You’ve heard about the activity and seen enough yoga pants advertised to pique your interest. However, you’re a bit intimidated by those fit men and women walking around with a yoga mat underneath their arm. Here’s how to embrace the opportunity and learn yoga basics despite being a nervous beginner.

Erase Expectation

You probably have some expectations as to how difficult it is or how you’ll look strutting into your first class as a newbie. But, you shouldn’t conjure negative images, and remember that each person who does yoga had to start somewhere. The best thing to do is just go and have fun. Of course, learning anything new is going to be a challenge but it shouldn’t deter you.

Find a Teacher

One of the best ways to get better at an activity is to do it with another who is better than you. Find a teacher. They don’t have to be a yoga instructor per se, but a person who has experience in doing yoga, good at instructing others, and makes people feel comfortable yet challenged.

Yoga on Empty Stomach

Yoga is preferably performed in the morning before breakfast. Yogis believe the morning is the time that a person is most impressionable to a meditative state. It’s also easier to contort and manipulate the body when food is not digesting within. Also, water ingestion is important as it’s understood that yoga releases toxins out of the system and must be flushed out.

Go Slow

The only person you should ‘compete’ with is yourself as you try to get better and more flexible with each session. However, it’s human to be a bit competitive and compare oneself to others. But doing so will only add unneeded pressure and at worst can make someone stop attending yoga classes.

Talk to a Doctor

It’s best to get cleared by your doctor before going ahead and buying that yoga bag. While yoga is not as high intensity as snowboarding, it does get the heart going and places strain on muscles and joints. A quick clearance by your doctor will give you added confidence and ensures you won’t be confronted by any health-related issues.

Know It Gets Easier

Astute professors and yogi masters always remember to congratulate and encourage newcomers, for they are likely the bravest souls in any given class. As with most sports and activities, the first year is the most difficult. Muscles must grow, balance must be learned, and one’s ego must taste humble pie. It gets easier and it’s something to remember when one is especially sore or feeling challenged.

Make Small Commitments

Some people get excited, make a huge commitment, and then grow disinterested. Rather than create added pressure, start with a small commitment. For example, maybe it’s best to wait to get a membership to the yoga studio, opting to pay as you go at first. It may be more expensive, yet this way, you can gauge whether you’re really enjoying the activity.