Beginner Yoga Tips
In ROGUE MAGIC, Byron is clueless about yoga. He likes what he sees—Levi moving his body. But beyond that, he doesn’t really get it.
That was me about four years ago. The first time I attended a yoga class, I was terrified. I’m not bendy. I’m not athletic. I don’t go to group fitness classes. I worried about what they’d think of me and what kind of fool I’d look like.
My first tip for beginners is to put all of those fears aside. Of course, finding the right studio helps a lot, but as long as you’re hitting the mat somewhere beginner-friendly that doesn’t over-emphasize “power yoga,” you’re going to be just fine. (Power yoga is fine if you’re in shape for it and you’ve established the basics.)
Take a class specifically geared toward beginners or improving form. Listen. Be humble. Keep your focus on the instructor and your mat. Everyone comes to class with their own challenges and fears and concerns. You’re not alone in feeling awkward, but you should feel welcome. Even the people doing headstands were beginners once.
If you’re going to class, give yourself about 20 minutes to do paperwork, get changed, and settle in. Disconnect from your day. Avoid wearing fitness trackers or smart watches that give you alerts from your phone. Take off your jewelry.
You’ll hear a lot about the breath. This is the cornerstone of yoga. It might feel strange to control your breath and pay attention to it, but this will become routine as you practice more often. You’ll find it bleeding into your regular routines. You might turn to the breath to calm down in a stressful situation when you might have reached for other coping strategies that don’t serve you as well. (I’m still waiting for that to happen, because I’m more likely to reach for a cupcake than a good breathing sequence.)
Don’t stress if you can’t touch your toes or get into other “beginner” poses. I’ve been practicing yoga for years and my forward fold doesn’t look much different than it did the very first time I practices. Everyone has a different body with different capabilities. It may sound corny, but yoga really is about a journey. It wouldn’t be fun if you got there on the first class.
Another thing to keep in mind is that yoga is for all body types and genders. Sure, there’s a stereotype of young women with zero body fat and limber circus bodies, but that isn’t a requirement or the norm. If you’re plus size, follow yoga instructors online who look like you. (Google Jessamyn Stanley; she’s a goddess.) If you’re a guy or NB, go to class. Get a sense of the vibe. And go to another studio if you don’t feel welcome for any reason at all. I’ve been fortunate to attend a studio owned and operated by other queer women. It’s a very welcoming and inclusive space.
If yoga at a studio isn’t in your budget or your time availability, try an online service like YogaGlo, or start with a DVD or videos on YouTube. You can pick up a mat for pretty cheap, and beyond that it doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you’re comfortable.
As someone with anxiety, yoga has helped me tremendously. I don’t practice as often as I know I should, but every time I’m back on the mat, I relish every moment with my body and my breath. It’s an escape from stress, from deadlines, from the lizard brain and negative self talk that plague me. And it feels so good.
In Rogue Magic, Levi performs sun salutations. If you establish any kind of routine, I recommend this one every day. A couple rounds will get you moving and hone your focus.
Title: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Urban Fantasy, M/M, Paranormal, Romance
Length: 328 pages/Word Count: 81,000
While trapped in a stalled subway train on his morning commute, PR rep Byron Cole flirts with Levi, a young waiter with adorable curls. But Byron’s hopes for romance crash and burn when Levi saves him from a brutal explosion—with outlawed magic.
When Levi is imprisoned, Byron begins to question everything he’s ever believed. How can magic be evil when Levi used it to save dozens of lives? So Byron hatches a plan to save Levi that will cost him his job and probably his life. If he doesn’t pull it off, Levi will be put to death.
Byron discovers that he isn’t the only one questioning America’s stance on magic. And he learns that Levi is stubborn, angry, and utterly enchanting. Time is running out, though. Byron must convince Levi to trust him, to trust his own magic, and to fight against the hatred that’s forced him to hide his true nature his entire life. The more Levi opens up, the harder Byron falls. And the more they have to lose.
Add to Goodreads.
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
Kit Brisby lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, with her two young sons and two rescue dogs. A graduate of the University of Florida, she’s been writing professionally since 2002. Her career has taken her from writing think pieces on breastfeeding to writing erotica for the adult industry—and nearly everything in between. She works in digital marketing and helps businesses find and tell their stories.
Kit is always trying to find balance between working full-time, revisiting or writing books every night, and modeling badass behavior to her two boys. Sometimes the lure of Tumblr interferes with all of that balancing. She’s just old enough to still be utterly enchanted by animated gifs.
A single mom and aspiring yogi, Kit is open about her struggles with anxiety and the importance of self-care. She also advocates for neurodiversity and acceptance of those on the autism spectrum. Few things get her as riled up as bisexual erasure.
Though she lives in the South, Kit is a NYC girl at heart, and makes a point of traveling to the city as often as she can to catch a few shows and eat as much ramen as humanly possible.
She reads avidly, and gravitates toward historical queer romance and young adult fantasy, especially when the stakes are high. She’s a fan of awkward first dates unless she’s participating in them, and is outspoken about embracing kink and sex positivity.
To celebrate the release of Rogue Magic, one lucky winner will receive a yoga mat from Kit and a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 4, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!