How to Get into YogaSeptember 14th, 2012
Yoga is an ancient exercise and meditation practice that has become increasingly popular all across America in recent years. Yoga focuses on breathing, meditation, flexibility and strength. Many people practice yoga to ease physical and mental tension, and also because it can be an effective strength building and toning workout.
Getting started with yoga can be a little intimidating at first, especially if you know little about it or aren’t particularly flexible. However, most yoga studios offer yoga classes for beginners and you’ll likely be surprised at just how welcoming and non-judgmental most yoga classes and practitioners are. If you want to get into yoga, but don’t know where to start, here are some tips for helping you begin your yoga journey:
Choose the Type of Yoga You Want to Practice
A lot of people have the misconception that yoga is a one size fits all type of exercise, but there’s actually a huge amount of different types of yoga out there. Each type can differentiate hugely from one another, so it’s important that you choose a yoga type that suits your exercise and meditative goals the most.
Popular yoga practices include:
See here for a comprehensive list of all of the main types of yoga practiced in America.
Pick a Class or Studio
Now that you’ve narrowed down a type of yoga you want to try, you’ll need to find a class or studio that offers it. If you have a gym membership, your gym may offer this type of yoga class and the chances are you live fairly close by to many yoga studios. Use online review sites such as Yelp to help you find top rated yoga studios, and also look for any online deals or coupons that are available. Many yoga studios offer free one week trials or cheap bi-weekly deals, so definitely look out for these.
Prepare for Your Class
If you’re a little nervous about what to expect from your first class, do a little online research before hand. Watch YouTube videos of practices and find out what you’re expected to bring to class. You may need to invest in a yoga mat (although most gyms and studios provide on site mats) and you’ll want to bring plenty of water with you. Also make sure that you wear comfortable and loose clothing to your class, as this will help you move from position to position more freely. Attending your first yoga class can be a little daunting, but if you prepare in advance you should be fine.
Take it Easy
Even if you start off with a yoga 101 or yoga for beginners class, you still might find yourself trying to compete with other class goers. Try to always go at your own pace and don’t over extend yourself. It’s important to gradually ease into yoga, because forcing yourself into tough stretches and poses could result in serious injury. Also note that yoga shouldn’t be based on competitiveness or being the most flexible, it’s about building on your own capabilities and enjoying your personal progress.
Practice from Home
If you’re only intending on going to a yoga class once or twice a week, it’s a good idea to practice basic yoga poses each day from home. Even if you only take a couple of minutes out of your day to stretch, you’ll soon begin to see major progress and find your yoga classes easier. Moreover, if you can’t remember a lot of your classes moves, try looking up yoga for beginners online and use online tutorial videos to help you finesse your poses. Yoga is more than just attending a class, it’s a lifestyle.
Once you’ve taken a couple of yoga classes, you could easily catch the yoga bug and be hooked for life. Yoga is a great workout and can really help cleanse your mind of stress and worry. Use the above tips as guidance and give yoga a try – discover this amazing ancient practice today!