I first ventured into a yoga studio during my early 20s. I was drawn to the idea that yoga would allow my mind to relax through meditation while also doing physical activity that wouldn’t take a toll on my body that was riddled with pain, stiffness and exhaustion due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. At that time, I didn’t know how many forms of yoga existed nor which form would be most accommodating for someone like me with an autoimmune disease. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. I showed up in sweats and a baggy t-shirt to a hot yoga studio at 6PM on a Monday evening to “relax” after a long day at the office. As I watched a mix of very fit ladies and 1 man pile into the studio, wearing almost nothing, I immediately wondered what the heck I had just gotten myself into.
10 minutes into my first hot yoga class, I felt like I was fighting for my breath and maybe even my life. Sure, the last point sounds dramatic, but I had a vision of an ambulance taking me out of that class after I realized there were still 60 MINUTES left on the clock. The teacher instructed us not to drink water, not to deviate from the poses and not to leave the room, even if we were exhausted, dizzy, uncomfortable, etc. I wanted to cry and hide under my yoga mat because I couldn’t keep up with everyone around me. What a nightmare!
Fast Forward 15 years and a certification in yoga teacher training later, I’ve learned so much since my first hot yoga class in my early 20s. I now know that yoga offers something for everyone who wants to explore its incredible benefits. Some folks seek yoga solely for the workout, but I practice for many different reasons such as mental relaxation, spiritual meditation, stretching sore muscles and getting a gentle full body workout.
I recently came across Costa Yoga’s “From the Ground Up” video series on teachable.com and want to share this incredible program for beginners with my readers so they can avoid an experience like mine, showing up at a yoga studio or class that’s not meant for them. This video series was designed for people who want to start a yoga practice, but don’t know where to begin. It’s great for those who want to reap the benefits of yoga, but from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, the teacher Mandy Lawson is fabulous. She is smart, thorough and helps students build a complete yoga practice foundation in just 30 days.