8 Great Reasons to Go to Yoga with Friends
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You don’t need us to tell you that doing things with friends is fun. When you have company for something that you would have enjoyed by yourself as well, it’s double the fun, because you get to share it with someone you care for. When it’s something you don’t quite feel comfortable doing for whatever reason, co-opting a friend will make it fun. This is why we, Miriam and Cristina, decided to go to a wine and face yoga workshop together.
Of course, wine and face yoga sounds like a lot of fun in itself, with or without someone to accompany you. But the truth is that, by ourselves, we would have probably postponed it indefinitely and if we did manage to muster up the energy to go, we would have most likely not enjoyed it as much as we have.
Here’s why going to yoga with friends is way cooler than going alone, and how it went for us two. Also, we don’t know about you, but for us, yoga and wine sounds like the coolest thing one could possibly experience.
This is Miriam:
And this is Cristina:
1. If You’re a Yoga Beginner, It’s Easier to Bolden Up for Your First Class
I hadn’t gone to a live yoga class before (like, ever). But I did know lots of things about yoga on a theoretical level and was anxious to try it out for real. Still, if it was only me, I would have probably postponed it more. The fact that I could go with Cristina made it much easier. I thought: ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen? If I don’t like or if it gets weird or anything, at least I’ll have her to laugh about the whole thing afterwards.’
I had been to yoga before, but I still consider myself a beginner. In fact, one of my first incursions into the world of yoga was an intense hot yoga class (I wrote an article about it, so check that out!), which wasn’t the best introduction to yoga, just because it was so intense. But yes, I agree with Miriam on this, it’s so much better to have a mate with you when you’re a beginner, mainly because you can communicate through various looks and even giggle at times. Something along the lines of “this looks a bit weird, doesn’t it? Is it just me, or does this look weird to you?”
2. We Were Running Out of Other Things to Do
Having people to go places with is a blessing; having friends is a blessing, when so many people in the world struggle with loneliness. Still, when you are among the blessed, you tend to get bored of doing the same things. Going to the movies or shopping or having the occasional sleep-over can get repetitive. Even if the main highlight of the meeting is the talking and the catching up part, you may still feel the need for a change of setting. Enter yoga. It’s more meaningful that going to the gym, and it definitely provides a unique way of spending time together and getting to know each other.
Amen to this, Miriam! I feel I spend so much of my time doing the same things over and over again, which, even if they’re pleasant, can still become a tad boring. Yoga is truly a wonderful way to break out of your rut and even your comfort zone. It has so many benefits which you can feel as soon as the class ends. And having your friend right by your side when the class ends, makes it so much fun, because you get to chat about how your bodies are feeling, compare notes, and just connect and encourage each other to keep going.
3. Friends Can Hold Each Other Accountable
As with any training program or lifestyle regime, yoga takes commitment. Of course, yoga is more than any of that, but it’s beside the point here. The thing is that we all begin implementing changes that we have a hard time following up on. But when you start doing something with a friend, you can hold each other accountable for it. I know it will be much easier for me to keep up with my yoga sessions from now on if Cristina will ask me how’s it going. Regardless of whether she’ll be into it and will continue to go herself or not.
Yes, to all of this! Even though I enjoy yoga and working out in general, there’s still a side of me that wants to become one with the couch and immerse herself in Netflix completely. Having a friend pluck you out of your environment is awesome. There are times when the only thing that can move me off my couch is a friend, just because I don’t want to appear too lazy to them. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that, at least I hope I’m not! Regardless of your motivation, all that matter is that you show up and do the work!
4. Any Gym or Yoga Group of Strangers Can Be Intimidating
I don’t know how it is for others, but for me, being part of a group of people I don’t know, and engaged in a physical activity like yoga, feels a bit like exposure. It’s also the fact that I’m not used to it, probably, since I live more or less a couch potato life. But still, I would feel too vulnerable to expose myself into my hot yoga pants to a bunch of people I don’t know, if I were alone. With Cristina, I felt like it’s ok, someone’s got my back. It turned out that I liked the crowd, so, now I would probably be comfortable attending on my own, too.
When I first stepped foot in a gym as an adult, I felt more overwhelmed than ever! All those machines that I had no idea how they worked, those unapproachable trainers, the fit and fab people; it was terrifying. I wished I had someone with me to break the ice and share a laugh with. Within four sessions, the gym was my oyster and I felt happy and comfortable with most machines (although I’m still frightened by the assisted pull up machine and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it). It helps if you know what you’re doing. Now, whenever I join a new gym or go to a new class, I at least try to pretend I know what I’m doing if I can’t bring a friend along. Needless to say, I am a bit fan of the “fake it till you make it” aphorism.
5. ‘But What If I Don’t Like the Teacher?’
This was one of the little fears going through my head before the event. There are many styles of yoga and many different teachers out there. While everyone has a place and an audience, I will admit to being very picky with what I can digest in my personal life. I have an almost zero tolerance for self-help speech and its jargon, and I sometimes feel like some yoga teachers can be like that, too. Not that there’s something wrong with it if you’re into that. Still, with this possibility in mind, I felt much more comfortable taking Cristina along. It meant that I at least get someone I can roll my eyes with after the workshop is done. Thankfully, it wasn’t the case, my yoga teacher was super-cool and I look forward to attending her classes again!
Oh, having a friend in class when you don’t like the teacher makes it so much better! I had a yoga teacher for a short while whom I absolutely loathed. She was unapproachable, unhelpful, and on the highest horse I’ve ever seen. I took a friend with me one time, just because I couldn’t handle her alone, and it was so much fun! We rolled our eyes so hard, we saw our brains! And we had a great laugh afterward. When I was alone, I would just get mad at the whole thing, but with someone there, it just became fun. Needless to say, I stopped going to her classes.
6. You Get a Helping Hand
Since this was my first class and I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the whole idea, it made much more sense to have Cristina along than going by myself. If the teacher was about to do a pose or show us a movement to replicate, but which I don’t get right, at least I can whisper a bit with Cristina and see if she understood the same thing as me. With this back-up plan in mind and with my friend by my side, I felt much more comfortable to attend the exciting, but intimidating first-time yoga class.
Whenever you share a yoga class with friends, someone is bound to be more knowledgeable than you. This is a godsend when you don’t really know what you’re doing and you’re really new to the class. In most cases, the teacher isn’t making much sense to an absolute beginner, and you can just glance over to your friend and copy them. Or just whisper questions whenever you’re uncertain of things, it just seems more acceptable to interrupt your friend rather than the teacher! Of course, you should always tell the teacher that you’re new to their class but having a friend with you is always a good back-up.
7. Taking Turns Suggesting New Activities Is Fun
This workshop was my idea; as soon as I saw “face yoga and wine” I was sold. But next time we hang out together, it will be my pleasure to allow Cristina to surprise me with an activity she thinks is cool and that we should try. I think this is a healthy principle to live by in any friendship (or relationship). This allows you to go past your comfort zones, to experience the world through the eyes of the other and to have access to a more varied wealth of experience.
I love discovering new and interesting classes to try with friends! I’m having my eye on a Pilates reformer class that I would love to propose to Miriam, hopefully, she’ll agree! When Miriam proposed the face yoga and wine class I said yes without even Googling it. It just seemed so much fun and as a big fan of skincare and anti-aging lotions and potions, the idea that you could do yoga to try and slow down the passage of time on my well-oiled face appealed to me! Stay tuned for our thoughts on that class!
8. Bragging Rights
It’s a shame to admit it, but it is what it is. Sadly, not even enlightened beings like ourselves can escape the tentacles of the selfie culture. Last on our list, but still worth mentioning, is the bragging rights reason for going to yoga with friends. I’m not the type to check in all over the place or to actually brag about the places I visit, nor do I post more than 4 selfies per year. I really think this fact places me on the lower end of the spectrum for this cultural disease called attention seeking. But still, I felt very proud to go to this event with Cristina and to let the world know we are doing something so cool together.
Yes, I agree whole-heartedly with Miriam on this one. I did feel quite cool after we finished the class, especially because face yoga and wine meditation just sounds so awesome and I got to drop it into a conversation with friends and see their surprised faces. What can I say, we’re just that cool and New Agey!
Interested in taking up yoga and don’t know quite where to begin? Grab your friend, head on over to BookYogaRetreats.com, and book yourselves two spots on a yoga retreat for beginners and have the time of your life!