By Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga
What do I need to know to begin a yoga practice? Where do I start? When is the right time? How do I do it? “I have never done yoga before so will I be flexible enough?” This is a normal question to ask. One day at a time is how or when you want to start your yoga practice. Make it simple and easy as possible so a positive tone for each day is encouraged and then re-enforced. Set yourself up for success. Start at home at first and then when ready, go to a group class where the instructor is knowledgable in recovery. I would suggest a restorative yoga class first. As far as being flexible enough; you come to yoga to gain flexibility, it is not a requirement. I have included the following steps to start an easy gentle and restorative yoga practice.
How to begin:
- Most importantly – you will need clearance from your health care provider.
- Set a specific time each day (preferably mornings) so you begin with consistency.
- Brush and floss your teeth, empty your bladder, and begin on an empty stomach or at least a lite stomach.
- Find a quiet and well-ventilated space. Make it your sacred space for healing.
- Dress comfortably; no belts or tight jeans.
- Play music that is soothing or maintains silence.
- Adjust the lighting to be soft or enjoy the natural sunlight.
- Create a room decor as uplifting and comforting as possible.
- If possible have a mat, blocks and other props for support.
- Start small, maybe 10 to 20 minutes at first and gradually add onto your time.
- Try a video if you are not ready for a class.
The benefit of a yoga practice is a healing process and it will help in relaxing your body tensions while giving time for the mind to consciously rest. This often induces deep relaxation and restfulness. The deeper the tensions of mind and body the greater overall effect on the healing. Breathing is also key to decreasing mind tensions and to expand heart opening.
Please use yoga props or house items, like pillows and blankets. This prop support will help in comfort and allow for this relaxation to occur. Remember too, that good thoughts produce good reactions. Be open to experience yoga and the positive flow of life energy that comes through the practice.