The Hemp Connection + yoga

How to become yoga-friendly

Earlier this week I interviewed Rebecca Fritz of Phoenix' SuTRA Midtown Yoga Studio about the benefits of yoga for reproductive health.

Despite a growing body of research supporting the idea that yoga has powerful effects on fertility, depression, strength, and overall well-being, I still find many women I talk to, resistant to becoming involved.

One of the biggest barriers, especially for women with PCOS, if there is a weight issue, is the fear of not being able to assume the positions in the class. It's important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to do yoga. However you are able to do yoga, on any particular day, is perfectly fine. I have yet to attend a yoga class in which the instructor hasn't provided options for the varying levels of experience in the class. In fact, in a class I attended a few weeks ago, the instructor gave us permission to assume whatever position we wanted to if the one he was recommending simply didn't work. The most important thing about yoga--is that you try. There's no way you can achieve the benefit if you don't.

Secondly, many women I work with have a tendency to spend much of the day avoiding how they truly feel about what is happening in their lives. Since the process of yoga tends to slow the body down much more quickly than it slows down the head, if this is what you've been doing, it can feel v-e-e-e-r-r-y uncomfortable to essentially be pinned to the mat out of sheer relaxation, while your head is still going a million miles an hour, and for once, fully aware of uncomfortable thoughts and emotions you'd otherwise be avoiding.

But that's the point of yoga, to become aware, acknowledge, and nonjudgmentally, choose to accept. With practice, your head will also slow down. I've learned not to accept the belief that"yoga isn't for me" from someone who has only participated once. You really do have to attend, I'd say, at least five times, to start to achieve and understand its benefit.

Finally, there are so many types of yoga and so many instructors, it is important to find a class, a studio, a style, and an instructor that you feel comfortable with. If something in your environment isn't right, it will be hard to focus on yourself.

Rebecca shared that SuTRA Midtown offers a yoga tasting package, which allows you to try as many classes and instructors as you wish within a two week period. It's a great way to give yourself a chance to experience the benefits and find a schedule that works for you in every single way. If you're in Phoenix, perhaps this could be your way to start the New Year off in a self-nurturing fashion. Or, perhaps you can ask around your own local studios to find a similar offer.

You have to give yoga a chance to work before you write it off. Most importantly, you have to DO it. I'm willing to bet that once you start, you'll wonder why it took so long.

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How to become yoga-friendly + yoga