I’m psyched to have my good friend Zaneh on the blog today! I met Zaneh a few years ago when my parents first moved to Florida. I found out about a local yoga studio having a yoga class in the park and decided to go.
The thing about Zaneh is that she’s such an incredible teacher and inspiration. We’ve been flowing together on and off on Saturday mornings for years. And while I know she’s a master (you get this from watching any of her IG vids), she’s also a really talented teacher. She’s gentle, warm and flowing together has been such a gift.
What’s even cooler is that she’s starting to share flows on YouTube! She’s also hosts IG Live classes on Saturday mornings at 9am EST to help us get our flow on while quarantined.)
I wanted to have Zaneh on the blog (and on Instagram Live) to ask her tips and tricks for getting started with yoga. Yoga has been a tool that I’ve used to navigate uncertain times and find peace. I feel like in times like we’re currently living in with Coronavirus, having these kind of self-care tools in our tool belt is so important.
So, let’s get into the interview!
Welcome Zaneh! Pysched to have you here! ???? When and how did you get into yoga?
I started yoga in 2015 after finally addressing some health issues at the time. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) and was starting to experience reactive hypoglycemia from different stressors. Exercise was one of those stressors that would cause my blood sugar to drop. It was just too stressful on my body at the time. So a friend invited me to try hot yoga with her one day. After my first class I was hooked. It was a form of healthy movement that my body responded well to. From there, I found yoga on Instagram and got hooked on all of the challenges and inspiration from so many other people all over the world. The IG yoga world has been such a welcoming atmosphere and really helped me stay focused in my practice; the challenges gave me something to work on each day.
How did you become such a strong yogi? Was it daily practice/challenging yourself with new poses?
Daily practice for sure! I have been naturally strong my whole life but not as strong as I am now. I will say this: yoga is complementary to fitness as much as fitness compliments yoga. Meaning- you should be doing both! Strength and flexibility should be worked and practiced together to help keep a nice balance in the body. I will also add that yoga is much more than just the asanas or poses. With working the fundamentals of yoga, you will see far more growth in your practice than just focusing on nailing a pose.
How often do you practice?
Daily. With the exception of Sundays. I usually rest completely on Sunday but I may just end up doing some gentle movements first thing in the morning or before bed. Sometime 15- 30 minutes, sometimes longer. But I definitely make sure that my feet hit the mat, even if I just lay there that day. 🙂 Once your body feels the benefits of yoga, it’s almost like it craves it. There is this sense of familiarity when my feet touch the mat. Like I am home . <3
What benefits do you get from yoga?
Both physical and mental. 🙂
Have any tips for creating a great yoga routine? First thing in the morning? Have a special spot in your house? Candles?
Setting a space in your house is great. Is it necessary to have candles and and oils etc? No. At least not in my opinion. It’s a great start and I did it all haha:) But at the end of the day, you need nothing more than your body and breath. Definitely find a time that works for you. If you’re not a morning person, don’t try to force yourself to get up to take a class. Do it when it’s most convenient for you. Carve out time each day or even every other day.
Any advice for beginners?
Take a class in a studio. If you don’t like it, take another class. Try a new instructor. Find someone you connect with and then go frequently to learn the basics. At least go to a studio for the very first class. It’s hard to follow along virtually when you really have no idea what you’re doing. Classes can get expensive, but lots of studios will have new student discounts. Once you have the basics, you can start to practice from home. You don’t have to take an in person class but I highly recommend it. Also there are SO many different styles of yoga, so if your not sold on the one class you took,explore the options and try a different style. Talk to the instructor, ask them questions and tell them what your body is looking for or needing. If you don’t know what your looking for that’s okay too. But be willing to ask and learn and grow because yoga is for everyBODY and everyONE.
Do you have any resources for getting started with yoga from you or any other yogis you follow?
YouTube is a great platform with so many instructors! Yoga with Adriene is a great source for beginners. Sarah Beth Yoga is also great and offers a wide variety of classes ranging from 10 minutes to and hour. I also love Leigha Butler Yoga, as she adds some options for you to grow in your practice. She is a bit more advanced but she shows modifications and things you can work towards. Again, try out studios. Try new instructors frequently.
How about gear? What’s your top recommendation for:
- Yoga mat – Manduka Yoga mat hands down!
- Blocks- Clever Yoga has a great set of Blocks and straps
- Straps- Go Clever Yoga
- Yoga clothes- @WahiYoga– use code Wahitribezaneh
- Yoga clothes – @NamasteFitLife https://namastefitlife.com/ (Discount code: Yogizee)
- Yoga clothes – @Yogavated_athletics https://yogavated.com/collections/energy-collection (Discount Code: YogiZee)
- Also @Yogabody https://www.yogabody.com/
- Any other gear you recommend for beginners?A Yoga Wheel! (Any brand)