Yoga For Beginners

Yoga has become an increasingly popular form of exercise. Studios have popped up around the country, and form-fitting “yoga pants” are almost as common as jeans.

But before you can pop into crow pose or nail a sun salutation, you need to learn the basics. This article offers a guide for beginners to help you get the most out of your yoga practice.

Start Slow

The physical aspects of yoga are challenging for many people, but it’s important for beginners to start slow. Before you can pop your body into crow pose or even hold an Instagram-worthy pretzel, you need to learn the basics. This is why beginner classes and fundamental workshops are so popular for new yogis.

When you move slowly, you can focus on the instruction and pay attention to your body positioning and muscles. This helps you to build a rich internal experience of the poses instead of simply copying your teacher.

Most yoga sessions end lying flat on your back in Corpse pose, a stillness that challenges the mind to maintain its calm. Practicing this restful posture is one reason why yoga has such a profound impact on the health of its practitioners, both physically and emotionally. It also teaches the importance of abhysa, or consistent and diligent practice over time.

Find a Good Teacher

For beginners, a good yoga teacher can make all the difference. They need a teacher who can be both knowledgeable and patient. Beginners are likely to be unfamiliar with terms like mula bandha and ujjayi, so a teacher should avoid using yoga-specific terminology unless it is explained.

Beginners also tend to have a wide range of fitness levels, interests/reasons for practicing, learning styles and abilities/limitations. A great teacher will be able to adapt their lesson plan and guidance to fit the students in front of them.

For example, if your students have a tendency to overstretch, you might want to teach them to move more slowly. A good teacher will also be able to demonstrate each pose, as well as offer verbal guidance and support to help new yogis stay safe. They may also choose to model the poses themselves instead of just speaking about them. This helps beginners feel less intimidated and makes the teachers more relatable.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

When you start taking Yoga classes, you’ll want to wear clothing that is both comfortable and appropriate for the class you’re attending. Choose workout tank tops with low support and four-way stretch to move easily through poses. Also, avoid loose material that could get caught up in a pose or ride up to expose your belly.

It is likely that you’ll sweat in a yoga class, especially if the class is hot, so choose breathable fabrics that fit well and wick away moisture. You may also want to bring a sweater or jacket in case you get cold after leaving the yoga room.

Yoga pants are a good choice for beginners because they are formfitting and will not ride up or fall down during stretches. However, if you’re going to try hot yoga or a high-impact class, shorts might be a better option. They can help you feel more grounded in your movement. They can also make it easier to focus on your breath and body instead of worrying about your pants slipping down.

Listen to Your Body

Listening to your body is a core practice of yoga, where yogis learn to recognize a variety of signals that come from their physical, emotional and energetic bodies. These cues can be powerful, helping you to make healthy choices that are in your best interests. But it takes time to build awareness of your body’s signals and to understand what they mean.

As you progress, a consistent practice will help to reinforce the positive changes in your body and mind. Some advanced yogis maintain a daily home practice, while others prefer to attend group classes more frequently.

If you are new to yoga, try starting with a class that is designed for beginners or those with limited physical ability. Beginner-friendly classes are typically less physically challenging and focus on a slow flow. In addition, a beginner-friendly class is likely to be heated, which can help you to sweat and release toxins. Practicing in a hot room can also help you to build heat and endurance in your muscles, which can boost your strength and flexibility.