By Alex Pogeler


The new year begins with the promise of rebirth, renewal and transformation. Goals are set, resolutions are made, and old habits are discarded. For many people, the start of a new year is an opportunity to atone for the overindulgences of the Holiday season. Whether it be too many Christmas cookies, too little exercise or heavy drinking to make those annoying relatives seem tolerable, it’s easy to go overboard during the holidays.


The start of January has thus become synonymous with people getting back to the gym and launching new diets. I think it is also a period when many consider taking up Yoga for the first time. The fact that so many people now have access to this amazing form of exercise is a great development. The tragedy however is that for every person brave enough to walk into a Yoga studio for the first time, there are many more who are too intimidated to take that step.  Maybe they are too self-conscious or they are scared of trying new things or they just feel awkward in Yoga pants. Whatever the reason may be, they are missing out on a wonderful experience.


The ultimate irony is that a Yoga studio is arguably the most accepting and least judgmental place one can go for a workout. A typical Yoga class is full of people who are doing their utmost to focus entirely on their breath and movement to the exclusion of all other stimuli. Nobody pays much attention to anyone other than the instructor. Similarly, everyone there has gone through that beginning awkward phase at some point or another. They know first-hand what a humbling experience it is to take that initial class. Consequently they are the last people to think less of someone who is struggling through a Vinyasa for the first time.


If you happen to be reading this while contemplating your first Yoga class I would urge you to put your fears aside. Don’t be hesitant to make it your resolution for 2014 and beyond. If you make that commitment and stick with it, your life will be transformed in an amazingly positive direction. Trust me.