Develop a yoga practice that suits your individual needs & ability with these 7 beginner tips…
Getting started with yoga can seem intimidating for beginners, but it doesn’t need to be! While you may see many beautiful pictures online of thin, young, fit people twisting themselves into seemingly impossible poses, in fact, yoga is accessible to everyone – of every fitness level and body type. Whether you opt for group yoga classes, or practice at home, there is a yoga that will fit your practice needs and preferences.
Remember that yoga is not a competition. It’s about your own personal journey. So don’t compare yourself to others in your class or online. Just focus on your own practice and do the best you can.
You will also want to keep in mind that yoga is all about listening to your body. If a pose doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. With almost every pose, there are modifications that you can make to make it more comfortable for you, so don’t be afraid to adapt the pose to your own body type and comfort level.
As you get started, it may be be helpful to keep these beginner tips in mind:
1. Start with basic poses
For beginners, the best way to get started is by learning the most simple and basic poses and building from there. Mountain Pose, Downward Dog, Child’s Pose, Bridge, and Tree Pose are some of the most fundamental poses in yoga, so they are great starting points. When learning new poses, focus on your alignment in order to ensure that you are doing the pose correctly and safely. Practicing these poses regularly will help you gain strength and flexibility, and will also help you become more comfortable adding more advanced poses to your practice. (You can find lots of beginner poses to try in our pose library here.)
2. Go slowly and listen to your body
Don’t be tempted to push or force yourself into the asana (pose); instead, always take your time and gently ease into each one. As you practice regularly, your body will become more flexible and your strength and range of motion may naturally increase, allowing for deeper stretches. However, even if you practice regularly, some poses may take weeks or months of practice before your body is open enough to get into the full expression of the pose.
It is important to remember that everyone is different, and to never push yourself beyond what your body can handle. If you find yourself struggling to get into a pose and it isn’t feeling right, back off and try something else. Your body will thank you, and in the end you will be able to do more and benefit more from the practice.
3. Use yoga books and websites
There are many yoga books and websites available that offer step-by-step tutorials. Not only can these resources provide a visual demonstration of how to do each pose correctly, but there is also usually a detailed description of the pose, with its benefits, cautions and variations. These resources often offer tips on how to modify poses for different levels of ability and comfort. Having a book in front of you while practicing can be a great way to learn the poses and to have something to refer to when needed.
Many of these resources also provide information on the history and philosophy of yoga, and tips for developing a regular practice. This can be a great way for beginners to get a better understanding of the practice and to integrate it into their daily lives.
4. Utilize free online yoga videos and tutorials
There are many free online yoga videos and tutorials that focus on individual yoga poses. These can be a great resource for beginners, as they provide detailed visual instruction on proper alignment and can give a better understanding of how each pose is supposed to look and feel. When using online videos and tutorials, it’s important to find reputable sources and to follow instructions closely. (We share free yoga classes here – check our archives for lots of free beginner classes to try.)
5. Use props
Yoga props can be very helpful when you’re learning yoga poses as a beginner, as they can help you maintain the correct form and alignment while performing the poses. Consider investing in basic yoga props such as yoga blocks, straps, bolsters, and blankets to help you get the most out of your practice. Blocks are especially helpful as they can be used to extend your arms and support your body and help you achieve correct alignment in poses. Straps can help you stretch and maintain poses that require flexibility. Bolsters can help you relax in poses that require you to hold them for longer periods of time, while blankets can provide extra padding for added comfort. Be sure to use props in a way that supports your body, ensuring that your practice is safe and effective.
6. Practice regularly
The more you practice yoga poses, the more comfortable and familiar they will become. Even practicing for just 10-15 minutes a day a few times a week can help you gain flexibility and strength, and learn the proper form for each pose. Repetition is key to mastering any new skill and learning a new yoga pose.
7. Be patient
Learning new yoga poses can be difficult and take time. Be patient with yourself and don’t be discouraged if you don’t master a pose right away. Don’t be too discouraged if you find certain poses particularly challenging—know that your body will improve with practice. Cultivate a positive attitude and enjoy the journey of gradually mastering each pose and flowing through your yoga practice!
Don’t judge yourself for what your body can or can’t do in a pose. Just focus on following your breath and moving in and out of poses in a way that feels good for your body. Your practice will evolve and improve over time.
Find more beginner tips at YogaBasics.com…