When you are brand new to yoga, it can feel intimidating and difficult to know where and how to get started. This article aims to give you all the tips, guidelines and recommendations you will need to start a successful yoga practice.
Yoga is in no way exclusive – being able to practice yoga does not matter how old you are, how much you weigh, what you do for a living, where you live or what religion you practice. Yoga is accessible to just about everyone. If you have a medical condition or recent injury, it can be challenging or harmful to do certain types of yoga, specific postures or breathing techniques. Usually there are alternatives or modifications that can allow you to practice safely. If you are in poor health or recovering from an injury it is recommended that you consult a physician or other health care practitioner before you start.
Whilst you may feel some intensity in the belly or your muscles whilst in a yoga pose you should never feel pain especially in the joints. A sharp pain or intense pain is your body’s signal to tell you to stop, back off and take it easy.
What is the best Yoga for Beginners?
If you are out of shape or extremely inflexible it is recommended that you begin with a gentle practice until you have built up the strength and flexibility for more challenging sequences. If you are a relatively fit and flexible person you should be able to jump right into a regular hatha yoga class. Once you are familiar with the basic postures, you can explore a vinyasa or flow class. When you have built up some physical strength and endurance you may wish to try an Ashtanga, Bikram or hot yoga class.
How to Practice Yoga
Yoga is typically performed in bare feet on a yoga mat with additional yoga props. The yoga movements and postures require clothes that stretch and move freely with your body. You can purchase clothing specifically designed for yoga practice, but you can probably put together a comfortable outfit from your existing wardrobe to start off with.
Yoga classes may use additional props, the most common being straps, blocks, blankets and bolsters. You do not need to purchase these right away as you can easily substitute them with scarves, a stack of books and pillows.If you take classes at a yoga studio, they will provide everything you need.
Your First Yoga Practice
It is recommended that you start with a short and straight forward yoga session and slowly build up from there. Once you feel comfortable with a few beginner postures you can incorporate them into a sequence and continue to add more challenging poses. Make sure you follow the essential components of a yoga practice: breathing, meditation, asanas and relaxation.
How Often Should I Do Yoga?
If you can practice yoga 3 or more times per week you will see significant improvements in your flexibility, range of motion, strength, balance, inner peace and overall well being. Practicing yoga less than this amount will still be beneficial, but you will see smaller improvements over a longer period of time. Like most things the more time you can dedicate towards it, the more benefits you will receive.
How to Improve After Starting
Patience, commitment, repetition and consistency are the keys to developing and progressing in the practice of yoga. After you have found a style, teacher and yoga studio that works for you, try these tips:
- Commit to a regular schedule of classes or home practice
- Increase the length of your practice and the number of days per week that you practice
- Attend yoga workshops that focus on specific aspects of yoga in more detail
- Read and study to learn more about yoga
- Find sources of inspiration
- Adopt a yogic lifestyle
- Make friends and get involved in a community of yogis
Published on yogabasics.com