Yoga is a great way to get into shape, strengthen your muscles and stretch. It also helps you relax and improves your mental wellness.
When you start taking yoga classes, look for beginner classes or those marked for people of all experience levels. These classes will be slower and focus on basics like breathing techniques and physical postures.
Yoga is a popular workout that strengthens the body while improving balance, flexibility and strength. But, as with any workout, it’s important to start slowly and at your own pace.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor before you begin yoga. Some health conditions make this type of exercise not a good fit.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to find a class or online video that will guide you through the basics of yoga. But with so many classes out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Try to stick with classes that are meant for beginners or those that specialize in yoga for people of all experience levels. And, if you’re a true beginner, don’t worry if your classmates are more advanced than you are- everyone learns at a different speed. Taking your yoga practice at home is another option that allows you to work at your own pace. It also gives you the opportunity to try different yoga styles.
While the idea of trying to balance on one foot or contorting your body into an Instagram-worthy pretzel may be daunting, it’s important to remember that yoga is a practice. It’s not a competition or a workout, but rather a holistic process that’s meant to align the mind, body and spirit through movement, breathing exercises and meditation.
As a beginner, it’s a good idea to stick with a non-heated class that focuses on basic poses and postures, says Claire Grieve, a certified yoga instructor and stretch therapist. She recommends starting with a Vinyasa or Hatha yoga class.
You can also find beginner classes at some studios, and many online yoga instructors offer beginners-only classes to help you build confidence in the poses. Jonelle suggests dedicating 10 to 30 minutes a few times a week—and making it a habit—to get started. This is how you’ll start to see results and build a solid foundation for your practice.
A breathable yoga mat, a water bottle and a small towel are three pieces of equipment that are essential for yoga beginners. Depending on your style of yoga, you may also want to invest in a few other props.
For example, beginners who take Iyengar classes will become nit-picky about physical alignment, and may need a yoga block to help them achieve poses. Beginners should also consider a yoga strap to support them when attempting to perform binds such as Cow Face Pose or King Pigeon pose, by allowing them to reach their hands farther apart than they could without it.
Another great piece of beginner yoga equipment is a folded blanket. During class, it can be used as a blanket to lay on for added comfort during relaxation or as an additional support when performing certain poses, like Dancer or Bird in the Air Pose, by wrapping one end of the blanket around the back of the shoulder to increase ease of reaching.
With a little time and patience, yoga can be one of the most rewarding workouts for beginners. And, unlike other fitness programs that require elaborate equipment, you can practice a basic yoga routine using just a mat and some comfortable clothing.
When choosing a class, it’s important to find one that’s safe for your current physical condition and any injuries you may have. It’s also a good idea to let the instructor know you’re a beginner and any issues you have that might require pose modifications.
The structure of a yoga class varies, but most classes include some combination of poses, breathwork, and meditation. In addition, some yoga styles place more emphasis on a specific component of the overall philosophy. For example, the eight connected limbs of yoga include asana (poses), yamas (philosophical principles for self-care, such as cleanliness and mindfulness), niyamas (practices for internal discipline), pranayama (breathing exercises), dharana (concentration), and samadhi (meditation). You can find many different types of yoga classes online or in person.