Haven Yoga and Meditation share a basic guide to preparing for your first class.
Yoga has been seen by men as a purely female activity over the past few decades, but some may be surprised to know that yoga started as a male-dominated activity hundreds of years ago, passed down from father to son.
There is now about an 80/20 mix of women to men in classes; a fact that may make getting into yoga a daunting or uncomfortable experience as a man when it really shouldn’t be!
A lot of men worry about not being flexible enough, not knowing what to bring, or whether they will be any good. Yoga is an experience that’s open to everyone and everyone must start somewhere. It’s not about pure flexibility, it’s about matching breath to movement, being focused on oneself and one’s own practices and preparing the body for a mediative experience.
Here are a few tips and some advice for getting into yoga as a man.
Before Your First Class
- Before your first class, it’s a good idea to watch some videos on yoga or to read up on the different variations of yoga to figure out which one suits you best.
- Make sure you have some comfortable stretchy shorts and a loose t-shirt, so you are as comfortable as possible when starting. You don’t have to wear lycra!!
- Look for a basic yoga mat to bring with you to the studio. Start with something sturdy and non-slip yet not too expensive. Make sure it’s long enough for you as a man, you will need to step your feet apart in a lunge.
- Have a look at some basic yoga poses that you can do at home. This can help you prepare your body slightly by doing some light stretches while improving your confidence in a safe place.
Yoga Tips for Beginners
- Focus on your breathing – Yoga is a meditative experience. You should focus on your breathing to centre your mind before moving to focus on how your body feels. Just take nice, long, deep breaths as you move into positions and hold it there.
- Remain calm and don’t feel intimidated – It may be daunting to attend a class such as yoga for the first time. Just try and keep calm, working through the motions as best you can. There won’t be any judgment present so just do your best to focus on just yourself.
- Stay at the back of the class – It takes a little adjustment before you get a feel for yourself and how your body feels in different positions. Position yourself at the back of the class and watch the others perform the moves as a guideline. It will imprint the visual of what moves should look like and help guide your body.
- Don’t feel disheartened when you can’t hold a position or do a move – Yoga, just like any sport or exercise, is a gradual process. Don’t feel disheartened if you can’t move your body like the rest of the class. Yoga is a focus on the self, rather than a focus on others or their perceptions. Just keep working at it and focus on the process, not the outcome.
If you are located in Murarrie, Cannon Hill, Morningside, Balmoral, or Tingalpa, stop by our yoga studio at 16 Queensport Road South, Murarrie. You can check our Yoga page here for more information about the services that Haven Meditation and Yoga offers!