At least once a week a friend or colleague confides in me. They want to try yoga.
There are so many ‘buts’ that leave them feeling hesitant for some reason. Today I thought it’d be fun to answer some of the common questions I hear (from a yoga student perspective), so maybe you will finally get over that fear and get on your mat!
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Do you have to be flexible to do yoga?
I hear this all the time. Nope. One of the physical reasons you do yoga is to lengthen and strengthen your muscles. After five years on my mat, I still have days when I can’t touch my toes. I still go to yoga.
Do you have to wear skimpy, tight clothes?
Of course not! You just want to be comfortable and wear things that allow you to move without any hindrance. Tight jeans and mini skirts aren’t a great idea. But, sweatpants, shorts, yoga pants, leggings, and even long ankle-length skirts are just fine.
Isn’t yoga expensive?
You can spend as much or as little as you want on attending yoga classes, workshops and training. In my community, two studios offer free classes once a week year-round, and during the summer it’s easy to find donation-based fundraisers and free options in parks and at the farmer’s market. Otherwise, expect to spend $8-15 per 60-90 minute class. (These prices are based on my experience in the Midwest.)
What if I fart in class?
What if you do? It’s no big deal. It happens all the time and the music, creaking joints and incense will usually cover it up. Farting is actually a good sign that you’re getting all systems moving, so just go with it, or excuse yourself to the restroom for a moment. Nobody really cares.
What if I don’t have a yoga mat?
You can show up at pretty much any yoga studio with just yourself and a bottle of water and be fine. Most studios offer mats, blocks, straps and a bolster for you to borrow during your visit. If you’re going to an off-site location (like a park), just take a thick beach towel. You can always invest in your own personal yoga mat later.
Is yoga a real workout?
Yes. You can find fast, heart-pumping vinyasa flows and BUTI classes that will test your endurance. Or, you can sign up for relaxing restorative classes that work your mind harder than you’ve ever imagined. Honestly, I feel like yoga is 75 percent mental and 25 percent physical. It takes brainpower to let yourself sink deep into the poses and hold stretches that are uncomfortable at first. For those who are pulled in 100 directions mentally, sitting in stillness and quieting the flow of thoughts in your mind at the start or end of a yoga class can be the biggest challenge, and most rewarding benefit.
Do you have any lingering questions about attending a yoga class?
Until next time,
Note: This post was last updated on February 28, 2022.