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On Being a Yoga Newbie

Florence Lefebvre

When I first took up yoga ten years ago, most people attending classes did so to become more supple and also to de-stress - which is still the case today of course - but what they (myself included) might not have expected so much at the time is a challenging practice that included holding standing poses for longer as well as inversions and arm balances.

Oh dear, I can still remember my first class… It lasted 90 eternal minutes during which I sweated, shook, panted and basically struggled! I could not understand how my teacher Rebecca Parker could speak while doing poses in which I could not even breath! Believe it or not, it is this weird experience that led me to become a yoga teacher. I admired the strength, flexibility, coordination and fluidity displayed by more experienced practitioners of all shapes and sizes as well as the confidence and sense of loving life emanating from my teacher.

After this abrupt wake-up call, I started to go to classes two to three times a week, which I sadly have not been able to keep up with since taking up teaching (Ironic?! I think so…). Being a freelance at the time though, I was indeed lucky to be very flexible with my time.

Anyway, the whole point of this blog is to encourage anyone to pick up yoga at any stage in their life. Like anything you do for the first time, it does not come easily, but the improvements you will notice class after class in your range of motion, strength and state of mind will be the best motivators.

Whatever your age, your fitness level, your injuries and conditions, there are exactly the right teachers for you out there! You might not find them straight away but be specific in terms of what you are looking for and you eventually will. Ask questions to your heart’s content whenever visiting yoga centres and gyms: the pace of the class, dynamic or restorative, mixed levels or specifically beginners (you might indeed want to consider taking up a course to get the basics), the amount of philosophy and spirituality delivered in class, the duration, etc.

And if you will allow me to give you one more tip, please do stay for the final relaxation. Far from being a waste of time, it is actually the very best bit of your whole practice, you will see…

So enjoy your yoga journey and welcome to the ever-growing yoga community!

Variation of Balasana (Child’s Pose)