Getting over the fear: where to start with yoga

Lady doing yoga at home, lying on her bedroom floor in savasana, very calm and relaxed.

Why do we choose to do yoga? Frogi's from our community share their stories of how they began a regular practice over the last year and what it means to them.

Think of the last time you started something new. It could be joining a club, beginning a brand new job or learning a new skill…

Got one? Write it down.

How did you feel about beginning something new? Did you have butterflies in your stomach? Were you nervous? Perhaps anxious about meeting new people, or worried about getting everything ‘wrong’. Or maybe you were excited, and ready to dive right in.

Humans are built for new experiences. Even though they push us out of our comfort zones in many and varied ways, we are hard-wired to seek challenges that stimulate our bodies and our brains. As Gandalf says, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

The cruel irony of beginning a yoga practice

The beauty of yoga is that it gives us tools to cope with anxiety, pressure and those times when our minds need a little quiet. Just like all the feelings we have when we start something new. But what happens when the new thing you’re beginning IS yoga? How do you get over the nerves, bite the bullet and just… start?

Tales from the Frog Project trenches

Two of our amazing yogis told us their stories of starting a yoga practice in the last year.

Rosalind had already started meditation a year or so before coming to the Frog Project, so the mindful side of the practice wasn’t new to her. She ‘initially had some misconceptions that it was just the physical practice. I also had some trepidation around having never done it before and not really knowing where to start. I did feel slightly that I already need to know what I was doing before joining a class’.

Ana, on the other hand, had practised yoga many years ago, but came to it again due to a period of self-isolation, enforced following the trauma of visiting her best friend who had just been diagnosed with cancer. ‘To find myself in my house on my own… was quite shocking. That’s when Julia sent me the link to yoga. And probably in those days I was doing it twice a day if there were classes! It really gave me peace of mind’.

Becoming a yoga warrior

In fact, not only did Ana occasionally do two classes a day, but she is in fact the Frog Project’s most prolific yogi, banking an incredible 239 classes in 365 days!

Ana told us that pre-Covid she had been doing a ton of classes, from music to Zumba. When we asked her whether she missed the community of in-person lessons, she told us, ‘No. When I do any exercise I just keep myself to myself’. In fact, she’s even been known to fall asleep during a late class savasana! Like many of our students, the flexibility that online classes gives you worked a treat for Ana: ‘You can just get out of the bed and onto the mat with some of the very early classes! Or just wake up in the late classes and go to bed! I think it will become more and more popular’.

We’ve had some great feedback from people turning to our live online yoga classes, and Rosalind echoes it. ‘They've completely changed the misconceptions I had around yoga classes and needing to be a certain level etc. before joining a class. In terms of the classes being online, I like the flexibility this allows in being able to practice yoga at home, whilst still being in a classroom environment. I genuinely can't recommend the classes enough!’

But what about the butterflies?

Well the funny thing about The Frog Project is that we like to think we’re pretty welcoming! We like the sense of community that our Frogis develop during classes, usually starting with a bit of chit chat before we get down to the mat! Rosalind confirms, ‘Everything about them put me at ease and immediately got me over my fear of joining an actual live class. The whole journey with them has been so welcoming and supportive from the get go! The classes are wonderfully geared up to the full range of where people might be in their yoga journey though, from beginner to expert. I love that although I'm very much a beginner there is always an option for my current ability, but also room to challenge myself when I feel ready.’

Where could fighting the fear get you?

I’ve never heard of anyone starting something new and regretting it. Giving up, perhaps. Finding it hard, definitely. But when we asked Rosalind what she gets from yoga now, she embodied what we hope for from all of our yoga students.

‘I’ve been regularly practising yoga by joining online classes for a few months now. I absolutely love it. It's something I actively look forward to as I always feel so wonderful afterwards. The balance of mindfulness and exercise is perfect and it always sets me up for the day/week ahead! It makes me take time to stop and focus on myself, which can be a challenge sometimes! The focus on the breath throughout really centres me and really helps de-stress’.

And let’s not forget the physical benefits of a regular practice! If you’re looking to find out where yoga could take you, find inspiration in these final thoughts from our Frogi Warrior, Ana:

‘My mum used to do yoga for many many years and she stopped when she was about 85 maybe. She used to show us how she could do a [forward] fold with her hands to the floor very easily even at that age.’

Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.


Carmel Hendry

Carmel is a travel professional and lover of literature and Latin America. In her day job at a tour operator she whisks people away to far off destinations, while in her spare time she moonlights as a freelance copywriter. You can find her portfolio here While not writing, or dreaming about travel, she can be found playing the piano, cycling or practising yoga. She’s spent the last year learning how to do a headstand, but mostly can be found relaxing in child’s pose! Join her and the Frog Project Community with 15 days of free unlimited classes. It’s just yoga.

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