Practising yoga has never been easier, with classes almost everywhere. If you’re a beginner to yoga or relatively new and want to establish a regular practice, it’s important to do some groundwork before jumping onto the mat. To get the best out of your yoga experience you’ll need to do some careful preparation and make a few modest investments.
And getting older is no reason not to take up yoga. Sure, it can be off-putting seeing people half your age bending themselves into all kinds of shapes. However, yoga has no barrier. You just need to be aware of what your body can do, and take it easy. Find a good teacher, take it slow, and be patient with yourself. You can get just as much out of yoga as anyone else.
Here are 10 useful tips to help you get started:
Find a class. As a beginner you should learn yoga from a certified instructor to make you learn proper techniques and don’t get injured. A good teacher can properly modify poses for you; the right adjustment in yoga poses is crucial and it can build strength and comfort, guaranteeing progress over time. Look for yoga studios, classes and teachers that suit your goals, whether that is just getting in shape or a more spiritual journey.
Always remember that when you do attend a class you should not compare yourself to others and that no one is judging you. Having a set time to practise yoga is usually a great way to ensure that you get in your training, so figure out a time that works best for you.
Invest in good equipment. From yoga mats to confortable leggings and essential oils, be sure to get some really great equipment to make your yoga experience as rewarding as possible. There is yoga equipment for every budget and taste. Finding out what you might need to bring to class and what equipment you will need at home is an essential step in starting yoga.
Prevent injury. When you practise yoga, it’s important to listen to your body to make sure you don’t injure yourself. Never force a posture, especially at home where you don’t have a teacher who can watch you and help you. Save the more difficult poses for your class.
Do your research. If you want to further educate yourself about yoga, invest in some yoga books. The internet is also a wealth of resources for yoga practice.
Practise at home. Not everyone can attend yoga classes. Practising at the comfort of your home is a great way to get started. If you do practise at home, figure out a good routine to use each time. You could join an online yoga club, which will give you access to videos, podcasts and guides with yoga teachers or carefully search YouTube for good yoga videos that are appropriate for a variety of levels.
Create a space. If you’re practising at home, set aside a space dedicated to your yoga practice. The space should be safe, clean and serene. Decorate it with images and objects that create a peaceful feeling in your heart. Use candles and other decorations to make your space feel as relaxing as possible.
Write about it. For some people, writing about your experiences in yoga is a great way of really connecting with it. You can even start writing a blog outlining what you’ve experienced and what you want to achieve.
Go with a friend. Going to yoga with a friend can be good for your motivation. Make sure you pair up with someone who is going to hold you accountable, so that you can motivate each other to go to class. If your friend already has experience with yoga, then this is even more beneficial.
Be gentle. If you are a beginner to yoga you should start as such and take things slowly. Yoga was not designed as a fitness routine. Respect the discipline and your body enough to give it time to adjust to your practice.
Meditate. The purpose of yoga is to support meditation. Always remember to take the time after your workout to meditate and relax your mind. You can try something simple, such as sitting straight, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. The benefits of meditation are incredible and include stress relief, lowering your blood pressure and improving your mood.