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Just thinking about how daunting my my first yoga class was starts giving me the chills. It takes me back to that nervous, apprehensive feeling I had in my stomach. Was I going to do the moves correctly? How much better were the other students going to be? What is a yogi? There were so many things I didn’t know the answer to. This lost feeling led me to think and feel like I had no idea what I was doing. While for some people this is a feeling they might thrive off of, it left me apprehensive. When I go to the gym, I know the machines and basic correct form. I don’t look or feel out of place because I know what’s going on and what to expect. With yoga, I was flying blind.

I only had a basic understanding of yoga when I first gave it a try, and to be honest, didn’t even know what an asana was. But, that didn’t stop me from diving head first into yoga at home. I started  doing yoga in my living room to DVDs I’d copped at Target for around $10-$15 each. Rodney Yee’s Yoga Burn, and CorePower Yoga’s Calorie Blast Yoga  would become my new workout buddies (and new best friends) over the next couple weeks.

The goal of this article is to help others (especially men) alleviate the stress and apprehension they might feel when taking their first yoga class at a proper studio. Watching yoga DVDs and practicing them for a few weeks before attending my first class was insanely beneficial. Not only in beginning to familiarize myself with yoga, but also in calming my nerves and helping me to be more confident.

Are there lots of girls in yoga classes? Yes. As a male, we’re usually only one of four per class (a bit higher in advanced classes).

Are all the other yogi’s fit? Yes. Everyone is toned, sexy as hell and can stretch and hold poses in ways I’d never thought possible—or they’re well on their way.

Can you reach the same level as them? Yes. Each of us has our own practice, and while I may not be able to do the splits, there are other battles I win with each class.

What I wished I’d have done—before straining my neck to look up at the television between every single pose—was watch the DVD the entire way through without participating in the workout. Some might think this would be a huge waste of time better-spent exercising, but it

Yoga DVDs are an awesome investment for a beginning yogi, especially for men, because they help in familiarizing yourself with the asanas used in yoga. Where they’re free to practice and make mistakes. Yoga is intimidating, but the more you immerse yourself in it, learn about it and attend class, the better you’ll become—whether you’re male or female, beginner or advanced.

I never thought I would be able to touch my toes before I started, now I can’t wait until I can forward fold and touch my forehead to my knees. I’ve come farther than I ever thought possible when I watched my first Rodney Yee DVD.

He said I would get long and lean with practice, and you know what? He was absolutely right.

via: Elephant Journal