Yoga is a beautiful practice that deepens the connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga has many physical and mental health benefits, but you may be wondering how to start! The word yoga means “to yoke” in Sanskrit and uses two key elements to unite the body and mind: physical postures (asana) and breathwork (pranayama).
Many students come to yoga to gain flexibility, increase mobility, and reduce stress. New students often wonder if it’s required to be flexible or fit to begin practicing yoga.
The answer is no – anyone can practice yoga!
Starting a Yoga Practice
Yoga is excellent for individuals of all fitness levels and body types. Starting a yoga practice is a great way to reduce stress, gain focus, and connect deeply with your physical body.
Choose a Yoga Class
Yoga can be practiced in various environments, including at home, in class, and outdoors. If you’re starting your yoga practice, consider taking an in-person beginner yoga class to learn the basics of yoga and establish a solid foundation.
Many online classes are available so that you can start yoga at home! Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you may even decide to practice by yourself! You can find numerous programs online, such as the Yoga Booty Challenge and Shapeshifter Yoga, that you can try out and have fun with!
Start Gathering Supplies
While you don’t need anything to start practicing yoga, there are a few items that new students often find helpful. First, choose a yoga mat. Yoga mats come in different sizes and textures. If you have sensitive hands, feet, or knees, consider choosing a yoga mat that has extra padding to help support your hands and knees. Other helpful items include a blanket to make seated postures more comfortable and a block and yoga strap for extra support.
Set an Intention
Intentions are a single word or small phrase that helps keep you focused during your yoga practice. Before you begin your yoga practice, ask yourself what you’d like to focus on during your practice. Whatever your intention is, let it be the anchor that keeps you grounded in the present moment.
When starting a yoga practice, it can be tempting to try advanced postures, and you may feel intimidated by the skill level of other students. That’s why it’s important to remember that everyone is a student of yoga and started as a beginner! Don’t worry about being looked down upon or laughed at; in my experience, yoga is one of the most accepting communities for beginners.
Remind yourself that your yoga practice is about more than physical training. Instead, invite yourself to let go of expectations and enjoy the experience as it unfolds.
Commit to Your Practice
Yoga isn’t an exercise routine – it’s a practice that requires you to set aside time for yourself. Before starting your yoga practice, review your schedule to determine when, where, and how often you’ll practice yoga. Whether your practice yoga at home or with others, it is essential to set aside time to practice consistently when first starting.
Many students find practicing yoga first thing in the morning or before bed beneficial. Some students may choose to practice yoga once or twice a week, while others may have a daily yoga practice. There’s no right or wrong way to practice yoga, so allow yourself to create a schedule that works well with your unique lifestyle.
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