Welcome New Student!!!
Are you ready? You might not feel like it, but you are. You took the first step; getting curious about yoga and our Authentic Yoga Community. Whether your first class will become something that instantly changes your life or whether it’s something you fall in love with slowly. Hopefully you make it part of your life. Whether it be a daily practice, a regular supplement to your active lifestyle, an occasional check into “self”, or something you will never do again and laugh at in the future (I hope that’s not the case, you really should give yourself a couple more classes, it truly is amazing) but you will be grateful for the experience. This means I have ONLY 60 minutes (or slightly longer) to show you a practice I have dedicated a huge part of my life, my love, my body, and much of my time to. So, if I can just borrow that brief bit of your time because it could just be what changes your life as well. Those 60 minutes on your mat can change your life in ways you never thought possible. I know how hard it is to show up…I really do! I didn’t think yoga was for me either. The room is hot, the practice is challenging, the postures can be difficult, and you may even feel really uncomfortable at first. We aren’t trying to harm you or make you suffer in any way, I promise. There is a reason for this, specific elements: the breath, the postures, the heat, the movement, the methodology are designed to connect the body and mind through the practice of yoga.
I know having other students in the room, especially fuller classes, can seem intimidating. I walked out of my first class before I even stepped foot into the room, so I get it!!! Honestly, the students in the room with you…they’ve been there before, they understand that first class, those first handful of classes even, yet they are still coming back, most of them would be cheering you on if they knew it was your first practice. The more you practice you will realize there are days those students and the community around you will help you get through a practice, inspire you, and may even become your friends.
When you walk into the practice studio, it might be a little awkward, its’ quiet. Yes, there is usually light music playing, but there isn’t any socializing in the studio. Not that we don’t want you to, please, come early chat in the lobby and changing rooms, create community and get to know each other but please save the studio for the students that would like to come early and prepare for class whether it be meditation, savasana, or whatever, but a place they can be in quiet and disconnect. The studio is open about 25-30 minutes before class for that reason. Come early and let yourself have time to get ready for practice.
During class try to stay on your mats and continue to stay quiet in the hot room, I want you to practice listening. First to me, or whoever is guiding as the yoga instructor, so that you can do the class. Try to listen to my words and let your mind hear it, process it, and then try the action. Be open, you might hear a new body cue from a teacher. Most importantly listen to YOU…you’ll start to hear your physical body communicating to you in ways your “mind chatter” doesn’t. Get curious about what you can do, but listen to what your body says along the way. By breathing and having patience with yourself to be a new student, there’s a possibility of learning every time, you teach yourself how to use your practice and your breath as an amazing tool off the mat as well.
I know sometimes my jokes I make in class are not funny, but a lot of the time I am trying to remind you yoga is still fun, even though it can be hard and challenging, at the end of the day it’s just a yoga practice, a yoga posture and when you have a “harder than normal” practice (aka day), it’s okay. Try not forcing 110% when you only have 60% to give. Don’t be afraid to take breaks. Practice not over exceeding yourself, it’s harder than you think. This is a practice you take off the yoga mat as well. A lot of things will come up during your practice, this will be your personal experience. Know this, every teacher you will have, including myself, has cried in class, has hurt in class, has wanted to give up, and wanted to leave class, we have all struggled on our mat. So, I make my bad jokes and sometimes say the dumb things so you know it’s okay to also smile and laugh in this space as well. And…we all survive.
Any student please know I am not correcting you because I ever think you are a “bad” student. I know some of you have taken other yoga classes, or possibly your body has been injured, or sometimes you just don’t know there is a different way to do a posture. Knowing all of these things excites me to want to help you even more with different suggestions. The best way I know how to help you, is to teach you how to do the postures to the best of your ability in your body. Some days it might be pushing you, some days it’s holding the space for you to slightly back off and give yourself some ease and any day showing up is simply enough. This is a safe space; we’ve all been there. Really, we have!!! Be proud and feel accomplished you showed up for yourself. That is the person you are showing up for, yourself. You’ll need that reminder from time to time. It’s important to me that you not only know but also feel that when you walk in those studio doors…that space is there for you, for whatever you need it to be.
As always, this is what I absolutely LOVE what I do, reach out with questions, chat with me or your other teachers before or after class, come join us in a workshop or a yoga certification boise idaho teacher training. Yoga did change my entire life. But I had to make the time, I had to make the effort to show up, and it’s the best thing I could have done for myself. I have spent many, many hours on my mat as a student and I am so very grateful to have been able to have spent so many hours dedicated to my craft not only teaching students but sharing with other yoga teachers how to share their love for the practice as well.
Finally, come back and try again. Even if you didn’t fall in love with it, give yourself a couple more classes to try again, and not in a couple months, or even weeks, soon. It does get easier because you keep getting stronger; physically and mentally. I am so excited for you and can’t wait to see where your practice takes you.
Amanda Mendez, Founder, Owner, Operator
Authentic Yoga Studio