12 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started Yoga

1 - I don't have to be flexible to do yoga.

2 - I don’t need to be good at yoga to do yoga.

3 - There’s a whole other world of Yoga other than Hatha and Vinyasa for e.g. Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Jivamukti, Kundalini, Anusara, Baptiste, Forrest, Strala etc and I should try them instead of just doing the generically flow classes.

4 - Hatha means holding and Vinyasa means movement or Flow and yin means holding poses longer than hatha poses but thankfully usually in a supine or seated position. And that Power is not at all hard. (the name is just scary)

5 - Not all yoga is slow (and sleepy).

6 - Knees chest Chin is not a chaturanga.

7 - I didn’t have Om or chant if I didn’t want to.

8 - Yoga is not a religion if you don't make it to be (spiritual). It can be what you want to be - a practice of physicalness, practice of stillness or self-discovery or all three!

9 - 1 class a week is not enough.

10 - Try different teachers and stick with the one you connect with because they are the ones that will fuel your yoga journey.

11 - Everybody's body is different. We are all built differently so celebrate my imperfectly perfect body as it is because it is what makes it me.

12 - That I will spend a lot of money on #cuteyogapants #addictedtoleggings


From someone who shied away from telling people that she practises yoga, to a NEW ME sharing as much Baptiste Yoga as I can; I’ve come a long way since my first class back in 1997. In fact, I don’t think that counted. Right now, I am declaring that my FIRST official yoga class was with Pure Yoga in 2012. :)

I resisted doing yoga because I didn’t think I needed it. And when I eventually began, I didn’t really broadcast it out - because I was ashamed in a way. Firstly I didn’t want to be like “everyone else” = like jumping on the latest fitness trend. I didn’t want to be labeled as a yogi because I am not. Secondly around the time I started, there was a lot of hype in Malaysia about yoga not really a true “Muslim” way of living. Lastly, I realised that what I thought was a flexible body of mine wasn't flexible at all.

There was lot of internal and external struggle.

But Yoga, like life is a journey. If I knew all these 12 things at one go - it’ll be an information overload, because the brain will not be able to process it all at once go.

If you new to yoga and reading this - my advice to you will be:

Be in Action, and keep doing the work. Yoga is more than the physical physical practice but it’s also the internal work of reminding yourself that everything will be ok. You’ve got it. Stop struggling and stop listening to the voices in your head. The answer is in your heart.


P.S. If you can turn back the clock, what would you have said to the younger you, who's just starting yoga? What would you have done differently?