing changes over night will allow you to go in with a little bit more ease. You can take it at your own pace, and most teachers are totally cool with that.

Commonly asked questions

How often do I need to practice yoga?

Yoga can be practiced as a main sense of movement, or it can supplement a fitness routine. It can be taken as often as every single day or as rarely as once a week or even once a month. It depends on you! Feel free to contact me here and I can surely guide you in the right direction!

Can yoga be the only exercise that I do?

Yoga provides a full spectrum of movement from strength to stretch. Practices can be very vigorous and or gentle. As a fitness enthusiast and yogi, I still recommend my clients and students get some sort of different training in such as circuit training or weight lifting for balance, but certain types of yoga can definitely provide enough.

What language are the teachers speaking?

Depending on where you take class, the teachers may either say yoga postures in Sanskrit or English. Sanskrit is a classical Indian language that was spoken and used during the development of yoga. A lot of the posture names in Sanskrit have epic stories attached to them, and so to stay true to the lineage, it’s common for yoga teachers to reference the yoga postures in Sanskrit.

What are yoga postures?

Vs. “Exercises,” we practice what are called “yoga postures” or “asanas.” The word “asana” is sanskrit for  “meditation seat.” The concept behind the yoga postures is that we are meditating in each shape that we make. Observing the feelings that come with each posture. A set of postures are usually sequenced in a yoga class to give a desired effect. With each asana we learn more about our bodies and minds as we react to each posture.  We all know that our body language communicates how we feel in a given situation, so in a sense, yoga is body language practice, where we take different shapes to experience a desired effect. Just like bicep curls in fitness make your biceps stronger, different asanas have the ability to strengthen the energy you feel. From strong to calm, yoga provides a wide range of yoga postures to give us BALANCE.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Feel free to comment below for any questions or confusions! Again, my yoga foundations class is designed for you to learn and keep a consistent and strong yoga practice,  as well as leave feeling inspired, strong, and mindful. Feel free to sign up for this class here!

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