Guidelines for yoga beginners
Published on August 22, 2015
You’ve probably seen the pictures of fit and healthy women and men in complicated yoga poses in beautiful settings, but yoga can be practiced by anyone anywhere. Yoga is a spiritual and physical practice that will benefit both your body and mind. It has several benefits starting from its rich philosophy and ending with body stretches that will improve your health. As a beginner, gear up with some patience and enthusiasm. Follow these tips to enjoy yoga to the maximum.
Get a yoga master
If your experience with yoga is reading a few articles and seeing some nice photos, then you’ll need some guidance as a beginner. You have several options here. The best option is to have a professional yoga trainer to teach you the basic yoga poses that you can later on, practice yourself. Another option is to enrol in a class; there’s probably one in your gym. A yoga class will allow you to share the experience with others while still being guided by a yoga trainer. It is also a good way to socialize and make new friends before and after the session.
Don’t be demotivated if you can’t master a certain pose or can’t reach your toes. Yoga much like art comes slowly so be patient. If you’re in a class, don’t compare yourself to others who do a better job because every physique is different and you are still a beginner. You will only feel the full effect of yoga after some time. The aim is to train your body and mind.
Pick and choose
Yoga is different depending on what you want to achieve. You have to pick a class that matches your aim. Yoga for weight loss will be different from a class aimed more at relaxation. Ask advice or read the class descriptions. You might enjoy one more than the other, but ultimately you have to pick something that meets your goals.
Try out a few sessions and if you plan to continue, invest into a good yoga mat. Along with a mat, you’ll need a water bottle and the right clothes. Keep in mind that you will have to take a lot of different poses so make sure you wear tight and stretching clothes. Your yoga uniform has to be tight so the instructor could see your posture, and correct it if you’re doing it wrong. During the session you should be completely focused on yourself and not on the loose shirt that’s baring all your back.
Training your mind
Yoga requires time and dedication to see the results, so build up slowly by training your mind. Besides stretching and controlling your body, you have to also set your mind to it. The spiritual part of yoga is as important as the physical.
Correct breathing is of utmost importance in yoga. Do not rush during your session. Use your breath as guidance to create your own pace. It will benefit you more than trying to get into a pose as fast as possible. Relax and listen to your body’s natural rhythm.
Don’t push it
If you feel pain in any certain position, stop or take an alternative one. The main principle is to stretch and flex as much as possible, and just a bit more. Day by day you will get more flexible and strong – it’s a building process. You’re supposed to feel good after a yoga session, not strained.
Yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach and early in the morning. However, you can freely practice it any time of day and night, just be consistent with your sessions. If you do it at home, find a quiet place and make sure to visit it every day whether for 20 minutes or one hour. Add to the atmosphere by dimming the lights, turning on some soft music and a few scented candles – it will be the ultimate therapy for both body and mind.