If you are considering picking up a new hobby like yoga, there are a few steps you need to take before introducing this lifestyle.
Yoga is a growing practice full of multiple levels and dimensions. It is a social media sensation expanded through countless platforms. Whether you are participating in a Yoga class in person or virtually, you are still introducing movements that require a decent amount of concentration.
Yoga is an ancient and complex practice, rooted in Indian philosophy. Originally done as a spiritual practice, but over the years has become more popular as it promotes physical and mental well-being. There are other techniques when it comes to Yoga but Vinyasa is the most popular. Yoga as practiced in our society typically emphasizes physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation.
From your neighbor to your local barista, it seems like everyone wants a piece of this activity. Participating in a consistent Yoga practice can be helpful for high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, as well as gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness.
Whether you are an athletic person or someone looking for a stress reliever, you most likely will second-guess yourself. So before you doubt yourself, keep in mind the following tips for when you make your first downward dog.
#1- Start with a beginner class
As mentioned earlier, a Vinyasa flow class is the most popular, both virtual and in person. Vinyasa is best to learn all types of postures and fundamental principles of yoga. There are certain moves that you will see constantly, which leave room to learn alternative ways to approach your practice mentally. However, it is always good to try different types of classes until you find the one that is right for you. Once you are comfortable with your class that means you are ready to advance to the next level. The best way to learn Yoga is by doing it. As you alternate instructors and switch up your class level you can develop your knowledge of Yoga practice and all things related.
#2- Purchase Appropriate Yoga Clothes
It is important to feel comfortable when you are being active. For classes such as Yoga and Pilates, you want breathable clothing. No matter how long your yoga class is, it will work up a sweat, so consider wearing something with moisture-absorbing materials. There is nothing worse than working out in sweaty clothes that won’t give. Ideally, you want to purchase a quality yoga mat, so there is no reason that your yoga pants can’t also be of good quality. Feel free to shop online to find the best reviews and prices for your future yoga attire.
Tip: It can be helpful considering both full-coverage with long sleeves as well as tank tops and shorts when it comes to workout clothing. Remember, exercise and clothes both come in different shapes and sizes. You will thank yourself for having options when you attempt a class outdoors in the middle of July.
#3- Eat Before You Yoga
Just like any form of exercise, practicing Yoga burns calories. Even though you do not particularly leave your mat, you will walk away feeling sore somewhere in your body. Yoga is a pretty intense workout, and fueling your body properly will help you get the most out of your practice. Snacks are usually preferred when doing shorter workouts. However, if you are about to take on over 45 minutes of non-stop exercise, you need to intake an actual meal or meal replacement. Prepping your body does not stop at food though you also need to hydrate before, during and after your yoga class. Make sure to keep that water bottle filled!
Tip: You don’t need to have an entire meal if you are not ready to eat at that time, but make sure to grab something light about 30 minutes before your class. This way you have enough time to digest your food and intake more water before stepping onto your mat.
#4- Treat Yoga as a workout
Regular yoga practice increases flexibility and strength in your muscles. You work your full range of motion in every joint of your body and build strong and long muscles. Classes range from 20 to 90 minutes, therefore calls for different types of endurance and strength. Yoga helps increase circulation throughout the body, and the meditative benefits of a complete yoga practice result in a calmer state of mind. Practicing any type of yoga helps reduce stress, which in turn promotes happiness. The beauty about working out as a Yogi is you get to push your body past its limits while you breathe through it.
Tip: Write down 3 goals you want to accomplish from practicing Yoga. This will help you get to your classes when you do not feel like going, and keep you focused on your progress as you stay committed.
#5- Challenges Are Good
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Pain is weakness leaving the body”? When it comes to exercise, this couldn’t be truer. If you are reading this article to feel better about your decision in starting a new practice, you are probably having doubts.
You might be thinking to yourself, “what if I can’t hold the poses long enough?” or “what if I can’t do the poses at all?” The first step to pushing past this temporary moment of resistance is to commit it a class. Once you have made that first payment and reserved your slot, walk in with confidence, and avoid comparing yourself to the other yogis in the room. Remind yourself that all bodies are unique, and have varied strengths and challenges. Chances are that you are not the only one feeling this way. Every time you step onto the mat, you will experience a different journey. Yoga is about acceptance, so don’t judge yourself; instead, embrace yourself. Wherever you are today.
Yoga is not only about breath and connecting with your mat, but also about being a part of a community. While we have support systems full of Yogis we must remember that each practice is an individual journey. Your body is capable of so much and your mind is capable of even more. Taking on Yoga as a part of your routine will bring different aspects to your life that will make things just a bit easier.
Accomplishing your yoga classes day after day will feel rewarding. Your mind and body will feel an instant change as you release stress and tension from the body to create space for positive energy. Hop on the bandwagon and give yourself the chance to radiate strength.
Check out some beginner yoga practices in our yoga section. Celebrate your mind, body, and spirit with Yoga.
”The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.