Most often people look at long term practitioners get into pretzel shaped poses and decide yoga is not for me as I am not that flexible or bendy. Reading these basic yoga tips for beginners may ease your anxiety and intimidation of stepping into a new class.
1. You don’t have to be an ace tennis player to learn the sport, likewise you don’t have to be a yogi/ yogini to begin the practice. Just begin at whatever level you are and a steady committed practice will take you a long way.
2. Find a class that suits your needs. There are different types of yoga. Click here to find out which one is for you.
3. Many studios offer different levels of classes and also open level classes. You can either look for beginner classes or open level classes. If you don’t find any beginner level classes in your area start with a gentle Yoga session.
4. Find a good Yoga teacher in your area, you can always watch videos and practice at home, but it is equally important to learn and practice yoga with a certified teacher as they will help you on your journey and also with alignment. You could check for reviews or visit a couple of teachers before you find the teacher that resonates with you, as every teacher’s style varies.
5. Before you begin your practice, it is essential that you discuss your health condition with the teacher and also imperative that you get a consent from your health practitioner.
6. Arrive 5-10 minutes early as this helps you to settle down and gives you time to talk to the teacher if you have any concerns. You can also get to know other students and socialise with them.
7. As with any exercise form it is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. Avoid heavy meals before the practice. Have a meal two hours before and a beverage or light snack (like a fruit / two biscuits) half an hour before the practice. If you smoke avoid smoking half an hour before the practice.
8. Wear loose comfortable clothing, ones that move with your body. Too loose/ baggy clothing will cause discomfort during inversions.
9. Investing in a good sticky mat will be a excellent decision. It is always good to carry your own mat for various reasons but mainly for hygienic purposes.
10.Set an intention for your practice, each time you step onto the mat. This will help you to stay focused and committed to the practice and also helps grow your practice. Usually most teachers ask their students to set an intention before the practice.
11. It is best to keep your eyes on your mat during the practice, what I mean by this is, do not compare yourself with others during the practice. It is your practice and best to begin where you are and grow from there. Yoga is a non-competitive practice and it is best to turn your focus inward on your progress.
12. During the practice listen to your body and let the body sensation guide your practice. If a pose is painful or feels wrong in terms of extending your limitations back off.
13.Focus on your breath during the practice. Yoga is all about connecting the mind, body and breath. Yoga also helps you develop a deeper breathing practice, always anchor yourself back to your breath.
14. Stay committed to the practice and don’t give up too easily. Do not expect immediate results, at least attend around 10 sessions before you decide to quit, and for all you know by then you might be hooked onto yoga.
15.Enjoy the Shavasana at the end of the practice and do not be in a hurry to leave early. This is the time to assimilate the practice and to relax and feel rejuvenated.