Yoga For Beginners!
Want to know how to get started with yoga? Before you grab your mat, here are things you need to know to get you started right.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a form of exercise that was first created in India. It involves a more relaxing and meditative form of workout wherein you execute various yoga poses. The different poses, done with the accompaniment of focused breathing and steady flow of movements, are meant to help strengthen and tone our muscles and joints. It is a type of activity that contributes to strengthening our physique and enhancing our flexibility.
Furthermore, yoga workout also helps with our mental and spiritual growth. It helps reduce our stress and anxiety and helps us have a better mood and behavior. It’s even proven to help us sleep better.
To sum it up, yoga is an essential part of our lives. It empowers our mind and body and is the best way to preserve a healthy body without engaging in excessively strenuous physical activities.
How To Get Started With Yoga?
As a beginner, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure of what to do to start yoga practice. To begin properly, you should learn yoga basics first. Get to know the styles of yoga, the terminologies, the flow, and others.
By familiarizing yourself first with this particular exercise, you will feel more connected to it. You will find it less intimidating and you will have an idea of what to do.
Here are the basic details you need to know before starting a yoga practice:
Styles Of Yoga
Yoga is a workout that has many types and variations. It is something more than just simple stretching or meditating. Every yoga style requires different poses to do and you can choose which type of yoga class you want to engage in depending on the needs of your body. There are basic styles of yoga and others that have special features or require more complicated movements.
1. Hatha Yoga
A style of yoga that is best for beginners, this is what instantly comes to mind when you are talking about yoga in general. Hatha yoga involves around 45-90 minutes of yoga poses, breathing, and meditation.
2. Iyengar Yoga
This style of yoga is centered on developing proper body alignment. It is made for the purpose of giving emphasis to detail and structural alignment through the practice of “asana”.
3. Vinyasa, Ashtanga, And Power Yoga
These types of yoga involve more powerful movements that can cause profuse sweating. These involve continuous coordinated movements that require proper breathing as well. If you are aiming to burn calories, then these are the yoga classes for you.
4. Kundalini Yoga
This is considered the style of yoga that “heals”. The practice of this yoga highlights the importance of meditation and also involves doing chants and engaging with spiritual elements.
5. Hot Yoga
This type of yoga practice involves being in a heated room or yoga studio. The temperature is cranked up for the purpose of making the yoga practitioner sweat profusely which helps with lower body strength, detoxification, and others.
6. Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga is a practice of the basic yoga asanas wherein you will be holding various yoga poses for a longer period of time. This yoga class often makes use of props as support to your body.
7. Power Yoga
This involves energetic and more vigorous movements. This is good for improving your body’s strength and endurance. It’s also a way to develop your cardio
As mentioned previously, yoga mainly revolves around your body executing various poses for the sake of leveraging your balance, improving your strength, and toning your muscles. There are many poses that the yoga instructor asks you to do in yoga classes and they differ depending on the type of yoga that you are in.
Keep in mind that the names of the yoga poses might vary depending on the yoga teacher. Some might be referenced in English or Sanskrit, or possibly even a combination of both. Among the common poses are the downward-facing dog or otherwise known as the “adho mukha svanasana”, the child’s pose or “balasana”, the war poses, and sun salutations.
Besides the poses, breathing is another significant part of yoga practice. Doing breathing exercises is a good idea to improve one’s health. According to a 2014 Medical Science Monitor Basic Research, yoga breathing really reduced the rate of blood pressure and breathing among both hypertensive and healthy volunteers. This is exactly why yoga gives emphasis on the importance of breathing.
Yoga Props and Supplies
When you are taking a yoga class, one of the things you need to prepare for is having your own supplies. The most important thing you need would be a yoga mat. In yoga studios, they often require you to bring your own mat. If you can’t afford to buy one for yourself yet, you can always rent one in yoga studios for a small fee.
Other props that you need for yoga would be bolsters, blankets, and blocks. The use of these supplies will depend on the type of yoga that you are doing.
However, if you are doing yoga at home, then you can try to be resourceful and replace the needed props with things you can find in your house as long as they can serve the needed purpose.
Yoga is all about stretching and becoming flexible. A lot of fluid movements are being done so the best thing to wear for this type of activity are stretchable pants, shorts, and tight or close-fitting tops. It’s important for you to be comfortable moving around without worrying about your clothes disrupting your workout.
Proper manners are needed to be observed when you’re joining a yoga class. Always remember to respect the yoga teacher, respect your fellow classmates, respect your own self, and most importantly respect the yoga practice itself.
Yoga involves a lot of meditating and relaxing which is why unnecessary noise and distractions should be avoided as much as possible.
What Happens In Yoga Classes?
Yoga is usually an activity done by a group of people in a class. This is what makes this particular workout exciting—you get to evolve physically, mentally, and spiritually with other people who might have the same goals as you. Furthermore, exercising yoga is much more of a good experience when you do it in yoga studios.
Doing yoga at home by yourself is also fine. Your home is a comfortable space for you to move around in and you can always watch a yoga video to follow. But if you ever find yourself interested in getting in actual yoga classes, here is the flow of how things go down.
Step 1: Checking In At Reception
If it’s in fact your first time joining a yoga session, you will be required to fill in some paperwork on the receptionist’s desk. This is to have your own record in the yoga studio. It’s a good idea for you to come in early so you can easily find a good spot in the studio.
Step 2: Finding Your Place In The Studio
Yoga is known to be a barefoot or “no-shoe” type of workout. Shoes are taken off at the entrance of the studio. Next, you lay your yoga mat down on the spot you think is good for you. If you have any questions or clarifications like for example if there are any additional props needed in the class, go ahead and approach the instructor. Also, it might help calm down your nerves if you tell the yoga teacher that it’s your first time.
Step 3: Get Ready Before It Starts
If you’re early and the class is not going to start right away, you can prepare yourself by doing mild warm-ups. This will help your body get ready for the poses that you will be doing later on. If not, you can sit quietly on the mat as you wait for your yoga instructor.
Step 4: Go Along With The Flow
As a beginner, you can just follow the flow when the yoga class is happening. Usually, it starts with the basic breathing and exercises which later on builds up speed and intensity. Yoga classes eventually calm down later on with deeper poses and meditation. Expect most classes to conclude with deep breathing and seated and lying poses such as the “savasana”.
Step 5: Question And Answer Portion
If you have questions or concerns about the class or any particular yoga pose that you would like to work on, most instructors stay behind after class to entertain them. You can ask them to know better about the workout.
Being a newbie, it might be exciting to indulge yourself in such a prominent workout. However, yoga is known to be a very personal type of exercise which basically means that what’s effective and workable for others might not be the same to you. You have to understand the fact that it’s important that you know and set your limits.
Do not get ahead of yourself and assume that you can do yoga easily right away. Take time to know your body and its capabilities. Go for the poses that are the safest for you, especially if you are just a beginner. It would be better for you to learn the more challenging poses later on rather than risk doing them right away and hurting yourself in the end.
Yoga: Myths Versus Facts
Yoga is not an exception to myths or fake facts. If haven’t heard any, here are some infamous ones:
Yoga is for girls only. Yoga is a kind of religion You need to be flexible in order to do yoga.
These are all myths because in actuality yoga is one of the most inclusive and accepting workouts of all. Everyone, whether you are a male or female or athletic or not, are more than welcome to join.
Yoga is not a religion. It is an exercise that goes beyond improving our physique. It is a form of meditative workout that helps improve our mood, behavior, and generally our perspective towards life. Practicing yoga motivates us to become better versions of ourselves.
How Many Times A Week Should A Beginner Practice Yoga?
According to some yoga experts, you will get to see the benefits faster the more often you practice yoga. One hour a day is better than once a week, but that isn’t always practical especially to those who have just begun.
Ideally, if you are a beginner at yoga, you can start off by practicing yoga at least two to three times a week in a yoga studio with a qualified yoga instructor guiding you. This way, you will get to adapt to the regularity of yoga practice. It’s important to start yoga slowly but surely because eventually, your body will be getting the hang of it. Take your time to navigate your way through every yoga class so you can learn in a meaningful way. Soon enough you will be practicing it more often. The more you practice, the easier you will get the best results.
How Do I Start Doing Yoga At Home?
If, in case you are not able to attend an actual yoga class, you can always do it within the four walls of your home. The advantage of this is you already feel comfortable moving around since you are in your private area.
How? Here are the things you need in doing yoga at home:
- Have your own yoga mat and other necessary props.
- Look for reliable yoga videos made by qualified instructors that you can easily follow.
- Make use of a spacious area in your home where you can move comfortably in.
- Stay committed and dedicated to the exercise and follow through.
- Make it fun! Yoga is about relaxation and being motivated to become a better version of yourself.
Are You Ready To Start Yoga Practice?
Yoga is a healthy and life-changing exercise. Making it a part of your life will surely affect how you go through your day-to-day routines. As a beginner, you probably have a lot to expect and to look forward to.
Just make sure to remember the things mentioned above and you’ll be good enough to start a yoga practice. Learn, adapt, and grow. When you start practicing, your body will not just develop but you will also soon start living the exercise. This is the best chance for you to experience a change that will surely uplift your life. Yoga will definitely leave a positive on your health and your life in general. It’s not just about strengthening your physical body but it will also help make you feel better every day.
What are you waiting for? It’s time for you to try practicing yoga to learn how to live a better lifestyle.