YES YOU CAN! Although it true that some people that are naturally flexible can do some yoga poses more easily- yoga is not just about being flexible, many other yoga movements and poses are about balance, strength, breathing and calming the mind. I know many yogis, myself included, that are not very flexible, but find great benefit from the practice, even if they can't get their leg over the head! Maybe you're fantastic at balancing? Besides, after just one class you may feel flexibility returning- why not find a session and find out today!
I hear yoga is good for so many things...why is it good for me?
One of the greatest attributes of yoga is that it is so versatile as a wellness pratice- it helps to improve the body as well as the mind- and there are so many different styles and mofifications to poses that you can find a practice that suits the indivdual. As my teacher used to say "yoga comes to where you are"- we all practice to our own abilites- whether that be as a top level performance athelete or 80 year-old grandma.
A Dutch study recently showed that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, cuts cholesterol and reduces BMI and risk of obesity. Also being low impact- it reduces the risk of injury. And let's us not forget a class can give us a post-yoga glow that makes look like a millions bucks!
Its best to arrive about 10 mins early for your class to introduce yourself to the teacher and tell them about any injuries you might have- this will give them time to think about any modifications you might have to do. The classes are often mixed ability and mixed gender- with more and more men realising that yoga isn't just for women. Its often best to bring your own mat- inexpenisve ones can be bought a Tesco.com and nicer ones at discounter TK Maxx. Wear loose comfortable clothing- practising in bare feet is the most beneficial- but you can keep a pair of socks and a sweater nearby for when we lie down for relaxation at the end. A bottle of water is sometimes good to bring.
In a 1 hour or 1h 30 minute class, a good teacher will warm you up slowly with the more challenging poses halfway through the class- bringing you down to relaxation or meditation at the end. The teacher will often walk you through a pose before attempting yourself and the will usually help where they can with adjustments of poses. You should be advised if there is a sharp pain at anything you should listen to your body and come back to a 'safe pose' which is often childs pose. Yoga can be challenging to you body and mind if you haven't done yoga before, but I promise you'll feel the benefits in just one class!