With all the new student specials currently being offered around the country, National Yoga Month is a great time to try yoga. But the fact that there can be much to learn when it comes to the practice can make starting out feel daunting. If you’re interested in starting a yoga practice but don’t know where to begin, here are a few tips for yoga newbies.
Choose your practice: Between the levels, the Sanskrit, and all the different types of classes offered, speaking yoga can be a daunting task for a newbie. The first step in your practice is figuring out the type of class that’s right for you. Here’s a list of types of yoga by personality; choose a few that interest you and try them out at your local yoga studios until you find a class and teacher that you like.
The essential poses: You’ll learn all the basics in your new classes, but if you find yourself constantly confusing your Warrior 1s with your Warrior 2s, brush up on your knowledge with our gallery of essential yoga poses and how to do them.
The perfect mat: You pick up an inexpensive mat on the fly, but if you’ve decided to make yoga a regular part of your workout routine, you may want to invest in a better-quality yoga mat. A pricier mat can make your practice safer, more comfortable, and more eco-friendly; read more reasons to invest in a yoga mat here.
A “beginner’s mind” is a term you may have heard thrown around the yoga world. It means we’re heading to our mats with no preconceived notions about what we can or can’t accomplish, what poses we can or can’t do – essentially, we should approach each experience like it’s the very first time. While this is a tool we can take to all facets of our practice, recently, I’ve been finding it essential when practicing at home. Regardless of whether you’re brand new to yoga or you’re a seasoned yogini looking to breathe new life into a stale home practice, it’s time to take these five tips to heart!
- Set up a sacred space: While yoga is certainly a physical practice, half of its beauty comes with the clarity it brings to your mind. This comes first and foremost with a serene environment conducive to yoga. Make sure you have ample room to move with as few technological distractions as possible. When the mood strikes, turn on soothing music and light a candle or two. This is your time, so let’s get it as relaxing as possible!
- Make yourself (and your yoga) a priority: It’s easy to get distracted from your home practice. Yes, things certainly come up and plans change, but do your best to dedicate a specific amount of time to your yoga. If you’re constantly cutting out yoga from your schedule, rethink when it is a best fit. If you normally plan on practicing at night postwork but always cancel, try waking up a little early to kick things off with some Sun Salutations. It will bring a whole new energy to your day.
- Be gentle with yourself: Learning to listen to your body is one of the best gifts you can receive from yoga. There’s a difference between pushing yourself to a comfortable edge and putting yourself in a stressful position that will lead to a serious injury. I had a fantastic teacher who told me that you can really feel the difference between a “good” hurt and a “bad” hurt. If you’re delving into a yoga home practice, you’re going to have to get acquainted with this difference. Get yourself set up with all the necessary tools of the trade, and listen to your body now so you don’t pay for it with serious discomfort later.
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