15 Tips for Getting Started With Yoga (and 5 Reasons to Give it a Try)
Updated on August 2, 2022 by Team ShineSheets
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No matter whether you are an avid gym goer or you are yet to take the first step along your fitness journey, you have probably heard of the benefits of yoga. But starting a new activity as a beginner can be intimidating – especially if you have been looking at Instagram-perfect shots of yogis performing advanced flows.
However, yoga isn’t just about complex asanas, headstands, and arm balances! This discipline is accessible to practitioners of all skill levels. What’s more, studies have found that you can see improvements in your flexibility, strength, and mental well-being in as little as six weeks!
5 Helpful Tips For Anyone Getting Started With Yoga
Here’s what you need to know.
Take a Look at Some Yoga Photos to Get an Idea of What to Expect
Instagram can be a great place to learn more about what yoga is about and what yogis do during a yoga class. However, those heavily edited photos of advanced yogis might be misleading and not paint a clear picture of what yoga is all about.
If you are looking to set your expectations, checking more authentic yoga images from Freepik, or asking a yoga teacher to tell you more about what happens during a yoga class can help you be better prepared when showing up for your first session.
Learn About the Different Types of Yoga
While most styles of yoga are based on the eightfold path described in Patanjali’s Sutra, yoga is a practice that has been developing extensively over the past 5,000 years. In turn, today’s yogis can choose the style that best suits their needs among a wide range of options.
Ashtanga, Hatha, Power Yoga, Vinyasa flows, and Yin yoga might be among the best-known ones, but you can also find restorative practices and new styles such as Hot Yoga, Acro Yoga, and Aerial Yoga.
Pro tip: get to grips with the lingo before your first yoga class. Yoga is an ancient discipline, and many of the terms used today derive from Sanskrit. This can make it challenging or confusing for beginners to follow a routine. Learning basic terms – such as prana, asana, bandha, and namaste – can help you navigate your first class more easily.
Find an Experienced Yoga Teacher
The number of yoga practitioners has been steadily increasing since the 1960s, growing by 50% just between 2012 and 2016 and surpassing the 300-million-mark in 2021. But as the number of yogis inflated, more and more people took yoga teacher training courses.
In turn, today, there is an unprecedented availability of instructors to choose from. But this isn’t a choice to be made mindlessly! The yoga teacher you choose will have a significant impact on your overall yoga experience. So, make sure to review their qualification, experience, and teaching style. Speaking to other yogis in your class can help!
Get a Mat and Comfortable Clothes
One of the greatest benefits of yoga is that you don’t need expensive or specialized equipment to get started. However, some must-haves will make your yoga class safer and more enjoyable. These include:
- An anti-slip yoga mat;
- Comfortable clothes;
- Yoga blocks (optional);
- Yoga strap (optional).
Don’t forget to carry a water bottle and a towel with you!
Understand That Each Person’s Journey is Unique – Don’t Compare Yourself To Others!
Yoga is a life-long learning journey, and it is a unique one for each practitioner. When getting started, you might be prone to comparing your flexibility or strength to the skills of other yogis.
But, keep in mind that the goal of yoga is to help you reconnect with your body and the environment while cultivating mindfulness and awareness.
5 Reasons To Give Yoga a Try
Recent studies have confirmed the importance of mind-body activities like yoga for mental, physical, and emotional health.
Here are five reasons to incorporate yoga into your gym routine or make it your go-to fitness activity:
- Yoga improves flexibility;
- Holding asanas can help you build muscle and strengthen your bones;
- Balancing postures can increase your core stability, balance, and spine health;
- Breathwork and pranayama can increase your self-awareness and reduce stress;
- Yoga classes are a great way to learn from others and make new connections.
More importantly, yoga is an affordable tool that everyone can access to improve their mental and physical well-being!
5 Ways To Start Your Yoga Practice
You can take a beginners’ workshop, look up online yoga tutorials, or even take a class to learn more about this exciting practice. It is important to choose an environment where you will not be interrupted. Moreover, it is important to select a yoga format you are familiar with or find some instruction on the internet to learn the sequences fast.
When you’re just starting out with yoga, you should consider joining a beginner’s workshop. These events provide the benefit of having a live instructor who will help you get in the right position and lead you through the major poses. As with any sport, proper form is vital, and a live instructor can provide immediate feedback and help you avoid injuries. Beginner’s workshops are also beneficial for those who want to take up yoga but have limited time or a schedule.
If you’re unsure about your yoga abilities, a beginner workshop can help you gain confidence and overcome any fear you might have. These workshops are designed specifically for beginners and start with standing poses. Unlike videos you can watch on YouTube, live instructors’ feedback and guidance are invaluable to a beginner’s practice. Plus, online courses tend to be cheaper than in-person workshops and books. Of course, they’re not as interactive as a live class, but the benefits are definitely worth it.
If you’re just beginning to explore the world of yoga, online yoga tutorials can help. Yoga classes vary widely in their methods, and some are even free. Online yoga tutorials can explain the basics of different styles of yoga, including the most popular one: the Sun Salutation. Some yoga tutorials focus exclusively on physical yoga techniques, but many cover mental and spiritual aspects as well. You can find a beginner’s program that will get you started, or try a more advanced class that is tailored to your needs.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to take a free trial of a premium yoga course. This way, you can see exactly what you’re getting into before you sign up. You can watch the video lessons on a subscription plan and try out different instructors, techniques, and styles. This way, you can find out if you’re comfortable with an instructor and decide whether online yoga tutorials are right for you.
Practicing at home
Practicing yoga at home can provide a wide variety of benefits. It is an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of yoga, without having to spend time traveling to a studio. Yoga is a holistic practice, which incorporates breathing exercises, meditation, guided visualization, and other elements to enhance the overall experience. For those who have a particular interest in a particular yoga style, practicing yoga at home can be especially beneficial.
You have more flexibility in choosing the time of day to practice yoga. Practicing yoga at home means that you can fit it into your schedule. Practicing early in the morning is a great way to keep your energy high and center yourself for the day’s to-do list. You don’t have to be tied to your schedule, or sacrifice sleep, either. You can practice yoga any time of day, and you’ll soon see that the benefits far outweigh the time you sacrifice.
Taking a class
Taking a class when getting started with the practice of yoga can be an excellent first step. Yoga classes usually follow a similar structure. The class starts with basic breathing exercises, then moves into a series of poses to build stretch and heat. You may also find that a yoga instructor will teach meditation before a class. A yoga class may be a good choice for beginners because it can help you build up your confidence in a class setting.
When starting a yoga practice, it can be intimidating to attend a class for the first time. You should be prepared for the class, arrive early and be on time. This will help you focus on your breath during the class. If you feel pain or discomfort, consult with a doctor before continuing your practice. In addition, yoga is very personal and can be challenging for your body. Therefore, it is important to listen to your body and set your own limits.
Taking a class at a studio
Taking a class at a studio can be an excellent way to begin yoga practice. It is beneficial for people who want to improve their physical condition and relax. Yoga is an excellent way to connect the mind and body and is also a spiritual practice. The benefits of yoga can last for a lifetime. During a yoga class, you’ll feel calm and notice your body. It can also help you release tension in your body.
When you attend a yoga class, make sure you arrive early. You’ll want to find a place to lie your mat, preferably facing the same direction as the other students. You’ll also want to ask for any props you need to do the poses correctly. After class, the instructor will often stay to answer any questions students have. Ask about introductory discounts and find out how to use these.
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