A warning before we get started: This article may contain irony and humor. 🙂

You might have thought for long time about giving Yoga a try, but you don’t really know how and where to get started. So here are a few tips if this is the case.

The right equipment: 

Before you enter the first class, please make sure to get the right outfit and mat. The ultimate Yoga leggings should cost at least 70 Euro and must be as colorful as the rainbow. Shirt wise I always recommend going for a black or white shirt (since the leggings are already eye-catching) with a motivational quote or a Yoga symbol.  Touching your toes will be way easier with this kind of outfit. Regarding the mat, I have one tip: The more expensive the better.

The right studio:

Check Google for different studios in your surrounding area and then look them up on facebook and Instagram.  If they don’t have an Instagram account (OMG), don’t consider going there. You of course want the best of the best. Otherwise, see which studio has the most fans and the most followers, et voilà: you have the perfect studio for yourself.

Your own physical status:

Before beginning Yoga, there is the ultimate Yoga test you can do to see if they would accept you in a class. Come into a normal stand, feet all the way together, bend from your hips down with straight legs and touch your toes. Not possible? Then you might want to consider Pilates instead of Yoga.

Of course, all of the above is nonsense. But I can understand how people are nervous before going the first time to a Yoga class, especially in a proper Yoga studio.

I remember the first time I went: I did not know how to use a belt and make a loop (I still remember that now every single time when I ask my students to make a loop) and I thought I am dying when everybody started to sing and knew the lyrics by heart. Now I know that it is chanting and not singing, but back then I just felt uncomfortable.

Now these days you are exposed to so many pictures and videos of good looking people doing super-advanced poses on the beach. These pictures are with no doubt beautiful, but I don’t know if it makes it easier for a beginner to start Yoga. And believe me, also Yoga teachers struggle with this Social Media-created reality.

But the most important thing you need to know when to start Yoga: Yoga is the unification of mind and body.

It is not about show-off poses, it’s about being present in this moment, uniting body and mind. As good as a lot of the Instagram pictures look and as fancy as the pose might be, it actually might not have anything to do with “real” Yoga. The pose might be advanced but what is the mind doing? Worrying about a work project in a handstand is not really Yoga; it’s acrobatics.

So, please forget about the right outfit, being too stiff or doing Yoga in the hippest place in town. Yoga is an internal system and a tool which is made for everybody.

I love to do balancing poses with my students. Really easy ones where you come on your tiptoes while standing. But in a really mindful, slow and controlled way. Every time I do so, you can feel the energy changing in the room. People start to be present in the moment. The monkey mind is finally quiet.

If you feel like starting Yoga, wear whatever you feel comfortable in and try different styles and studios. Not every teacher or every style suits you. This also might change while you go through different stages in your life. The Yoga buffet is so varied, there is something for everybody.

Stay during the class on your own mat with your thoughts and your gaze. Don’t worry what the neighbour is doing. Wrapping your legs three times around yourself, doesn’t mean more inner peace. Yoga is a date you have only with yourself.

And if you truly ask me, how can I see if somebody is doing an advanced practice, my answer would be: I can see it in the breath. It’s the most important thing in a Yoga practice. It connects the mind and the body and is the key to uniting them.