6 Helpful Tips for Yoga Beginners
Whether you’re interested in yoga because you’re looking to add something new to your workout routine, want to de-stress or relax, or simply just want to see what the fuss is about, this ancient tradition can be a great addition to your wellness routine.
Through a number of positions based on skill level and physical abilities, yoga teaches you how to find comfort in uncomfortable positions and maintain inner calm in the face of emotional and physical discomfort—a useful tool that can be applied to all aspects of your life. Yoga also is a great way to combat the loss of flexibility that comes with age and helps mitigate the potential for injury. The best part? With proper guidance, you can do it right at home. Follow these six tips and you’ll be on your way to achieving yogi status in no time.
- Dress the Part
Yoga is all about getting in touch with your body, and for that to happen, you need to be comfortable. Your yoga attire should include breathable clothes that are easy to move in and moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you dry while you work up a sweat. No need for your fancy workout shoes, though, yoga is a barefoot activity.
- Stick It
Many beginners find it difficult to stay in certain poses for the entire count. While this will come with time, you can help move matters along with the right mat. When purchasing your yoga mat, select one with a “sticky” texture to help keep you in place. A standard yoga mat is usually around 1/8 inches (or 3.17 millimeters) thick, so make sure yours is about that thickness.
- Start Smart
Yoga may just look like a lot of stretching in oddly named positions, but it’s much more complicated than that. If you try to perform poses above your skill level or your body’s limitations, you could end up hurting yourself. Luckily for all of us, YouTube exists. YouTube is a great way to get the yoga class experience without leaving home and full of easy-to-follow videos for beginners, led by skilled instructors like Yoga with Adriene. Have a Peloton at home? You can access excellent yoga classes right in the app.
- Know Your Limitations
Yoga is a fantastic workout, but it’s also a difficult one. Don’t talk yourself into doing poses your body isn’t ready for and don’t compare your abilities to others. Everyone learns at their own pace, it’s not a competition. That doesn’t mean you have to skip more difficult poses altogether, though. Make a one-time investment in a supportive yoga block and that foam brick can help take over where your flexibility ends.
- Give It a Rest
All yoga sessions should end with Shavasana, more commonly known as “corpse pose.” Don’t let the name scare you, it’s simply a way of relaxing your body after so much movement. All you need to do to achieve this pose is lay on the floor while consciously relaxing your mind and body for five to 15 minutes. Don’t sit up suddenly once you feel properly relaxed, instead roll onto your side and slowly bring yourself to a sitting position.
- Have Fun!
Yoga is a spiritual and physical exercise that should be taken seriously—but that doesn’t mean you have to take yourself seriously too. Yoga should be something you enjoy and look forward to, even when it’s challenging. So, if you feel silly in a certain pose or take a painless tumble, laugh it off and keep going.
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