Learn Basic Yoga Poses
Once you feel ready for the physical side of your yoga practice, you can start to mindfully experiment with yoga poses for beginners.
There is no need to try to jump into the more complex poses or to try to be as bendy as the person next to you.
In fact, you can begin your practice right at home with free yoga videos.
Wherever you begin, whether in a local yoga studio or with an online yoga video, there are a few basics to start with.
Start with postures, or yoga asanas, such as downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and savasana.
In each pose, focus on pressing your hands or feet into the floor, lengthening your spine, and relaxing your hips. If you keep this in mind as you practice, you will be working with each pose exactly as even the most devoted practitioners do.
C Beware And Be Aware
These are a few points of caution. Be clear and transparent about any issues at the outset. Only if your instructor knows your issues ahead of time, they will be able to help and guide you.
12. Let Your Teacher Know
Inform your instructor of your injuries and ailments to make sure you have a safe practice. If you have high blood pressure, heart conditions, or dizziness, your teacher must know. These ailments may be contraindicated, and your guide might modify a certain asana if it is not meant for you.
Also, as you are new to the practice, the stretching might cause your body to react in certain ways. Notice how your body feels. If anything feels very off to you, let your instructor know. Otherwise, you may gently notice your body opening in areas that havent been open before!
13. Yoga During Menstruation And Pregnancy
During your menstrual cycle, it is recommended to avoid inversions.
Also, if you are pregnant and want to start yoga, consult your doctor first. Consider prenatal classes. If you have been practicing yoga already, let your instructor know once your pregnancy is confirmed. She/he might modify some postures to make your practice comfortable. Meditation and relaxation techniques are highly recommended for the benefit of both mother and child.
Focus On Personal Goals & Needs
Different people come to yoga for different reasons, all looking for some of the many benefits yoga has to offer based on their own personal needs. Maybe its your anxiety youre taking to manage or your lower back pain.
Perhaps youve tried a few different yoga classes and have simply struggled to find one that feels like a good fit for you.
With so many different types of yoga and an endless list of instructors, going through the process of trial and error can take quite some time.
When you opt for private yoga lessons, you avoid that long and difficult process completely. Thats because you can choose exactly how your yoga class works.
Talk to your private instructor about what youre looking for, and theyll craft a class schedule that fits your specifications.
This is also great for people who find it difficult to do certain poses due to injury or mobility problems.
A private instructor can modify your poses and select ones that work around your particular challenges.
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There Are Many Styles Of Yoga
If youre scrolling through what seems like an endless list of classes, all with titles that mean nothing to you , Howe has a few tips to ease your selection stress. Think of the reasons you want to start your practice, she says. If youve never tried yoga before, maybe avoid the Power/Ashtanga type classes and Bikram . Get to know how your body feels in a regular temperature class, she suggests. When in doubt, Try many different styles, many different instructors, Howe says. Youll know what works best for you. Theres something for everyone or a style or flavor for every day of the week. After all, theres even face yoga.
Six Reasons To Start Your Mornings With Yoga
Originally published October 31, 2017 10:24 am, updated January 14, 2021
Whether youre an office worker, athlete or both, morning yoga is a great way to start the day. Polar ambassador Flavia shares six reasons why.
We all want to start our day with a big smile, not thinking about deadlines, traffic and other modern problems. But how can you achieve this state of mind? The answer could be yoga. Practicing first thing in the morning can have a positive effect on how your day is going. By allowing your body to stretch, your mind to be present and your lungs to inhale a big amount of oxygen, you help yourself be the person you want to be.
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The Next Steps Of Committing To Yoga
As you continue to practice, see if you can find a difference between yoga days and non-yoga days. Focus on the positive, such as feeling calmer or a boost in energy and mood. Each positive experience you associate with being on your mat will make it easier to commit to coming back again.
You want the benefits youve noticed to last, for every day to feel like a yoga day. If you feel confident in your practice, it may also be the time to initiate a home yoga practice.
No matter how short or simple, a regular even daily home practice is the stepping-stone to making the physical and mental changes youve noticed more permanent.
If youre short on inspiration, consider a private yoga session with a respected teacher, delve into yoga history and literature, or attend a workshop on a topic that intrigues you. The ancient practice of yoga offers countless pathways to real and concrete benefits. Now its up to you to find your way.
Build a foundation of good habits, such as diligence and consistency, to help bring your beginner mindset into the next stage. In the intermediate stage, you can focus on building strength and more nuanced moves.
How To Practice Yoga
Yoga is typically performed in bare feet on a sticky yoga mat with optional yoga props. The yoga movements and poses require clothes that can stretch and move freely with your body. You can purchase clothing specifically designed for yoga practice, but you can probably put together a comfortable outfit from your existing wardrobe to get started.
Yoga classes may use additional props, the most common being straps, blocks, blankets, and bolsters. You dont need to purchase these right away as you can easily substitute these items with scarves or neckties, a stack of books, and pillows. If you take classes at a yoga studio, they will provide everything that you need.
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What Does Om Mean
Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean?
Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling usthat the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.
Chanting Om allows us to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe movesthe setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chant Om, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.
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Free Download: 25 Ways Yoga Teachers Can Earn More Money
As yoga instructors, we are constantly challenged with coming up with new sequences and content to stand out in the crowded landscape. This can be exhausting. It takes continual practice, patience, and refinement week over week.
To create a yoga sequence is to create a work of art. Its not easily accomplished on a whim. The approach you take is crucial to the success of your class. Selecting each element with thoughtful and mindful consideration is a great place to start. Sharing this masterpiece is one of the greatest gifts of teaching It has the ability to change peoples lives!
But even with this incredible opportunity, come the unique challenges of sequencing.
The purpose of this article is to educate you on how to intelligently sequence a yoga class. This article is directed towards yoga sequences for teachers, but yoga students looking for inspiration in their home practice will also benefit.
I will show you my tried and tested formula on how to sequence a yoga class. Ill provide posture and transition examples, and you will learn more ideas to layer on top of a linear sequence. Youll walk away able to easily integrate what youve learned into your own class all in a safe and effective manner.
Are you ready to dive in? Good. Me too.
Pin me Then keep reading!
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Undeniable Reasons You Should Be Doing Yoga
Ah, yoga, we love you so.
There’s a reason the ancient practice has stood the test of time. Yoga is a total mind-body experience, with both physical and mental benefits. Not to mention the fact that there are endless options, making it one of the most versatile ways to work out.
But don’t just listen to us wax poetic about the practice — allow the science to speak for itself. In honor of the International Day of Yoga, below are 10 research-backed reasons to incorporate more yoga in your life:
Does Yoga Count Towards My 150 Minutes Of Activity
Most forms of yoga are not strenuous enough to count towards your 150 minutes of moderate activity, as set out by government guidelines on exercise.
However, yoga does count as a strengthening exercise, and at least 2 sessions a week will help you meet the guidelines on muscle-strengthening activities.
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How Much Yoga Should I Do As A Beginner
People who are just starting yoga can follow the same guidelines listed above, with a few additional suggestions.
According to Yoga52 instructor Odette Hughes, yoga beginners should listen to their bodies to know whats right for them. Starting with one class a week is a good general guideline so that you can gain familiarity with the postures and new ways of moving, Hughes says. When you start feeling like you need more challenge, then start to increase your practice duration or do a harder class.
But be cautious of overloading right out of the gate. I see folks go hard and fast for months only to burn out, Brooks says. This is where listening to your body really comes into play. If you feel like your body needs time to rest between yoga classes, then let it rest. If you feel discomfort or pain in a pose or movement, then modify it or opt out of it.
Pain is your bodys signal that something is not working for it, Hughes says. Even if another person doesnt feel the same thing in the same pose, you need to listen to your own body. As long as you do this and dont push yourself too hard, yoga will be therapeutic and not too taxing to your body.
How Should I Breathe While Practicing Yoga
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Youll encounter different breathing techniques in your future practicing yoga. In beginner yoga, the only one you need to think about is Oceanic Breathing, or Ujjai Breath. Allow the breath to flow in and out smoothly like an oceans wave. If you want you can even count to 3 or 4 for each inhale and again for each exhale. Yoga-teacher-to-the-stars, Kristin McGee, shares helpful tips on how you can breathe properly while practicing yoga.
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Is Yoga Right For You
Yoga is accessible for just about everyone.
If you have a medical condition or a recent injury, it can be challenging or dangerous to do certain types of yoga, specific poses, or breathing techniques. Usually, there are alternatives or modifications that can allow you to practice safely, and many common complaints have specific yoga therapy remedies. If you are recovering from an injury or are in poor health, we recommended consulting with a physician or other qualified health care professional before beginning yoga.
While you may feel some intensity in the belly of your muscles while in a yoga pose, you should never feel pain, especially in the joints. A sharp or intense pain is your bodys signal to tell you to stop, back off, and take it easy.
To Improve Your Breathing Throughout The Day And Help You Focus
Start your day with being conscious about your breathing and state of spirit. Breathe slowly, meditate and let your emotions guide you for a while so as to get to know your body. Youll see that yoga is also about taking fewer breaths of a greater volume so your lungs will be happy first thing in the morning.
Yoga teaches you to be present, to hear your breath, to listen to your body, to see how you feel in that moment. That is why, after practicing yoga for a while, you start to be more self-conscious, you improve your coordination and you can focus more on tasks because you already know how to manage all your emotions and to listen to all your needs.
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We Know Some Of You Will Be Missing Your Live Studio Classes Right Now But Practicing At Home Has Loads Of Benefits Too Here’s How To Make The Most Of It
Having a home yoga practice has loads of benefits. You can practice anywhere , day or night, and you dont need much in the way of equipment. Theres a huge range of teachers and classes at your fingertips, plus, its also pretty inexpensive. You even do it in your pjs!
Best of all, having a home yoga practice teaches you to pay attention to your own body, without worrying what anyone else in class is doing. It encourages you to understand what you need on any given day and practice in a way that supports you physically, mentally and emotionally.
What Sort Of Class Should I Choose
There are many different styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga, Iyengar and Sivananda. Some styles are more vigorous than others, while some may have a different area of emphasis, such as posture or breathing. Many yoga teachers develop their own practice by studying more than one style.
No style is necessarily better or more authentic than any other. The key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level.
No specific qualifications are required to teach yoga in the UK. However, it’s generally accepted that teachers need to be insured. Some teachers may have a teaching certificate and accreditation from a yoga association.
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What Do The Experts Say About Yoga
In this next section, we interviewed eight experts to find out how practicing yoga has:
- affected their lives
- introduced benefits
- changed since they started as beginners
They also included any advice you might need to know as a new student or someone with any potential medical concerns or injuries.
Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.
What Kind Of Gear Do You Need
It’s not necessary to buy anything to start a yoga practice. “Early yogis practiced on kusha grass and in nature,” Barkataki says. “You don’t need certain props, clothes, mats, or a certain body type to practice yoga,” she adds. “These are misunderstandings that can be a distraction from yoga’s true aims.”
While you can practice in the grass or on a carpet, a quality yoga mat is a good investment if you’re practicing on a hard surface, plus it’s required at many studios.
Harding says that two cork yoga blocks, like these from Manduka, can be helpful to find more stability and proper alignment. But if you don’t have blocks, no worries, you can always use books as a stand-in.
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My Simple And Final Conclusion: It Is Tradition
Personally, I find tradition and rituals fascinating and fulfilling. They enrich our lives with mindfulness, and, perhaps, our culture doesnt value them enough. In the end, whether you decide to start with your right side or left, do it mindfully and intentionally.
Remember which side you start with so you can do both sides and walk away from your practice feeling more balanced.
Follow Your Bodys Lead
If youre used to following a particular sequence or type of class, just once a week close your laptop or book, get on your mat and do your own thing. This can feel really daunting at first but ignore that nagging worry that you wont know what to do yoga doesnt need to be a seamlessly structured series of poses. Just get on your mat and wriggle around for five minutes doing what feels nice for your body, or perhaps just sit quietly.
Build up to it by adding your freeform practice at the end of a shorter online class or sequence. Just pause the video before Savasana and restart it when youre done if you prefer to be guided. Any time that you take to tune in to truly listen to your body and let it lead the way, rather than your mind, is yoga.
Any time that you take to tune in to truly listen to your body and let it lead the way, rather than your mind, is yoga. SHARE QUOTE
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