If you are new to yoga, it can all be a bit daunting.
Particularly as it’s a growing trend and there is so much contrasting information about what it is/isn’t, what to do and not to do.
So here’s a few tips to get you started…
9 Tips for yoga beginners
1. There’s nothing worse than a bad class with a bad teacher.
Make sure they are certified.
A yoga teacher should be trained with a 200 hour TTC, at least. Of course, this doesn’t always mean they are a great teacher, but at least they are qualified.
2. Don’t begin with hot yoga.
It may have it’s merits, but if you are a complete beginner with no experience, begin by learning the basic asanas (poses) and go from there. It is important to grasp the basics at first before moving on to experiment with other types.
3. Learn the basics with a good teacher.
A good beginner’s class will slowly introduce all aspects of a full class: the postures, perhaps a short vinyasa flow, a few simple pranayama (breathing) exercises.
4. Start with a weekly class.
If your body is not used to using these muscles, moving in this way, allow it to build up slowly. Once you are used to it, and you are starting to crave more, you can build up the frequency of your classes, but remember to start slow-your body will thank you for it.
5. Be curious, ask questions, learn about yoga.
Yoga doesn’t have to be just your class (although it can be just that, if it what you want). Read up on yoga in your spare time, learn about other styles, the history and philosophy, expand your learning. Ask your teacher to recommend some good books on yoga.
6. Don’t expect too much.
Your body is not going to change overnight. It takes a long time to adapt to a yoga practice. You will see a transformation at some point, but remember that it will be slow, having patience is important, without patience we can cause injury. Know that each class is doing you a world of good: inside and out.
7. Explore other aspects of yoga.
Many people start out with a weekly yoga class, but become so interested in this, that it leads to a whole lifestyle of different health choices. Explore meditation, ayurveda (Indian medicine), healthy eating and cooking, among many others!
8. Focus on you.
Develop your ability to listen to your body and mind. Use the breath as much as possible, and remember to acknowledge when you are tired or sick, don’t push yourself too hard, rest is just as important as your practice.
9. Enjoy it!
Whilst a yoga practice can be a challenge, it is also about relaxation, fun and feeling good. Smile throughout your class, and make it the highlight of your week.
How to get the most from yoga
The key is acceptance.
That is very easy for me to say “the answer is acceptance! Ok, thanks for your time.” But it doesn’t have to be as vague a concept as it sounds.
Next time you find yourself getting frustrated in a pose, remind yourself that this is the very reason why you need to practice that pose. The idea that ‘nobody is perfect’ is a good mantra to live your life by.
Everyone struggles with something, and if your frustrations happen to lie in your hips, your shoulders, your balance or your strength, so be it. Then these are the aspects that need the most work.
Looking for local yoga classes near you? Simply click the link to get started…