9 tips for beginners looking to start yoga

Yoga is one of the most interesting modern complexes for achieving harmony of body and soul. We will tell you what to do if you are seriously interested in this practice.

Decide on a goal

It is believed that yoga is not a sport, but a philosophy, the principles of which can be effectively used in life. But even if you have already become a habit to breathe, relax and think consciously, you cannot do without strengthening muscles and studying asanas. Research confirms that yoga can help with back problems and improve cardiovascular health. Practice helps you strengthen your muscles, start listening to yourself, relax, and even cope with depression. But if you have serious illnesses and confirmed diagnoses, yoga is not a substitute for a doctor, and classes can only be started after his approval.

Explore destinations

There are a lot of yoga directions. Experts, as a rule, offer the most common ones, and you need to choose based on lifestyle, physical fitness and temperament. Some will be more comfortable on a quieter hatha or yin, while others want more effort and movement on an intense ashtanga vinyasa or vinyasa flow. If you have joint problems, try Iyengar yoga. Before you go to the first lesson you come across or turn on a popular video on the Internet, read the theory, talk to the master and choose the direction you like.

Choose a place

You need to start doing a new practice under the guidance of a professional trainer. With it, you can understand whether you like it or not, which nuances you should pay special attention to. It is better to leave individual lessons until the time when you seriously decide to do yoga on an ongoing basis, decide on the prices and the level of skill of the trainer. If you are confident in your physical capabilities and do not need additional motivation and associates, study at home. You can buy ready-made video courses or follow the advice from the most inspiring Instagram accounts, as well as combine homework with group workouts. For example, in Moscow, the Yoga Journal’s health and educational project, together with the Moscow City Park and the city’s culture department, organizes yoga in parks…

Photo: Kaylee Garrett / Unsplash

Maintain regularity

Any innovation must be adopted gradually. Just as in one trip to the gym, cubes will not appear on the press, so in one yoga session, mental balance and flexibility in the body will not come. Think about your class schedule, make sure you can devote a few hours a week to your new hobby. Buying a monthly gym membership will be a good incentive so you have a clear idea of ​​when and how much you work out.

Buy clothes

There are no special requirements for yoga equipment: first of all, it should not hinder movement and be comfortable. You don’t have to go to the Indian market for harem pants and a Ganesha T-shirt. And it is advisable to look into a sports store – new leggings and a comfortable T-shirt motivate no worse than an annual subscription. When choosing clothes, pay attention to the material. Natural fabrics absorb moisture well and provide air circulation, but synthetics stretch better and are suitable for active physical exercises. Consider the temperature in the gym or room where you are going to study. Yoga clothing should be close to the body so as not to end up on the head of a beginner standing in an inverted asana. The exception is meditation: you can immerse yourself in anything.

Photo: Dane Wetton / Unsplash

Pick up a rug

If you practice in the gym, you will be provided with a rug before the start of the lesson. For home practice, you need to buy your own, you can also carry it with you to classes in the studio. It’s not worth saving: cheap models will wrap, slide and won’t last long. Consider the size of the rug, this is especially important if your height is more than 170 centimeters: some models are shorter and it will be uncomfortable to lie in shavasana. The purchase should be compact and convenient to roll up. The rug needs to be looked after – washed and dried after practice, some people prefer to use a disinfectant spray.

Change your diet

There is a misconception that you need to go vegan or vegetarian to practice yoga. The opinion arose due to the fact that in Eastern practices, the rejection of meat is a common, if not mandatory, phenomenon. But if you are not going to devote your life to yoga, read the treatises of sages and go to the monastery for Vipassana, do not impose too strict requirements on yourself. Avoiding animal products for a yoga lover is an individual matter. It’s much more important to reconsider your diet if your goal is to lose weight, strengthen muscles, and feel better. Yoga involves joints, so it is beneficial to consume saturated fats (olive oil and ghee). Plan your meals, take into account training times and well-being, and consult with a trainer, nutritionist, or therapist.

Study meditation

Usually the practice of yoga is inextricably linked with the ability to meditate, to be in a state of “out of the mind.” Being able to disconnect from thoughts is also a science that requires practice and a suitable calm environment. Meditation can be practiced separately from training, as many celebrities do . But in combination, the effect will be more noticeable. In addition, yoga is closely related to energy processes, so mastering the techniques of auto-training and relaxation is useful. Try meditating for a few minutes in the morning and you will see the effect it has on your state of mind.

Photo: Jared Rice / Unsplash

Do not hurry

Pain in yoga is unacceptable. If it hurts in the asana, then you are doing something wrong. This rule must be learned before the start of classes and not forgotten during. Do not strive to stand on your head and curl up in one lesson. Muscles need time, they stretch gradually, and with sudden movements and training through pain, you can be injured. For some people, inverted asanas are completely contraindicated – for example, for hypertensive patients and those who have a hernia. Yoga does not tolerate rush, enjoy it here and now, listen to your body and share your feelings and thoughts with the instructor.

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