Yoga Tips for Beginners
There is no better time to get into yoga. With numerous benefits for the mind and body, yoga is an excellent workout for people of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. So if you are looking to get your body moving and heal your mind, why not try taking a yoga class?
There is no need to be intimidated. Yoga is for everyone, and all levels, bodies, and abilities are accepted. To help you prepare for your first class, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get comfortable on the mat and build some basic yoga skills.
Prepare for class
For your first yoga class, prepare by eating a light meal and dressing in comfortable clothing that you can move in. No need for fancy yoga duds—wearing shorts and a t-shirt or tank top is completely fine. You should also come prepared with your yoga mat, a water bottle, and a towel to wipe your sweat if desired.
Your instructor will provide directions for every pose throughout the class, but you may want to consider familiarizing yourself with some of the basic poses in advance to feel more prepared and confident. A quick YouTube search beforehand will tell you what you need to know.
Master your breathing
Much of the power of yoga comes from breathing. Focusing on your breath helps you stay present in the current moment, allowing your mind to relax and sharpen. Breathing also helps the physical aspect of yoga. When you sync your movements with your breath, it will enable you to deepen your stretch and increase the impact of each pose.
As a beginner, focus on mastering the basic yoga breath, called ujjayi pranayama. In ujjayi pranayama, you simply breathe in deeply through your nose and then back out, also through your nose. Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?
Of course, the breathing gets a little trickier once you begin to breathe and move at the same time. So don’t worry if you periodically forget about your breath throughout your practice—just return to it when prompted. Once you get the hang of it, your breathing should begin to sound a bit like ocean waves crashing on the beach.
Let go of expectations
We often come into new workout routines with high expectations for ourselves. You may have decided to take up yoga to lose weight, tone your body, or master the impressive poses you’ve seen on social media.
However, you are much more likely to be successful in your practice when you let go of those expectations and simply embrace the experience as it comes. In your first yoga classes, try to avoid worrying about how you look or comparing yourself to others. You also should not be afraid to take breaks and adjust poses as needed to fit your body and abilities.
Focus on enjoying how the practice makes you feel and look forward to progressing on your journey in your own time and your own way.