Is Yoga Hard?
Is yoga hard? Timi and Tunde asked while we sat drinking Ethiopian coffee at Stranger Lagos. To be entirely honest, yes and no. Before you go Ok, bye! Let me break it down for you, okay?
We have high intensity and low intensity yoga, like any physical practice. The low intensity yoga practice is a lot less demanding and ‘easier’ on the muscles in comparison to high intensity yoga.
Yoga should bring healing to the body and sometimes healing can involve pain. Once we do a sequence of poses targeted at different muscles and parts of the body, it is only natural for the muscle to react to the stimulus.
It’s like after a gym session and your entire body feels like lead and hurts, but after the third day, your muscles adjust and you see the definition of the toned abs, glutes and biceps for instance, and grin to yourself.
However a few mild yoga pose requires little or no supervision and does not strain of the muscles. Poses like Savasana, where you lie flat on your back with palms facing up, beside you, requires no skill or strains no muscle.
The mindset that you have to push your body past the limit for you to gain the benefits of a yoga pose is often counterproductive. Where it is great to challenge ourselves every time we practice, we must also treat our bodies with loving kindness. Acknowledge your limits and know when to stop is key in a good yoga practice.
This doesn’t mean get lazy when you know you’re well able to go an inch further. Finding the right balance is critical. Sometimes I’ve had students tell me ‘I want to split by the end of class’ or ‘how many classes do I have to come to, to be able to stand on my head?’
The problem is that we see all these fancy yoga poses that are great no doubt, but you do yourself a disservice trying to compare yourself to someone who has been practicing yoga for three to five years!
Baby steps people.
Begin your practice by confirming from your doctor if you can practice yoga, especially if you have a history of high blood pressure, knee injury, asthma or if you are pregnant, to name a few, before you start yoga.
Once done, pop into a beginners’ yoga class where the focus is on your body and its capacity. Different people naturally have more flexibility than others, and find some poses harder or easier than others. It is completely natural. Our body opens up in different ways and some people are double jointed, this influences the level of flexibility at beginners’ level.
Consistency is critical in gaining flexibility. If you want to learn to split for example, work on your hamstrings consistently, remembering not to push it past its limits till it’s ready. Consistent practice will loosen the hamstrings and splits will come easily.
Yoga like any physical exercise requires you to start gradually and build as you get stronger, and the only way to see the results you want is to stick with it and be consistent!
Pop into any of our classes and get the yoga with Stacey experience!
Class schedule: Wednesday’s 6pm, Saturday’s 4pm, Sunday’s 4pm at Stranger Lagos, 3 Hakeem Dixon, off FolaOsibo, Lekki phase 1.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for yoga at your doorstep or events!
Or call +23412957665
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