Beginner’s Information

General Advice

Many people come to yoga because they feel it will help them to cope with stress, or
perhaps to ease back or joint pain or general stiffness. But there is often also a desire
for a more fulfilled life.


About 2,000 years ago the great Indian sage Patanjali described yoga as a way of
controlling the activities of the mind so that we can resist stress. Yoga practices,
such as stretching, and exercising, breathing techniques, meditation and visualisation
can prevent the suffering caused by stress. They can also help poor posture, and the
stiffness that can develop through misuse of the body, ageing or physical disabilities.

Over the first six weeks of the beginners’ course you will concentrate on simple
physical practices to make your joints and muscles more flexible, and learn basic
breathing and relaxation techniques. You will also begin to learn how to develop
awareness – watching and learning from your body, your breath and your mind. It’s a
fascinating process!

After the first vital 6 weeks, the beginners’ class continues in 6 week blocks until the
end of the summer term, after which you will be able to join the second year class
in Dumfries or the mixed ability classes elsewhere. These include asanas, pranayama
(breathing techniques), yoga nidra (deep relaxation) and concentration.

  • Clothing: wear comfortable, unrestricted clothing.
  • Food : have nothing to eat in the two hours before class – it can be very uncomfortable if you do!
  • Bring a yoga mat (or you can buy one from me here), a piece of rubber carpet underlay or rug to lie on, and a blanket as an additional cover for relaxation .
  • Be punctual, as we start with relaxation. If you have to arrive late, please come in quietly and take a few moments to relax, lying on your back, before joining in. A few minutes practice daily can make an enormous difference to your progress. Rigid muscles can start to stretch in as little as a week of daily practice. Try using my CDs to help.
  • If you are unable to attend your regular class, you may come to any of my other classes – see back cover.

CNV00025Remember yoga is for you. You are not in competition with anybody – not even yourself.
Don’t worry about how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you are compared to others in the class. That is
not what yoga is about. You should work at the point where your body is at this moment.
It’s the process that is important, not the result.
Practice the postures at a slow, concentrated pace.
Listen to your body. Move smoothly as you release and stretch. Focus on what is
happening inside you.
Use the breath to help your movement. And thereby direct energy to different parts of the
body to release blockages.