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Starting a 30-Day Yoga Challenge

May 21, 2012 07:18PM ● By Anonymous
What are some of the immediate benefits new yoga practitioners can expect when they start to do yoga?

The yoga practice will develop awareness of your body's habitual holding patterns. Over time you will start to find ways to undo life as you know it, your body as you know it. With a balanced practice, your weak areas will become stronger and your tight areas will become more flexible. Your vitality and energy levels will improve, and, as you unwind your bodymind, you will be able to relax more easily. Yoga, in time, develops coordination, flexibility, stamina, balance, mental clarity, increased concentration and overall health. Yoga is an all around life enhancer.

Should you try yoga if you're not particularly flexible?

Increased flexibility is a benefit (not a prerequisite) of yoga. If you are not flexible that is all the MORE reason to come take a class. Some classes do require a bit more flexibility and strength; but others do not. It is important to at least read the class description so that you are aware of the possbilities you are going to take your body through. Think of it this way: if getting to the ground and then back up requires a little bit of effort, try a foundations class or a yin variety. If you can touch your toes while standing (even if your knees are slightly bent) and you want to build more strength and flexibility within your body, then your options of yoga classes are limitless.

What can you expect from your first yoga class?

It really depends on the teacher. So, for my class I would lead the class through a variety of yoga poses with directions for healthy alignment of the body. I will offer breathing directions, moments of silence and i will play music. Some teachers are more conversational, with questions as part of the class (answers, too) other teachers will assist you individually as they walk through the class as they teach. Some classes are very slow and methodical and focus on a few specific poses, while others (i.e. my class) will flow and move through more poses with less emphasis on each pose.

You're starting a 30-day challenge at your studio. What is the benefit to this? What should students expect?

As a yoga teacher and student I have, at times, placed the expectation of myself to be a certain kind of person. I have held the misconception that I needed to live in very specific ways in order to be worthy of inspiring others on this path. Like many times on my mat and in my role as a teacher, I have felt weak, unstable, insecure, unworthy, stuck, bored, unmotivated, unsupported, you name it.
Now, I have finally come to see that like our practice on the mat, it is all okay. I now believe that the very best teachers are the ones who dive deeply into their own experiences and lean into each and every sweet, messy moment (lord knows, i have a lot of those) and be willing to let our teaching be an extension of our own practice, which is in essence, our entire life.
By giving ourselves 30 days (remembering that we need 21days to create a habit within our lives -- the other 9 days will be used to embrace these changes) we allow our bodies to break through our self created barriers in our practice, sleep patterns, dietary challenges, meditative and breathing practices and be able to move forward and embrace our lives the way we want to live.
Prana Yoga Studio is locate at 2049 West St. in Annapolis. For more information, visit