After falling in love with yoga while taking a meditation course during college, Lara Estrada opened her own Westchester studio Yoga Bliss. The studio, which recently celebrated its one year anniversary, specializes in vinyasa flow yoga, where the room is heated to a tropical temperature of 85 degrees. Estrada says that people of all ages, fitness levels and bodies can benefit from yoga and offers the following tips for yoga newbies thinking of trying a new fitness routine in the new year:
1. Remember that your best effort is enough. New yogis are often worried that they are “not good enough” or that people will be watching them. The truth is that no one really pays attention to what you are doing, and there is no such thing as not being enough. All you have to do is try your best! With practice, your strength and flexibility will improve. If you have any injuries or conditions, you should let the instructor know beforehand so they can make modifications for you.
2. Focus on the breath. More important than any physical poses you are doing is your connection to the breath. Stay consistent with smooth inhales and exhales and just always make sure you are breathing.
3. Listen carefully and watch others. When you are first learning poses and sequences it can be confusing. Listen carefully to the cues the teacher is saying and watch those around you. You’ll get it down in no time!
4. Stay committed to your practice. As with anything, progress does not happen overnight. Be consistent and set reasonable goals for yourself, like taking class once a week. As you get stronger, you may want to take more classes each week!
5. Pick a time that works for you and stick with it. We all get busy, so decide what time of day works best for you to take yoga classes and dedicate that time to yourself!
6. Create a goal for yourself! For example, commit to 2 classes per week, or 10 classes per month and then track your progress!
7. Have a yoga buddy. There’s nothing better than having a yoga friend to keep you accountable to your practice. Sign-up for classes with a friend and come to class together!
Yoga Bliss is located at 6218 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester and offers early morning, evening and weekend classes. The studio also offers workshops and special events on a variety of yoga-related topics including mediation, massage and sound therapy.
For more info, please visit yogabliss-studio.com.
Pictured: Yoga Bliss owner, Lara Estrada (center), demonstrates some poses in her Westchester studio with the help of fellow yogis.