Anyone on my Instagram page would know I’m self-taught. There is no shame in that and I’m glad to admit that everything I’ve learned so far has been through my own effort; finding videos to learn about asanas and flows, doing Instagram yoga challenge, learning from yoga websites and most recently by using Jessica Olie’s e-book “Let’s Start Yoga”
Truth is, up to today, I’ve never been to a yoga class. I have no background in sport or ballet and the only gymnastics I did was when I was 6 years old for P.E.
Is it best to learn yoga on your own? Honestly, even though I did it, I have to say NO.
If you can, you should definitely go for classes or get an instructor for one of one sessions. If I could have, I would have done the same. But we know it’s a lot easier said than done. Classes can be expensive or life can be pretty hectic for some of us that maybe we don’t have the time to get to one. So if you can’t make a class then definitely use what resources you have available to you to start your own practice. After all, today there are more than enough online resources to help us with that! But learning it all on your own is very different from having a teacher to guide you.
My self taught yoga journey began when I decided I needed to get a proper cool down routine after I worked out, doing those simple stretches just wasn’t enough for me. It felt terrible to be moving around and doing so much to suddenly come to a stop at the end and have these workout plans tell me to just touch my toes, stretch a muscle here and there and that's it. It wasn't enough.
My friend, Emma, was telling me how she had started doing yoga so I thought I might as well give it a try. Youtube was the only place I knew to look, I looked up a beginner flow and for the next week I would do that half hour flow after each workout. Surprisingly, it felt good. I liked what I was doing and the instructor in the video was very informative about the asanas in the flow.
I made my Instagram account shortly after and decided I should get more serious about learning yoga and found out through tumblr about the yoga challenges on Instagram. These yoga challenges seemed like a good place to start, after all, I would be given an asana to try everyday with tips from the hosts. I didn’t know how well I would do but I tried to challenge myself and learn as much as I could through this first challenge.
With each month I kept practicing and participating in challenges, I enjoyed having a daily practice lead by some youtube videos, challenge asanas and practicing whatever else I felt like doing for that day. My love for yoga only kept growing as I learned more about it and was able to see myself making progress.
Eventually I ditched the videos, made my own flows and only really went online for help when I wanted to learn more about an asana and their benefits or how to transition from one to another. The challenges stayed in my practice and it’s hard to say there would be a time when I would give them up completely. It's fun to challenge yourself and have something to make sure that everyday i need to get at least 10 minutes of yoga in.
It’s encouraging to see the difference my practice has made in the 9 months since I started. Who would have taught I’d get this far in this amount of time? Definitely not me.
Though so far I have been self taught, I am still looking forward to the day when I can get in at least one day a week of yoga in a proper studio, lead by a teacher so I have a whole new perspective into yoga. For now I will stick to my home practice, my challenges and e-books and enjoying every little bit of it and doing what I can for myself.
If you’re a self taught yogi, a beginner yogi, or just a yogi in general, you should have a look at Jessica Olie’s yoga e-book “Lets Start Yoga” which has done wonders for my practice in the last few months since it came out! You’re never too old – or too advanced – to learn something new!
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