Intro from Kiley: I’m always interested in listening to a yogi about their journey and practice. Emily Puccio, practicing yogi and yoga instructor, teaching classes over on the North Fork, weighs in on her own yoga experience, with some great tips for beginners:
I’m often asked how to begin a yoga practice. Even though yoga has gained dramatically in popularity over the past decade or so, it seems that there are many potential yogis sitting on the sidelines wondering where to start.
Whether you decide to take a group class, hire an instructor for a private session, use a DVD, or access many of the online classes and tutorials that are available today, I encourage new-found yogis to keep these things in mind:
1. Yoga is not a competitive sport. Don’t worry about what the instructor or the person on the mat next to you can do, and don’t worry about what doesn’t feel accessible to you on your own mat in your own practice (either at home or in a studio). As I tell my students, it’s called a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect, for a reason.
2. Try it out a few times before you decide to commit and make it part of your regular routine or try something else. There are elements to any practice that are unique to yoga (not the least of which is the use of sanskrit words) that take some getting used to.
3. At the heart of yoga is a practice of self-awareness. So if you experience any “edges,” simply acknowledge those feelings (they could be physical – like difficulty maintaining a pose or keeping up with a quicker-paced sequence – or emotional – like frustration or uncertainty) and watch how you respond physically and emotionally/mentally. This will heighten the practice of awareness and maybe even help you focus on one thing at a time.
One Healthy Breakdown: With these ideas in mind, you have helped to clear a path for a healthier you. Namaste!
Bio: Emily Puccio began practicing yoga on a borrowed mat and with a borrowed DVD in 2000. Immediately recognizing the physical benefits, she incorporated yoga more regularly into her wellness routine, and eventually understood that one of the reasons she felt so much better when practicing yoga was because of the mental clarity, focus, and centering the practice invokes on and off the mat. Through the years, she has explored many styles of yoga, and in July 2012, Emily completed the 200-hour intensive Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training and currently teaches group and private yoga sessions on the beautiful North Fork of Long Island. Click here for info on her Aquebogue classes and here for info on her Cutchogue “Yoga in the Vines” classes!