Tips For Beginners
I talk to many people who are very interested in yoga and there’s always this intimidation that goes along with starting a first yoga class. Especially, in a group setting with lot of other people. I listen to concerns like “I’m not flexible”, “I don’t know any of the moves”, “when I get more in shape I will start”. We have been so conditioned to be self critical about things we think we are not good at, so we tend to talk ourselves out of it before we even get start.
One, you don’t have to be flexible to do yoga. That would be a reason to start yoga rather than to have as a reason to not. It takes a long time for some to reach the debts of poses and sometime because of our genetics our bodies stop at a certain point and that’s perfectly fine! Two, what a wonderful way to learn something new. Research proves that learning something new is healthy for your mind. It keeps it stimulated and therefore you’re not only work on your physical health but your mental fitness as well. Finally, yoga is for every body. Tall, short, thin, thick, disabled. You can be the fittest or have never been involved in a physical activity in your life. Everyone can do yoga.
Below are some tips for beginners to help get started. I hope you find them useful.
1. Quiet the critics
Yes, that voice in your head that doesn’t know how to stop chatting. It’s that person that you know that doesn’t know when to stop talking and to be nice you listen. However, here you are listing to your own negative thoughts. Maybe this voice is telling you that you are not suited for yoga and that there is no way you will accomplish any of the benefits of yoga. Creating self doubt, fear and judgement towards yourself only pushes your further. Remember, that all are welcomed no matter what level you may be.
2. Invest in a good quality yoga mat
Seems minor, but a good quality mat can change your practice. Sometimes you need a mat that has more grip or more cushion or both! Your yoga mat is an important tool as it identifies the space that you create for yourself and acts as a carpet of cultivation. Weather you are using it to sit and meditate or to land that handstand it’s all an a experience that happens on your mat. There’s nothing wrong with having your yoga mat be a special tool, regardless if it’s a material item. So take your time when shopping for a yoga mat. Ask questions and seek recommendations. Identify what your needs are in a mat and maybe even borrow a friend’s to get a test “drive” in.
3. Balance your yoga postures with relaxation and meditation
We are definitely a society that is constantly striving to “get in shape” and be “fit”. Therefore, many classes can be heavily emphasized on the physical practice. I have also seen students constantly push themselves and wanting more without rest. You need relaxation and you must practice it in order to experience transformation. Becoming mindful of when you to take breaks to relax opens up the opportunity for meditation. This can mean taking a few mindful breaths or watching your thoughts. The goal is to balance the combination of body and mind. Creating inner strength and equilibrium for a sense of well-being.
4. Get on a regular sleeping schedule
This isn’t an easy one, however getting on a regular sleeping schedule helps with your overall well-being. Implementing this as part of your yoga practice allows your mind to become more focused and balanced.
5. Have fun!
Don’t take what you feel challenging in a yoga class too seriously. If you come across a balance pose and you seem to be wobbling around rather than keeping a set stillness, SMILE! LAUGH! And stay present. It’s easy to self judge here but keep an open mind and remember…It’s just yoga.