Yoga is an ancient healing system that focuses on holistic health—it re-energizes body, mind, and spirit so that one can feel healthier, happier and calmer. Yoga asanas (poses) enhance physical fitness and cleanse and detoxify the vital organs, but its effects are not limited to physiological wellbeing. Yoga reduces stress, improves concentration and empowers an individual to face challenging situations with a balanced state of mind.
For those who accept its healing power wholeheartedly, yoga can open new doors and place them on the path to a life of wellness and internal harmony. If you’re new to yoga, the following tips will help you make the most of your practice and reap lifelong health benefits.
- Don’t worry about flexibility. Many people believe that one has to have a super-flexible body to even try yoga. In truth, regular yoga practice is what opens up stiff joints and makes the body flexible. If this misconception is what’s keeping you from joining a yoga class, just go for it and experience the changes first-hand.
- Take adequate rest the night before. If you have a yoga session first thing in the morning, get enough rest so that your body and mind are prepared for the workout. A restful and refreshed state of mind will help you be more aware and focused during practice.
- Try early morning yoga. Yoga is believed to be most beneficial when practiced first thing in the morning, which is why you’ll often see seasoned practitioners doing yoga at dawn. Early morning yoga in a space filled with fresh air and sunlight will give a great kick start to your day and fill you with positive energy.
- Wear suitable clothing. Allie Candall from Evolve Fit Wear (https://evolvefitwear.com) explains that the right yoga wear will help you get a better workout. Form-fitting, comfortable yoga clothing in the stretchable fabric will make it easier for you to move and bend without restriction. And with so many great choices, you need not settle for the regular tee and leggings—find yoga apparel that reflects your personal style and makes you look fab as you strike your favorite pose.
- Listen to your yoga teacher. While anyone can strike a yoga asana by watching online videos, there is a lot of science involved in each pose and perfecting yoga asanas takes time and patience. From your breathing to the angle of your arms and legs to the position of your head, the devil is in the detail. For best results, take it slow, pay attention to the details, listen to your coach and don’t rush your progress.
- Embrace slowness. Yoga is an unhurried and slow practice and is vastly different from a gym workout. It requires a slow, gentle and calm approach and rhythmic, jerk-free movements. If you’ve been used to high-energy workouts, getting used to yoga can take some time. But once you do, you may never want to exercise in a closed space in the midst of blaring music.
- Don’t hesitate to try a different teacher. If you want to make yoga a permanent part of your life, don’t give up if you’re not happy with your current instructor. Sometimes it can take a while before one finds a teacher who’s everything they were looking for. If you didn’t like a particular class, keep looking until you come across the ambiance and instructor that are a good fit for your needs. At the same time, don’t be too picky and give the teacher a chance to understand your personality and the state of your health.
- Learn yoga etiquette. Whether you do home yoga or practice in a group, maintaining decorum should be a part of your learning as a beginner. Particularly if practicing with others, choose well-fitted clothing that won’t be problematic when bending forward or backward. Be punctual, keep your phone on silent mode and be respectful toward all present. Stay calm and relaxed during the session and don’t take offence if your teacher tries to adjust a pose you’re in. A qualified and experienced instructor will always take permission before making physical contact.
- Learn before starting at-home practice. If you’re new to yoga, it’s best to learn from a qualified instructor before starting practice at home. An experienced teacher will tell you which asana will relieve your back pain or stiff neck or blocked nose, for instance. Moreover, yoga requires precision to be beneficial and it’s best learned in the presence of a trained instructor.