Yoga is increasingly becoming a pastime of choice for many, likely because of its simplicity, ease of use and its wholesome therapy for the psyche. The yogi/yogini status has come to be seen as symbolic over one’s inner and physical limitations. For an art with such pristine ways, and in terms of purpose and methods, there is more than meets the mat.
Why Practice Yoga?
Besides its potential to soothe the mind and body, people practice yoga for a number of health advantages. Poses like the tree pose and savasana require slow movements and deep breathing which boost blood flow and enhance the muscles.1 Studies have shown its efficacy to ease arthritis symptoms and reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and excess weight.
Yoga is gradually being incorporated into the programs of cardiac rehabilitation programs that find it highly valuable. Its other benefits are as far reaching as osteopenia, balance issues, diabetes, oncology, women’s health and chronic pain. Now woven into daily lifestyle in many cultures around the world, yoga is an ancient art of meditation and bodily exercise influenced by Hinduist theistic philosophy. The art exists astride both the meditative and physical realms. New entrants and old novices alike will need hacks to help them fare well in yoga’s Zen.
These highly useful tips will help beginners get the most out of their yoga routine
- Arrive early
Arriving some 15 minutes before the class helps a lot. You have enough time to get used to the environment, be familiar with colleagues and building (for convenience’s sake). Joining the class just in time or lately is likely to deny you the much needed calm and balance to flow on the mat. For virtual sessions it is equally important to get settled ahead.
- Set Specific Goals
As you follow your instructor’s cues, channel your focus on particular areas you feel you need to develop. It can be flexibility, balance or deep breathing. What this does for you is to ensure you are refining not just your poses but also fine tuning bodily imperfections. Setting goals should not be limited to studio sessions alone. Every time you get down to practice, be conscious about specific skills you want to improve on, one at a time.
- Process is everything. Stick to it
Process is very essential in yoga. As a beginner you might not get that click on your first trial. It is even possible you get it only for enthusiasm to wane subsequently. It’s totally fine to stop for a time and come back. While it can be tempting to give up and make a U-turn, don’t give in. Yoga is a cumulative practice; you get better each practice even if the results don’t show immediately.
It helps to try different styles of classes and even teachers (if necessary). Somewhere along the line, you will get that click and when you manage to overcome the urge to quit, you would be amazed how hugely positive the benefits of yoga can be in your life.
- Understand and Respect Your Limitations
We all have different and peculiar body conditions. Some people have underlying physiological issues, some injuries, some could be menstruating and some bodies are aged. You know your body best; choose only the styles that are suitable. Avoid practices that are risky to your health at a particular time.
- Don’t compare
Yoga is largely an internal exercise. It is about being in control of one’s inner energy, as much as it is about mastering one’s body. In both ways, you will see people who have mastered the art much better than you. Resist the urge to compare. It is so beside the point. Your growth is the goal: focus!
- The Kit
As a beginner, you don’t need to lavish on props but these are basic :
Yoga mat: For cushioning the hardness of the floor and preventing slipping
Yoga block: For stability while standing
Yoga strap: It helps you hold when your leg, foot or hand are beyond your reach
Yoga bolster: Supports spine, legs or abdomen while doing certain poses.
Blanket: Extra floor padding that provides you warmth and comfort at the end of a session in savasana.
- Most importantly, breathe!
Breathing is a core energy source in yoga. Through it you find healthy and profound harmony between your body and mind. Learn healthy breathing from the get-go.
These tips can be practiced from home. Highly professional and lovable yoga teachers are accessible via YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and apps. You have the luxury of assessing their content and choosing the one appear welcoming for your needs. Also warm up to the tons of free videos and tips on these platforms that cater to beginners’ FAQs. Namaste!
1,2,3,4. John Hopkins Medicine. “9 Benefits of Yoga”. Accessed January 14, 2021. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/9-benefits-of-yoga
- Merriam Webster Dictionary
6 Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. “Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat”. Published 2015. Accessed January 14, 2021 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-benefits-beyond-the-mat
7, 8, 9,10 Costa, Karen. “9 Tips for Beginning Yogis”. Accessed January 14, 2021.
11, 12, 13, Real Buzz Team . “Top Tips For Yoga Beginners”. Accessed January 14, 2021.