Yoga is a perfect blend of mental and physical exercises and has garnered a massive following of yoga practitioners over the centuries. Today it is practiced by 300 million people across the globe. The best part is, you don't have to worry about the age factor when starting yoga. Literally anyone, regardless of their weight, age can indulge in the soothing benefits that yoga has to offer.
We know that beginners can feel intimidated due to the many complicated poses and fancy yoga studios offering different yoga types. The good news is that anyone can start anywhere and at any time with simpler poses. This means yoga for beginners is not hard at all.
In this yoga 101 guide, we will answer all the beginner yoga questions so you can get your yoga mat rolling and reap the many benefits that this age-long practice holds.
What Does Yoga Mean?
Researchers suggest that the art of practicing yoga dates back to ten thousand years. 'Yoga' is a word that comes from 'yuj,' which is a Sanskrit word that means 'to join' or 'to unite.' This is precisely how yoga was perceived during the initial stages as a way to connect the spiritual realm and the body itself.
As time rolled on, yoga now enjoys a prominent position for the physical and mental benefits it offers. The fact that it unites the body and mind to reach a sense of harmony is what attracts people the most.
Yoga boosts immunity, aids with sleep, heal back pain, works as a stress buster, and promotes relaxation. It improves stamina, balance, and range of motion and not to forget, makes you feel happy.
The Types of Yoga
Let's look at some of the different types of yoga that offer various intensities and poses.
This type focuses on all of the basics that require holding every pose with your breath. It is considered a gentle yoga form and is ideal for yoga beginners for its slow and gentle pace.
Try Ashtanga for a more challenging approach to yoga. It consists of specific yoga poses in a series of six, where you will have to master the initial sequence to progress to the next and so on. Beginners may want to get acquainted with Hatha before they give this type a try.
This is a more fast-paced type where you link your breath and movement in a dance-like pattern. The pace is quick, and you don't need to linger on each pose. You can have your sessions accompanied by upbeat music.
This type consists of two breathing exercises and a certain series of 26 postures in a warm room. The heat aids in detoxifying your body and helps it to stretch more.
Can Everyone Do Yoga?
Yoga is a universal practice that anyone can do regardless of their age, weight, and gender. However, there are exceptions. If someone is suffering from an injury or a medical condition, it can be dangerous to try specific breathing techniques or poses.
The good news is that there are always alternative options or modifications that you can choose from and safely practice. It is best to consult a qualified yoga professional or a physician before you embark on this journey. Also, avoid hard yoga poses in the beginning.
How Is Yoga Practiced?
So, how to start yoga? Typically yoga is performed barefoot on a yoga mat. You need to wear clothes that can easily stretch and are loose enough to allow you to complete the yoga poses and movements with ease.
Many yoga classes for beginners also use props like bolsters, blankets, and straps; however, you don't need to run off to buy them right away as they can be replaced with scarf pillows and books.
Let's Look At What A Beginner's Yoga Session Is All About:
Bare feet: Yoga is practiced bare feet on a yoga mat. Socks are quite slippery, so it is best to avoid wearing them. If you feel you can't do without them, wear sports socks that come with a rubber grip on their soles.
Clothing: It is recommended you wear comfortable clothing. Your workout gear can work really well for your yoga session. However, don't wear something too loose, as it may come in the way of specific poses, especially handstands and headstands.
Yoga mats: No yoga session can be done flawlessly without a yoga mat. Many gyms and yoga studios do offer mats to their students; however, it is always good to invest in a personal one for hygienic purposes. Remember to keep the following points in mind:
Opt for a mat that gives you a stable balance and allows you to transition from one pose to another flawlessly.
Regularly clean and sanitize your mat. You can use antibacterial wipes.
If you plan on using a yoga mat at the studio, remember to sanitize it before starting.
Best Yoga Poses for Beginners
If you are beginning yoga, there are a few poses that you need to master so that you feel relaxed when practicing at home or in class.
Let's look at a top few yoga poses for beginners:
Mountain pose: This pose forms the basis of every standing pose as it gives you the ability to stabilize your feet on the ground and sense the earth underneath them. It may seem like a simple pose; however, it works its yoga magic inside you.
Plank: The plank pose allows you to balance your hands while using them to support your body's weight. This is an excellent way to strengthen your core and abdominal muscles while breathing to maintain such a difficult pose.
Triangle pose: This is an excellent standing yoga pose that allows you to deeply stretch each side of your waist while opening up your lungs with each deep breath. It also strengthens your leg muscles while giving your body a nice toned look.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga?
As a beginner, you can start the sessions three times a week and gradually build up your tempo. With time you will see an improvement in your strength, flexibility, balance, and range of motion.
When starting at a beginner's level, it is recommended to have frequent and shorter sessions ranging from twenty to forty minutes 3 to four times a week. You can even practice for a shorter amount than this, but this beginner yoga routine will take longer to improve.
Yoga for Beginners: Final Thoughts
So, now you know how to do yoga? Commitment, patience, and consistency are three essential pillars that help progress and develop your yoga skills. Once you have found a style that works best for you, make sure you stick with it and remain committed to your routine, you will be a pro in no time.
We hope the beginners guide was helpful for you.