The very first yoga class you attend may leave you feeling different to how you felt as you entered the room. Not an unusual feeling. Firstly there are many different styles of yoga, which may have a different emphasis. Then add onto to this each teacher has their own way, mannerism, energy etc. Not surprising then that each class needs to be taken for what it gave in that moment and nothing else. Otherwise you will drive yourself bonkers very quickly.
I teach a form of yoga called Vinyasa Krama, which translates roughly into “to step in a special way, step by step”. Each class will have a warmup period, heat period and cooling period. Layered onto this the class may have a theme, which could be physical for example hip openers, or focus on energy, or breath work.
I have found that students bodies fall into three main categories:-
- Very stiff
- Very flexible
- Some bits stiff, some bits flexible
However the mindset is much more complex. These combinations mean that every class will always be different to each person.
If you are very stiff, simply moving the body around can produce a sense of elation. Stretching muscle fibre and facia is like having a really good deep massage. The cooling period mentioned above, settles the mind and nervous system, allowing you to focus on one thing only - the present moment. No emails, no phone, no TV, no family interruptions, no stress, lets the body move into a parasympathetic nervous state and this is when the body and mind start to regenerate.
If you are very flexible, holding the body with enhanced posture, builds strength and confidence physically and mentally. Just as a stiff person experiences a sense of wellbeing so does a flexible body, just the words you chose to express these feelings may be different.
If you are a mixture of both body types, well you get a bit of both. One things for sure you will either be smiling on the inside or the outside or both by the end of your first class.