If you have always been fascinated with yoga but hesitant to start because you are new to the whole ‘yoga thing’, then worry not. Almost everyone started their journey at the same juncture with a bit of curiosity mixed with “will I be able to do it?” These unique beginners’ yoga tips will ease your journey into yoga practice and enable you to reap the advantages of yoga. Who knows, pretty soon it will be you posing against a beautiful sunrise doing the ‘Salute to the Sun
1. Understand yoga
Yoga is not simply about twisting your body into tough, impossible shapes, it is a truly holistic practice. Neither is it about touching your toes or doing a headstand. Before you start your yoga journey, remember that the word Yoga simply means a ‘union’. It is the process of uniting with yourself with the help of your breath, mind and body. Don’t worry too much about your flexibility or the clothes you wear. Just pick clothes that allow you to stretch and move comfortably.
2. Pick a good beginner’s class
The teacher or guru is a key factor to your yoga experience. Choose a qualified yoga teacher who can guide you through the correct path of Yoga. This means an emphasis on the correct technique and postures for doing yoga asanas to avoid injuries. The right teacher will also develop an interest in the appropriate breathing techniques. It may seem daunting at first, but keep an open mind to broaden your horizon and make the most of your yoga experience.
3. The basics
All you need is a yoga mat and bare feet to get started. It is important to choose the right mat. Luckily you can Buy at AnaHeart very easily. Clothes that are comfortable and let your skin breathe are the best. For gentler, slower classes dress warm or if it is an intense class, you could go for shorts and a t-shirt.
Some schools of yoga also use additional equipment such as straps, bolsters, blocks, ropes and chairs. However, for a beginner it is not necessary to invest in these. Your studio will provide you with all the equipment and accessories you need at first.
So, at the outset, you don’t need to invest in much except some comfortable yoga wear and a yoga mat.
4. Warm-up exercises before yoga
The ideal way to start a yoga session is by doing gentle warm-up exercises also known as Sukshma vyayam. These help in loosening up the body and preparing the mind to focus on the yoga class. Take a look at these quick warm-up exercises:
- Massage your head, eyebrows, nose and cheeks.
- Rotate your neck clockwise and anti-clockwise to relieve stiffness.
- Pump your shoulders up and down and shake off your hands.
- Take a couple of deep breaths and observe your breathing.
- Keep hydrated
Water is essential for any physical activity and this includes yoga. Ensure that you drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day. Also remember to carry your water bottle to the yoga class because you will sweat and feel thirsty.
A yoga diet is a light one that contains slower carbs and plenty of fibre. Include more oatmeal, grains, fruits and vegetables. Limit your caffeine intake. Keep your meals light before yoga practice. Never practice on a completely hungry stomach as you may feel lightheaded.
7. Be mindful of the space
Since yoga classes are packed out, be mindful of the space you use and leave around so that there is a respectful sharing of space. Accidents happen and people sometimes knock over each other but it is important to cultivate a sense of humour about it.
8. Slow and steady wins the race
The ancient yoga guide Patanjali Yoga Sutra defines yoga asana as Sthira Sukham Asanam. That is, only do as much as your body allows comfortably and then just a bit more to improve your flexibility. Your breath is a good reference point. If it is light and long, then the muscles relax, but if it is uneven or labored, you have exerted beyond your capacity.
This is not to say, you must not go beyond your comfort zone. Make slow and steady progress, testing yourself bit by bit as you move ahead in the journey.
Following these tips will help you to overcome your hesitation and get started with your yoga saga. Yoga is not just asanas but also a way of life, pranayama and meditation, that transcend beyond the body and offer you spiritual growth as you progress.