Getting Started with Yoga Part 4: Study a Bit 

What actually is yoga?

Welcome back to this week’s blog, another short and sweet one where I will share a few resources that helped me understand some of the more unreachable parts of yoga. 

Now, I could write a long and convoluted answer to this question for you, but there are people out there who are far better at giving a succinct answer in more imaginative ways than a lengthy blog post. 

My short answer is this: yoga is a way of life that helps to liberate us from suffering and connect us with the higher Self. It is a methodology that helps us get closer to the answer of “Who am I?” or better yet, “What am I?”

But there are skilled yoga teachers who can go a little deeper, and they can be found on social media, and in (my favorite) BOOKS. Who else loves the smell of the pages of a new book?

Let’s keep it simple and brief and get right into it. 

First off, Instagram accounts about yoga that you might enjoy

Wanderingmat run by Vikram Jeet Singh is a fabulous account for people just getting started with yoga as he takes our understanding of yoga off the mat and into the real world. He is skilled at breaking down some of the more seemingly esoteric concepts of yoga philosophy and applying them to the real world. 

Alexandria Crow is working hard to break down the plethora of common misconceptions about yoga and the associated cultural appropriation that comes with it, especially in the west. She asks questions that get you thinking both as a practitioner and a teacher and dispels some of the confusion that plagues the internet. 

Sheena Bagshawe, Khushboo, and Kristen are all fabulous beginner yoga teachers on Instagram who share content specifically for at-home yoga practitioners in an authentic, body-positive, and genuine way. These women are proof that you don’t need thousands of followers to be considered bonafide teachers, just friendly approach and a true love for the practice.  

Next up, a couple of books about yoga that aren’t too heavy for beginners.

Yoga Myths: What You Need to Learn and Unlearn for a Safe and Healthy Practice,  by Judith Hanson Lasater is a brilliant book taking you through some of the more problematic cues that are heard in yoga classes, and how to adjust the alignment to suit your unique needs. Beautifully designed, this is a fantastic book for any practitioner, no matter their level.

Myths of the Asanas: The Stories at the Heart of the Yoga Tradition by Alanna Kaivalya and Arjuna van der Kooij is a brilliant little pocket book, not really to be read in one go but instead to be read in bitesize chunks, that delved into the stories behind many of the postures we make in asana classes. It is such a helpful book to really embody the tradition of yoga and connect with its roots. 

OK, that’s enough to get your teeth into for now.

As we wind down the year, we will have one more little bonus post next week about getting started with yoga, focusing on the difference between discipline and motivation. 

For now, take time to rest and rejuvenate, exercise a little self-care, hibernate like a bear, and I will see you next week.

Remember to download my free guide to help you get set up for a safe and sustainable home yoga practice, just enter your details below and it will wing its way to your inbox in no time.

Much love,