Yoga is a great form of exercise that not only helps with your muscles, but it can also help with your mind. Something we can often forget about. However, it can be very overwhelming for anyone wanting to start out. From all the poses to figuring out whether you want to practice at home or in a class… it’s a bit to think about. That is why I thought I’d put together a quick guide featuring some top tips to help you get started.
Tips to Help Get Your Yoga On
Believe it or not, there are a few different varieties of yoga that you can try. All of which offer different things from a faster pace to even exercising through yoga in the heat. So it may be worth it to spend a little time researching your options and figuring out which will suit you the most. Considering you may be at a beginner level, you may want to look at a slower paced yoga, giving you time to perfect some of the most common yoga poses.
What do you need to get started?
Yoga doesn’t require too much equipment. However, this might depend on whether you choose to take a class or try it out at home. A yoga mat is definitely your first key item. You may also want to consider wearing something comfortable. Flexible clothing like a sports bra and something like black yoga pants could be an ideal place to start.
If you feel a little self-conscious, then place a large t-shirt over the top. Some women opt for leggings and a shirt, and some men tend to favor wearing shorts and a t-shirt over anything else. But it’s important for you to feel comfortable during your yoga session, so make sure you wear something that you are happy with and that you can stretch comfortably in. You don’t need any particular trainers or socks for yoga, as it is mainly done barefoot. So at least you know your basic needs for this form of exercise is very minimal.
What class will be right for you?
Much like trying to find the right style of yoga, you need to figure out what class would suit your ability. There are many different types of yoga and different levels of difficulty. Many people stick to a beginners class to start with, to ensure that they are happy with how the class goes. In a beginner class, you will tend to cover some of the more basic maneuvers like the downward dog, for example.
However, you may not feel comfortable trying it out in a class environment. Luckily for us there is an abundance of online resources and tutorials to research and take a look at. You only have to search ‘beginner yoga’ in YouTube to be presented with hundreds of options.
Get an idea of what to expect from a yoga session
Sometimes it’s worth satisfying your expectations to avoid feeling embarrassed or inadequate when at a class. Some people prefer to prepare as much as they can beforehand. It’s important to place your yoga mat facing the front of the room. This is so you can see the instructor clearly, which is ideal if you are just learning the ropes. Many people would sit and wait for the class to begin in a crossed leg sitting position. But of course, do what feels comfortable for you.
The class may or may not begin with breathing exercises, but they most certainly will be included at the end. This is your time to empty your mind of all those random thoughts and relax into the yoga session. Most of the time the instructor will begin with warm-up poses, making the more vigorous movements take place in the middle of your session, followed by a cooling down period. Just like other exercise classes.
You may feel a little sore and achy after your first class, mainly due to you stretching muscles that may not be used daily. Some you probably didn’t know you had! Don’t let it turn you off, this is an excellent sign that you did things right and are making good progress.
Final things to remember
Finally, there are some last minute tips and advice when it comes to starting yoga. One of the main things to remember is to not indulge in a heavy meal before a class. It’s best to stick with a light meal a few hours before class to avoid any stomach ache or sickness feeling. And let’s face it, being bloated in the downward dog position would be quite uncomfortable and potentially embarassing!
It is also advisable to avoid drinking water during the class but make sure you are hydrated before and after. You may also want to consider letting the instructor know that it is your first time. That way, they can pay particular attention to your poses and offer advice and help to ensure you get the most out of your class.
I hope these tips are helpful with getting you started on your yoga journey!