Yoga has many passionate devotees and forms that can be intimidating when you are just getting started. However, whether you are simply looking for a place to relax or nail a handstand and find some balance, yoga is a great form of both physical and mental exercise. In order to access the benefits, yoga has to offer, it is essential to understand and figure out which type of yoga either hatha, vinyasa or heated yoga is the right match for you. If you are new to yoga, then there is no need to worry. In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know about yoga as a beginner.
What do you need for your first yoga class?
Well, most yoga classes are done barefoot on a yoga mat. Additionally, even the most basic yoga stretches require clothes that can stretch and allow you to move easily. Therefore, you need to wear outfits that allow you to move easily. If you are doing a gentle or a slower yoga, dress warmly (a sweet pant and a t-shirt) will do. While for vigorous classes, wear shorts and tank tops or t-shirts.
Some yoga classes use additional equipment like props, bolsters, chairs, straps, and blocks. As a beginner, there is no need to purchase this equipment since they will be provided by your studio. In any case, if you need to purchase something, only buy a yoga mat.
Is Yoga Right for you?
Well, yoga is accessible to anyone. No matter your age or hat you are looking to achieve, how much you weigh, or what you do for a living. Yoga is not exclusive. It is an exercise that befits everyone as long as you have the interest.
Why should you do Yoga?
There many reasons for doing yoga. Yoga can help you in:
- Maintain and improve the health of your joints, muscles and other organs.
- Help keep your mind healthy.
- Help improve your performance and prevent injuries in any sport.
- Increase your sense of being and happiness.
- Help you get a better night sleep.
Yoga is a practice that involves both physical exercise and a discipline that helps you feel healthier and relaxed. The best way to determine if yoga is right for you is by giving it a try.
What you need to know before doing your first yoga class.
If you are attending any yoga studio, then the rules are similar to any class. Do not arrive late, put on perfume or interrupt the teacher. Although questions are welcomed during the session, it is prudent to ask questions before or after the session. It is worthy to note that a yoga class is a place where you should feel cared for and comfortable. It is a space without judgment even if you are unable to cope up with everyone.
Discussed below are the top 5 yoga poses you should be aware of.
- Mountain Pose
Mountain pose is probably the starting base for all poses. It gives you the sense on how to ground your feet and feel the earth. It might appear as a simple pose, but there is more to it. To do it, stand with your feet unruffled, then press down with your toes as you start spreading them wide open. Next, you need to engage your quadriceps order to lift the kneecaps through the inner thighs. Next, take a deep breath while raising your hands overhead with your palms facing each other and arms straight. Reach out towards the sky with your fingertips as you feel the relaxation.
- Downward dog
Downward dog helps in stretching and strengthening the entire body. In order to do a downward dog, come to all your fours with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. Next, tuck yourself under your toes and raise hips up off the floor as you draw them back and forth towards your heels. Additionally, you need to keep your knees slightly bent while you straighten your legs out and keeping your hips back. You can walk your hands forward in order to give yourself more length whenever you need to. As well, you need to press through your palms firmly as you rotate your inner elbows toward each other. Hold for 6-9 breaths before dropping your knees and hands back to rest.
Plank style teaches you how to balance your hands while supporting the entire body. It is a great pose to strengthen your abdominals. In order to make it through this plank, from all fours, tuck yourself in and lift your knees off the mat. Then slide your heels back until you feel a straight line energy from your head to the feet. You can engage your lower abdominals by drawing your shoulders down and away from our ears. Next, hold a deep breath of 5-8 times as you pull your ribs to rest.
This is a wonderful standing posture that allows you to stretch the sides of your waist. Besides, it helps open up your lungs, strengthen the legs and entire body. Start by spreading your legs one foot apart. Then open and stretch our arms to the sides at your shoulders height. Rotate your right foot out at 90 degrees while maintaining 45 degrees with the left leg. Engage your abdominals and quadriceps as you hinge to the side. Repeat the process as you place your right hand down on our knee shin or ankle.
Tree posture is an awesome starting and standing point, especially for newbies. It helps them work on to gain clarity and focus as they learn to breathe while keeping the body balanced on one foot. You can start off by standing with your feet together. Then proceed by placing your left foot on the inner right upper thigh. Next, press your hands in a prayer position as you find a spot in front of you that you can steadily gaze on. You can hold your breath for 6-8 breaths before your switch to another side. Ensure you are not leaning on one side as you keep your abdominals engaged.
Yoga is not a belief, cult or religion system. At the root of it, there is a self-inquiry. Whether you are doing a yoga meditation, pose or a breathing technique, it helps you connect with your inner body as you reflect on your life experience. Besides, yoga is for everyone as it is geared towards giving you a realization of your inner self.