Bringing a Friend to Yoga? Here’s Something You Can Expect:
What is it about yoga? What keeps us coming week after week, while some are afraid to attend a class for the first time? This past week I was finally able to convince my friend to accompany me to a class, and though she had done yoga before, she had never been to a studio before.
As I feel comfortable going to Sangha Space any day of the week, I was surprised at how she felt so intimidated and afraid of doing yoga at a studio. Thinking back, I remember feeling anxious about my first class. I didn’t know what to wear and I didn’t know what it would be like. This particular friend was accustomed to doing yoga alone, with an online video in lieu of an instructor. She was worried she wasn’t “good enough” to do yoga at a studio.
If you have a friend who has never been to a yoga studio before, I urge you to invite them. Why? There is a chance you could change their life, by giving them a tool to overcome nearly every obstacle they face.
What are some reasons why someone might not want to go to a studio? Are they anxious if they don’t know what to expect? Do they fear they aren’t good enough to practice at a studio? Are they afraid to aggravate an injury? Is it too expensive, or do they not have enough time in their schedule? Maybe they just aren’t in the mood. As silly as all of these reasons sound to someone who gets really excited to go to yoga all the time, eventually some excuse will pop up and nag its way into your yogic brain and convince you not to show up. What keeps us coming, if there are so many reasons not to go?
For me, my priorities are my health, well being, and personal growth. This is a commitment to myself, and it was a decision I made long ago, that has been affirmed time and time again. Yoga aids in healing me and teaching me more about myself and others.
If I am anxious about a new class with an instructor I haven’t met, I get excited to learn something new. I know that there is no such thing as being good or bad at yoga, our bodies make artful poses no matter how injured or inflexible we might be on a given day. For each injury I have suffered, yoga has been the most effective physical therapy. There are modifications to every pose to work with your body, strengthening areas around the injury while improving circulation and flexibility at the same time. This speeds healing and recovery. Yoga may be considered expensive, although it has been priceless to me, as I get an adjustment from an instructor that completely changes the way I view a pose, or just have a magical time at the studio. Beyond that, I have been blessed with relatively good health and I generally feel happy. My doctor bills have been few and far in between. If I were in a situation where I wasn’t abundant in health and happiness, I would spend a lot more money on a therapist and medicines than I would on frequent yoga classes. Many consider yoga to be part of their preventative medicine regime. When I leave the studio, skipping down the steps, happy from all the delicious endorphins my nervous system made, I thank myself for being alive in my body.
If there is a big snowstorm and all the roads are closed, or if some other unfortunate predicament befalls you, then coming into a studio yoga class might not be what you need. But hey, if it helps your outlook on a snowy day to walk through a blizzard to a nice warm studio, why not?