First Impressions from a Yoga First-Timer

Oct 3, 2014   //   by Staff Writer   //   The Blog  //  3 Comments

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First Impressions from a Yoga First-Timer

Brand new yoga students often feel anxiety about coming to a studio yoga class for the first time: being able to keep up, what to wear, whether they’ll be the only one who wobbles in balances. Read on to see how one student was welcomed to her first class and how the experience has impacted her since.

Yoga District strives to make our studios a welcoming place, where students of all ages, races, shapes, sizes, genders, and creeds can come to practice together. With a variety of styles and lots of diverse teachers, we hope everyone can find a class they’re comfortable in and that they can come to call Yoga District their studio.

Greetings,

I just wanted to share my feedback about a class I took on Monday with Cara G. at Yoga District’s H Street location. To provide some context, I have recently gained weight as a result of stress from work, the illness of a close family member and balancing a demanding full time job with working on my dissertation for my doctoral degree. Additionally, I have been experiencing back pain which has made running on the treadmill (my normal go-to option for working out) very undesirable.

I live on H & 3rd NE, so I’ve passed the H St. studio location many times. One of the things that has always impressed me is that when I walk by and see students waiting outside for class, they have been of all different shapes, sizes and ethnicities. After talking to someone representing the studio at the H Street Festival and after a particularly stressful weekend, I decided to give it a try.

At first, when I walked in, I was very worried. Not only did I worry about being able to keep up (I’ve done a few yoga videos several years ago but never a class), I also worried about being out of shape and being the only person of color. Well, I needn’t have worried! There were plenty of students of all different body types and all different ethnicities. Cara either heard me talking with the person on the mat next to me or just took the initiative to introduce herself to me and welcomed me by telling me that there was nothing to worry about. She explained that I would see everyone in the class do something different, due to varying levels, and that it was ok for me to do whatever was comfortable. Her advice was to “just have fun and do you” and it was incredibly reassuring. She has such a beautiful, gentle spirit! She opened up the class with a very personal, touching story about approaching yoga and life with a vulnerable heart while embracing your total badass self! It was just what I needed to bring relaxation and peace to my mind after such a difficult day.

I sweated through the practice, pushed myself, reflected and was glad I did. Cara thanked me for coming when class was over and told me I had done a great job. I was even encouraged by a couple of fellow students to come back. My only complaint is that it felt like it ended too soon!

I apologize for such a long-winded email, but I wanted to express my deepest appreciation for the warm and peaceful place you have created which has been a step in restoring my body and mind. I’ve lived/worked in DC off and on for twelve years, and this experience has been the most positive social interaction I have ever had here! I’ve already signed up for another class and plan to make this a part of my weekly routine. Thank you, a special shout out of gratitude to Cara, and I really look forward to more classes in the future.

With peace and gratitude,

KM

3 Comments

  • I agree with the above (beginner) comment. I’ve been coming about 1 month now. I was sick in the fall, and am in a long recuperation. I realized walking and biking were incomplete for my needs, and somehow came upon Yogadistrict. The hour seems so long-and I even keep a watch to follow the time. While I am still on disability, I hope I can come frequently! The point is, despite being very hard-hopefully only in the beginning-the yoga is doing wonders for my agility, endurance, stamina, and balance!!!!!! So I am always thinking about my next class, and try not to keep too many days between the next session! Thanks!

  • Yoga is awesome! It has really helped my balance and strength. It also helps me clear my mind. I think yoga classes are the least intimidating out of any exercise classes, specially for beginners, most yogi’s are welcoming and encouraging to beginners.

  • The first step is always the hardest. Glad to see that you make the studio so welcoming to newbies.

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The Teachers

The diverse family of DC yoga teachers at Yoga District are dedicated to making yoga accessible to everyone through a huge variety of yoga class types, from vinyasa flow to restorative and beyond. Most Yoga District teachers are graduates of Yoga District’s nationally-attended 200 hour teacher training program. All Yoga District classes focus on coordinating breath with body movement to promote flexibility, strength, and peace of mind. We strongly believe in yoga as therapy, so catch one of our classes whenever you need a healthy dose of self-care.
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The Next Step

The Yoga District 200 and 500 hour teacher training certification programs, registered by the Yoga Alliance are unique in their emphasis on diversity of teaching styles studied, personal attention, and trauma sensitive yoga. It's no coincidence that Yoga District is regularly voted the leading studio in the nation's capital, and that most of its classes are taught by graduates of its training program. As a full time yoga school, small group trainings are led up to eight times a year by a dedicated faculty including Jasmine Chehrazi, contributor to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training, teacher training faculty at George Washington University, Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Board Member, Yoga Activist Founder, and Yoga Service Council Advisory Board Member. So take your practice and community involvement to the next level by joining a training. There's a reason why our graduates call the training "transformative."
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