Updated: Nov 7, 2022
The benefits of practicing yoga are many including increased flexibility, improving stamina, weight loss and stress management. But yoga is so much more than just practicing to get in shape. It has physical and mental benefits and it becomes your philosophy, your passion and a way of life. The challenges of being a beginner in yoga are nothing that you can’t handle.The good news is that there are many ways to make your yoga routine work for you, even if you only have a few minutes every day. We want your practice to be successful from the first time, so we have compiled some helpful tips for the aspiring yogis to get the most out of this experience. You can even use these yoga tips if you only have a few minutes to dedicate to your practice.
1. Find the appropriate style of yoga for you
Yoga is an incredible form of exercise, but it is not a one-size-fits-all practice. It can take time to find the right type of yoga for you. There are many different styles of yoga classes. Some are physically demanding and exhausting, while others are relaxing and restorative. During the yoga sessions, some instructors play music or involve spirituality, while others do not. Ultimately, it’s important to research the type of class you're looking for and learn more about the teacher before you book your spot. An instructor with experience can help navigate this process.
2. Learn the names of the poses (asanas)
Yoga is a philosophy that originated in India, so it has both Sanskrit and English names. For example, adho mukha svanasana is more commonly known as downward-facing dog, while urdhva mukha svanasana is more commonly known as upward-facing dog. You may hear both of these names in the studio. Even if you've never taken a yoga class before, you may be familiar with some poses. Mountain pose, Child pose, Warrior 1 pose, Sun Salutations will be some of the asanas you ‘ll learn at your first yoga classes.
3. Start classes with a experienced yoga teacher
You can teach yourself yoga at home, but it's important to try a few classes with an experienced instructor that is certified by the Yoga Alliance. To do yoga safely, it is better not to practice yoga alone if you are a beginner. A few hours of instruction is all that it takes to increase your expertise, and can be found at local studios. Seek out a yoga instructor who has Yoga Alliance-certified training and has more than 200 hours of experience teaching. He can help you with the correct posture for each yoga pose by giving personalized cues and hands-on adjustments.
4. Introduce yourself to your teacher
It's important to let your yoga teacher know about any injuries or sensitivities you may have before class, so they can provide you with safe alternatives if necessary and give you guidance on how to work through your condition. A seasoned instructor will be able to tell you about any contraindications or give you alternatives for the class and advise on how to work with your condition.
5. Choose the right yoga mat
Yoga studios and gyms offer mats, but some yogis prefer to buy their own mats for hygiene and/or because mats differ in material, density, and stickiness. When choosing a yoga mat, make sure it offers a stable surface and is made from a material that you can easily grip. A sticky mat will help beginners who have trouble balancing. To keep your mat clean you can use antibacterial wipes.
6. Comfortable clothing is a must
You need to make sure your clothes are comfortable and allow for free movement. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any clothing that is too loose-fitting as it will get in the way if you want to try more advanced poses that require this type of form. Yoga clothes that are too loose may get in the way of poses such as headstands and handstands.
7. Take one step at a time
One of the most important things to remember when you start a new habit is that consistency is key. Remember that success comes with routine. So, start small and manageable. Try starting with a small amount of time, like 10 or 15 minutes per day. If that feels manageable, then gradually increase your routine. If you want to reap the benefits of yoga, make sure you find the time in your week for the practice.
8. Bring mindfulness to the mat
Yoga is all about the mind-body connection. The science of yoga is based on the idea of mindfulness. In a yoga class, you will learn to do poses while also being instructed to listen to your body and notice your breath. Yogic breathing is part of yoga and can help improve the overall well-being by reducing stress. Yoga is a well-rounded workout that allows you to scan your entire body and reflect on how you feel in each pose.
9. Don’t go beyond your limits
Yoga is a journey of self-improvement. Don't push yourself too hard. If something makes you feel intense pain, don't do it. It can be tempting to take the more difficult variant, but you should listen to your intuition and body and take a break if needed. One of the tricky things about yoga is that poses can have different levels. It can be tempting to get to the more advanced level even when your body is telling you not to. Also, don’t hesitate to use props. It is not a sign of weakness to use props, it actually means that you're patient and listening to your body.
10. Adapt your eating and drinking habits
You can also take a bottle of water to every yoga class but take up the habit to drink water during the yoga practice. Drinking water during a yoga session is not recommended, since it goes against yoga's basic principles and diminishes the benefits you get from this practice. Also, have a light meal two hours before your yoga class, because if you eat right before practice, you may have a mild feeling of heaviness.