Watching well-practiced yogis complete a Sayanasana (Scorpion pose), can be daunting when starting yoga for beginners. But, even the pros began somewhere.
Jim Harrington, Virgin Active’s Yoga Ambassador, believes that when it comes to yoga for beginners, there are core basics everyone should know in order to enjoy it! Once you understand these, you could be a pro yogi in the future too.
Try these simple ‘yoga for beginners’ strategies
For first-timers, stop thinking about how hard yoga will be and just give it a try. Don’t be intimidated by what anyone else can do. The truth is, you don’t have to be flexible to start- this comes with time and practise and there’s always a welcoming space for beginners. The key is to focus on your own journey and avoid comparing yourself to anyone else.
Don’t dive into an advanced class – start with the basics and let your skills develop organically over time. Also, focus on breathing right first. That is the key to everything when it comes to yoga.
Comfort is key
Clothing is really not important when it comes to yoga. You can wear anything as long as you are comfortable. However, if you’d like to start with a hot yoga class in a heated room, it’s important to wear clothing that’ll support sweating. Wear tighter-fitting capri-style pants rather than loose shorts. This will help to absorb the sweat rather than have it run down your bare legs. A close-fitting, yet comfortable tank top is also a good choice rather than a loose top.
Get a grip
Getting a good grip is vital when you peform yoga poses. The ground shouldn’t be too soft as you might end up hurting your wrists. A wooden floor or a good mat will do the trick to keep you stable while you attempt each pose. You could also invest in a pair of yoga socks which are made with rubber balls on the soles. This helps to prevent slipping.
Good breathing is the foundation of yoga. Many people feel that they need to breathe loudly in yoga but that is actually a panic breath – breathe long instead of loud. Healthy, natural and calm breathing involves the use of your diaphragm.
Time it right
Yoga is good for you no matter the time of day but morning is probably best because your mind is rested and a yoga session will set you up for the day ahead.
Watch what you eat
Ideally, practise yoga on an empty stomach. Your diaphragm becomes restricted with a full stomach or even with too much water. Yoga can help you lose weight as certain breathing exercises have been found to act as an appetite suppressant.