Yoga 101

Yoga 101

 

To a newcomer, yoga might feel a little intimidating. It can seem like there is lot to do, and names and poses to remember. It’s also easy to convince yourself that there is no way you can actually get into some of those positions…but actually, you can! Yoga is a lifelong practice that has no goal posts. There is no end point as it’s all about setting your own pace and limits over time. It is about getting in shape, for sure, but it’s mostly about getting centered and confident in your abilities while enjoying the process.
It can feel like everyone else knows what’s going on and you’re on the outside, but that quickly dissipates. Once you get your groove, you’ll fall right in love with the practice! Here are some tips to get you started:

 

What you need:

  • A Mat – You want a yoga mat, which helps you grip your feet and hands to keep you in your positions and provide padding while working out on a hard floor.
  • Blocks – Blocks help even experienced yogis get into position with ease and have better form.
  • Straps – Straps will help you reach stretches and poses.
  • Blanket – For certain poses and for meditation, blankets are used to sit or lay on for better comfort.
  • Clothes – No need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on clothes, you just need something comfortable to bend and stretch in. It may be easier to have something on that’s a bit stretchy, and not too loose.

 

Where to go:

  • Yoga Studio:
    • If you are new to yoga, it’s always best to take a class where a professional will be able to guide you and correct your poses as you go. They will always ask who is new to the practice and if you have any injures or aches.
    • Almost all studios will offer a free class to try out and if you do like it, they often give new members an enticing deal on a membership.
  • Gym:
    • Many gyms have yoga classes that are included in your membership.
    • Try a few beginner classes and if you’re adventurous, explore a variety of styles of yoga (Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikran, Hot Yoga, Kundalini…) to find your favorite.
  • Home:
    • The Yoga Studio is not for everyone! You can follow along with yoga videos or on-line classes from home. Again, it’s best to take a class with an instructor when you start out, but working out at home is also a great way to practice.
  • Outside:
    • There are classes that are taught at parks and beaches so check out what’s happening in your area for an alfresco approach.
    • You can also grab your mat and find a spot outside to get in a refreshing outdoor workout solo (weather permitting).

 

Why do it?

  • Yoga is a low-impact workout that you can do at practically any age.
  • Keeping your body flexible and strong will help you look and feel great while helping you with strong and lean muscles.
  • For some, yoga is far more than a form of exercise; it’s a way of life. It’s an important part of their day that starts with meditation which helps get them through the rest of their day.
  • Yoga is now being included in many cardiac rehabilitation programs due to its cardiovascular and stress-relieving benefits.[1]
  • It’s nice to be able to touch your toes and challenge yourself into getting into various challenging positions – once you are set with the basics.

 

If you’ve never tried it, or perhaps had an underwhelming first experience, give it another go! You have nothing to lose.

 

 

 

[1] http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-benefits-beyond-the-mat

One Response

  1. Karin Brower

    I would like to learn more about yoga thanks

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