Yoga is quickly becoming a worldwide sensation, and for good reason. The therapeutic effects coupled with increased strength and flexibility make it a winning choice for both novice athletes and fitness gurus alike. If you’re ready to discover the healing power of yoga, here are five tips to help you get started.
- Find a Class or Instructional DVD
So, yoga is basically just stretching, right? You don’t actually need any instruction, right? Wrong! Yoga is actually an entire philosophy with thousands of years of history. To assume you can merely pick it up on your own is insulting to the millions of yogis that have come before you.
The best way to learn properly is to take a class. That way, an instructor can look at your asanas and make sure you’re doing them correctly. If there are no classes near you, invest in a quality DVD course to help you learn the basics.
- Get the Right Equipment
Luckily, you don’t need a lot to get started. However, a quality yoga mat will definitely keep you safe and secure. Performing poses on carpet can cause you to slip and fall, bruising your body, pride, and yoga career.
Additionally, beginners may find blocks and straps helpful in certain poses until they gain enough flexibility and strength.
- Wake Up Early
For night owls, this one can be particularly frustrating to hear, but yoga is best practiced in the morning. It helps to wake up your body from its slumber and lubricate your joints for the day ahead. Not only that, but yoga is supposed to be practiced on an empty stomach, so doing some asanas before breakfast is the perfect time.
However, if you really can’t get into the habit of setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier, don’t fret. Yoga is acceptable at any time of the day, meaning you can practice at midnight if you really feel inclined as long as you get started today.
- Go Slow
At first, you’ll probably be tempted to go all out. Headstand on the first day? No. These poses take work to build up to, and if you attempt them on your very first day, you’ll most likely injure yourself. As long as you continue your practice regularly, you will be able to get to the complicated poses soon enough.
Speeding through the poses in an attempt to display your brute strength is not how it’s done. Yoga is about going slow and feeling the movement and breath in your body.
- Consider Your Goals
There are actually different styles of yoga depending on your overall goal, so it’s important to consider this before beginning your practice. If you’re considering yoga as a meditative journey, then you might be more interested in chair yoga or restorative yoga. If you’d like to use yoga to get more fit, however, choose a more active class, such as bikram yoga.