The popularity of yoga has soared in the last decades, and it seems that every other friend and acquaintance of ours is already practicing it. But don’t let it fool you into thinking it is easy: yoga is quite challenging, especially for beginners.
The good news is that there are some practical tips to make your yoga beginner’s challengeeasier and make it a pleasant and worthwhile experience.
- Decide why you want to do yoga
We may decide to do yoga for many different reasons. You may get into it to extend your religious practice, for spiritual growth, or simplyto maintain good health. Each reason implies different practices and knowledge, so it is important to know what exactly your reasons are.
- Get advice from an experienced yoga teacher
Some of us don’t feel like we can start practicing yoga on our own, and go to studios to take yoga classes. Others try to establish home practice and try to start doing yoga on their own. Both options are quite viable, but getting proper advice at the beginning will give you a good understanding of where to start. A teacher can give you advice on which poses to do and how often, based on your current health and body structure.
- Buy a sticky mat
A sticky mat is an indispensable tool for some poses. Beginners often have balance problems, and a sticky mat will ease the problems and help you avoid problems such as muscle sprains and cramps.
- Take care of comfortable clothes
The basic kit you will need consists of stretchy pants or leggings and a top. You need to make sure your clothes are comfortable and allow for free movement.
- Make nutritional adjustments
Your food should be lighter and contain slow carbs and fiber; eat more oatmeal, grains, fruit and vegetables. A healthy diet also implies more substantial breakfasts and very light suppers. Eat something light a couple hours before your practice, but never practice after being hungry for hours.
- Stay hydrated
Water is key when you start any physical activity, so make sure you drink at least 1,5 liters per day. Take a bottle of water to your every yoga class.
- Write down notes
Names of poses, practices and other relevant terms are often said in Sanskrit. In order to keep up and not get lost, it will help you to memorize the terms. In addition to that, a good habit is to write down what you have learned each time, so you can track your progress.
- Work on the spiritual part
Yoga is more than just physical exercise, so get to know more about spiritual awareness and mindfulness as you go.
Meditation and pranayama (yogic breathing) are two essential practices that complement yoga. They will improve your physical and mental health, and make yoga a much more meaningful experience for you.
- Introduce breathing practices
Breathing helps reduce stress and oxygenates your body. It will help you progress faster in your yoga practice and gain more of the holistic health benefits.
- Read books on yoga
Complement what you hear from your yoga instructor with books and videos that will expand your knowledge. Yoga is a complex discipline and needs a many-sided approach.
- Keep your spirits up
If something is not working out, retry it later and go back to things you liked and that made you feel like you are making progress. Manage your motivation wisely, and don’t listen to anybody but yourself.
It is important to remember that every beginning is a challenge in itself. However, yoga is a very fulfilling and worthwhile practice, and it will definitely be worth your time and effort.