8 Useful Tips for a Yoga Beginner

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yoga beginner

Are you a yoga beginner, or thinking of doing your first class? Good idea! After doing yoga for a few years now, here are some yoga beginner tips that may help you along your new (and super exciting) journey.


Content:

1) Don’t let yoga scare you.
2) Try different kinds of yoga.
3) Do lots of yoga before ditching it.
4) Use blocks and straps.
5) Focus on your breath.
6) Remember, it’s not all about flexibility.
7) Don’t underestimate Savasana.
8) Do yoga regularly for results.


1) Don’t let yoga scare you.

You see these amazing yogis in these unbelievable poses, and it’s kinda daunting. Especially on Instagram, you’ll often see photos like this one:

That’s just another day for yoga Sjanaelise 🙂

Whereas, as a yoga beginner, you likely look at that pose and think: Whoa, that’s going to take me years to do… if ever… Maybe even thinking, what’s the point, it’s just too much…

But don’t do that. Don’t compare yourself or your practice to anyone else.

Instead, look at amazing yoga Instagram accounts simply as inspiration.

Remember that most of these people have been practising yoga for years and years. And, if you really want to, you can get as advanced as they are. With commitment and consistency, you can achieve anything.

That said, yoga is not about what poses you can do. It’s a lifelong practice of connecting with yourself, releasing unwanted baggage (mentally and physically), and finding balance and calm along the way. At least, that’s what it does for me. Remember, we all progress in our own ways.

So just enjoy your personal journey and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.


2) Try different kinds of yoga.

I’ve met some people who have tried one yoga class and made up their mind about it. That’s not a good idea, as you can’t base a decision on one class, let alone one type of yoga.

There are many types of yoga, and they’re different. Some are very different.

Some of the main types of yoga include Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Kundalini, Bikram, Yin, and more. Can you see already how many different yoga styles there are to choose from?

A Vinyasa class, for example, is very different from a Kundalini class. And an Ashtanga class is different from a Yin class.

There are many different yoga styles to try. So go on and try a few different types. Check out the schedule of a local yoga studio and try a few different classes multiple times. Take note of which styles start resonating with you.

Don’t worry if you don’t know anything, just go and try it. Over time you’ll become more familiar with the classes, and each time you’ll get better.


3) Do lots of yoga before ditching it.

Jump in properly before you decide to leave it in the dust.

Try different yoga styles, but also do lots of the same classes for a few weeks at least.

In the beginning, you may feel like a potato in class, not knowing anything. But keep going, and over time you’ll get more familiar and comfortable with poses. And you’ll start to feel the rhythm and it’ll feel good.

Don’t let that first class freak you out and scare you away.

Instead, do that same class a few times. If you still aren’t liking it, try a different type of yoga.

I’ve tried a few different types of yoga: Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Heated and non-heated Vinyasa, Iyengar, Hatha, Kundalini, and probably some other kinds. Each one has they’re own something special, but I do find that I tend to enjoy a Hatha yoga class the most. That said, I enjoy different classes for different reasons.

I love a heated Vinyasa class too. It’s hot and intense, moving constantly as you move in and out of poses in rhythm with your inhales and exhales. This yoga is the best kind of cardio-aerobics. It’s an amazing full-body workout. It’s also low impact (great for the knees) and stretches out your whole body. And, at the same time, you’re detoxing as you sweat it out in a heated room. It’s an incredible form of exercise.

So, give yourself time to get more used to yoga before making your mind up about it. Try different yoga styles, and do lots of classes. You may just find the perfect class to suit your needs. And, once you get more familiar with the routines and poses, you’ll be able to focus more on your breathing and alignment. And you’ll be able to go deeper and start really feeling the results.


4) Use blocks and straps.

Daily-Exercise-Routine-Tools

After doing yoga for years, I use my block and strap now more than ever.

In the beginning, you may think that blocks and straps are just for those who can’t do the poses. But, blocks and straps are actually used by yogis of any level, beginner to advanced.

So don’t ever shy away from a block or strap, especially if a teacher hands you one in class. At least try it, and see how it feels.

Why Blocks and Straps?

Blocks can help you focus on the form of a pose, and not on how flexible you are. They allow you to be a little more comfortable in a pose and give you the space to focus on doing it properly instead of overextending. Here are some ways to use a yoga block. There are many more.

A pose like Trikonasana is wonderful with a block. In this triangle pose, you want to keep your whole body aligned as if you’re doing the pose in between two parallel walls. Using a block to rest your ground hand on is very helpful, as you can focus on aligning your body the right way. Without the block, as a beginner, you can easily lose your form. Later on, as you build up your core strength, you can hold yourself in position properly without the block. Even when you can do the Trikonasana well, use a block as support under your ground hand every now and again to see how it feels. It may allow you to work on a different aspect of the pose.

Straps are the absolute best for hamstring stretches. I have tight hamstrings and have always found any hamstring-related stretched a challenge. When I go into these poses, I find myself automatically resisting and becoming tense, because my hamstrings are tight and it feels uncomfortable. Recently I have been focusing on stretching my hamstrings regularly to loosen them up over time with consistent practice. My strap has been invaluable in helping me relax into the poses. If you have tight hamstrings, get yourself a strap and try this 20-minute yoga video below. Let me know how you find it in the comments.


5) Focus on the breath.

Yoga is so much about the breathing.

You hear this a lot I’m sure, but really focus on your breathing. Every time you do a class, try and be mindful of your breathing. Breath in and out deeper and with purpose. When you breathe in, imagine your lungs filling up with fresh oxygen. And when you breathe out, imagine your body releasing anything it doesn’t need.

When you really get into your breathing, it fuels your practice and helps you get into a rhythm with your body.

Regulate the breathing, and thereby control the mind – B.K.S. Iyengar (a yoga legend)

One of the benefits of yoga is that it’s therapeutic. Instead of high-impact movements, it’s a smooth flow. You get in tune with your body, reconnect with yourself and get into the zone. Focusing on your breath is a way to do this. Keep going to yoga, and focus on the quality of your breathing until you find your flow.

Over time, you can take your breathing further and learn the ujjayi breath. Watch the awesome yoga video below and learn all about the ujjayi breath. Once you know ujjayi breath, it changes the way to approach breathing during a yoga practice.


6) Remember, it’s not all about flexibility.

Yoga is not all about flexibility. This is a really important point to remember.

Sometimes I hear “I’m not flexible enough for yoga” which is not the right way to see it. Yoga is not about how flexible or inflexible you are. Some of us are more or less flexible than others. So we need to approach poses in different ways. It’s your own journey to finding balance and feeling great.

For years my hamstrings frustrated me to no end. Why couldn’t I just bend over like all those other yogis? What the heck? Maybe I’m not meant for yoga… But then I got into my own rhythm and stopped basing my yoga all on how flexible I was. That was a good shift to make, and I enjoy my practice a lot more now.

Find your balance.

There is a wonderful ‘push-pull’ in yoga. To me, it feels like you’re building strength and stretching it out at the same time. It is just as much about finding balance and becoming strong, as it is about becoming flexible.

When you’re standing in Warrior 2 pose, you aren’t just standing there. You are pushing up through your feet, and stretching your arms and fingers out. You’re keeping your hips open so that your knee keeps aligned with the ankle. You’re pushing and pulling and finding that ultimate pose.

In finding this balance in your body, you find it in your mind. It spreads out and creates a sense of overall calm.

It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence – B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga Master, Light on Life

Next time you’re doing yoga, look out for this so-called ‘push-pull’. Let me know your experience of it in the comments, I’d love to know 🙂


7) Don’t under-estimate Savasana.

There are a few relaxation poses in Yoga, like Savasana, also known as Shavasana or Corpse Pose. Savasana is usually done right at the end of a class.

Relax into Savasana.

After a class, relax into your Savasana. Some classes end in another pose, like a seated pose. But most of the time it a class will end in a relaxing Savasana.

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Relaxxxxxx, you made it to Friday 👊🏼

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In this final pose, deepen your breath and allow your body to relax into your mat for a few minutes.

Gives your body a chance to absorb the practice, as your muscles relax. Your mind can also relax, in a calming meditative state.

So, after a yoga class, don’t jump up and leave straight away unless you really really have to. Take the time to do a proper Savasana, even if it’s just for a couple minutes. Treat it like an actual pose you are doing, and relax on your back with your eyes closed. Let your body absorb the amazing yoga practice it just received. You too can simply lie back and enjoy how good you feel after completing your class and giving your body and mind some tlc 🙂

If you do a heated yoga class, the final savasana is extra amazing. Heated Vinyasa and Bikram classes can be very intense. But, at the end of the class, even though you’re red-faced and drenched in sweat, your body feels alive. It feels amazing to lie back totally relaxed and to just enjoy the moment at the end of class.


8) Do Yoga regularly for results.

By practising yoga regularly, you’ll see and feel the most results. Whether it’s every morning for 15 minutes or twice a week, just make a regular. Over time you’ll find yourself getting more comfortable, feeling stronger, breathing deeper, and feeling more and more amazing.

To do this, first, commit to it. Decide how many days a week you can realistically practice. Choose where you want to practice, at a studio, gym, at home, or even outside. Then schedule it into your weekly dairy and stick to it. It can be as little as one day a week, just commit to doing it regularly. This is time for your well-being, time for you.

Morning Yoga at Home

I have found that by practising at home, I have been able to build a good habit. It’s easier at home and takes less time (no commuting). Also, with the amount of online yoga resources, there is so much to choose from. I have funworking through the DOYOUYOGA classes and challenges, as well as many different YouTube videos.

The Power of a Challenge

A great way to kick off your yoga journey is with a Yoga Challenge.

Yoga Challenges take you on a journey and help you stay on track.

Do a simple yoga challenge like this DOYOUYOGA 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. It’s only 15 minutes a day, and a nice and easy daily practice. You learn to take yoga step by step this way, as you’re guided by a professional. After this challenge, you can do it all over again (like I did), or try another challenge.


Happy stretching!

I hope that you’ve found some valuable tips in the above article. After many years, I still feel like a Yoga Beginner. It’s a lifelong journey that makes me feel so great that I hope to inspire others to give it a try too. Let me know more about your yoga journey in the comments, and any tips you may have to add.

xoxo Ciao for now.


If you found this article useful, please share it with a fellow yoga beginner – It’d be great to inspire others to do more yoga so that they too can enjoy the benefits that come with it! 🙂


Other posts you may find useful:

Useful-Tips-Yoga Beginner

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