4 Essential Tips for Yoga Beginners
Whether you’re new to yoga or returning to the practice after taking a break, you may be feeling lost and unsure of where to begin. A beginner’s yoga session will introduce (or re-introduce) you to the practice while helping you establish the most important fundamentals that will serve as the foundation for your practice.
If you’re just getting started with yoga, here are some tips to help you succeed.
1. Start with a Slow Practice
Many new yogis are excited about dynamic vinyasa flow, trying more advanced poses or experimenting with other intense yoga styles, such as ashtanga. However, if this is your first experience with yoga, consider starting with a slow-paced and gentle routine designed with beginners in mind.
A gentle beginner’s practice will help you get familiar with the postures, their names and how to safely transition to them. It will also give you an opportunity to see if yoga is a good fit for you.
Remember – we cannot walk before we crawl. It’s okay – in fact, it’s recommended – that you start with a beginner’s class, where the teacher puts extra emphasis on correct alignment and offers modifications.
In-studio classes are a wonderful way to get familiar with yoga and meet like-minded people. We encourage you to try our 6-WEEK YOGA BEGINNER SERIES starting in January 2022. It‘s a well designed program that will help you form a solid foundation for your practice.
2. It’s Okay to Modify Poses
If you follow yoga teachers and yoga practitioners on Social Media, you may see them doing a perfect standing forward bend (called Uttanasana). Their palms are sitting flat on the floor. Maybe they can even touch their noses to their knees.
It’s important to remember that you are just getting started. Be kind and accepting towards yourself and let go of aiming for perfection. It’s okay to modify poses. In fact, it’s encouraged. Maybe you can only reach your shins or your thighs when bending forward. That’s okay. It’s better to modify poses than to perform poses in a harmful way.
Yoga is not about perfect and advanced postures. It’s about accepting yourself and working within your own personal limits. Start where you are, and kindly listen to your body without judgment. With time and regular practice, your body will open up and allow you to progress with your practice.
3. Use Props
Props, such as blocks, blankets and straps, are helpful tools for beginner yogis. Use them if you can or need to. Straps, blocks, and blankets can help you enter poses or modify them, so you can make the most of your practice. For example, if your hamstrings are tight, you can use blocks in Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana) to protect your lower back.
- Blankets can help support your knees and back.
- Blocks can be used as an extension of your arms, or you may use them to support your hips, back or head
- Straps can create space or resistance to help you get full benefits of a pose.
- Props can assist you in entering poses, and they can also be used to bring more stability to your joints when holding or transitioning into postures.
4. Indulge in Your Savasana
Most yoga classes end with Savasana (or corpse pose). The purpose of this posture is to give your body a rest and soak up the effects of your practice.
Many practitioners find this pose to be the most challenging. It’s tempting to skip it – you may wonder, what’s the point of lying down quietly on your back. Savasana allows you to integrate the physical practice you just completed and brings balance to your nervous system.
Allow yourself the time to be still and really enjoy Savasana. Start with just five minutes and work your way up to 15 or more over time.
If you’re new to yoga, the best thing you can do for your practice is take a beginner’s yoga series. By starting with the basics, you will build a solid foundation that will allow you to flourish in your practice over time. Join us at the elbowroom for a 6-week introductory yoga series designed specifically for absolute beginners. Click here to learn more.