7 Yoga Tips for Beginners

By Melanie Kiss

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We were all beginners of yoga at some point. Some of us get the concept right off the bat and some of us are unable to see past the pretzel-like poses. Whatever category you find yourself in at this moment, consider the following yoga tips during your next practice.

Take advantage of the studio setting            

Most yoga studios and outdoor spaces are set up to provide a calming, minimal environment. But the real yoga practice starts within. In order to fully reap the rewards and teachings of a practice, one has to fully engage in the present moment. This is a difficult task, even to some of the most well practiced yogis.

Before the start of a class, you will usually get a chance to sit in silence. This is a time to relax the body and the mind. Breathing exercises or quiet time is provided for you to bring your attention inwards. It is so easy for our minds to wander off and before you know it you have been thinking of something that happened years ago. Usually one thought leads to another and then to another and next thing you know, you have been in mind-mode for minutes if not hours, seldom paying attention to what is happening around you. This quiet time is a time to catch your thoughts and let them go, bringing your awareness into the body and on the breath.

Start slow

Make sure your movements are gentle at first. Make sure that your body goes through a proper warm up. Listening to your body is a key ingredient to having a healthy practice. If following along might be difficult, there is no need to feel disappointed. Focusing on yourself is the most important thing. We all have challenges in our own unique ways and learning to accept what is, is an important factor.

Find a modification

If you have an injury or certain difficulty with a pose, finding another variation is the answer.  The point is to focus on yourself and work with your capabilities. With time, you will get better and it is a matter of patience and acceptance of yourself. We all have limits and paying attention to what your body is telling you during practice is a way to get to know yourself better. Another thing is if you become tired or emotionally distraught, you can always hang out in child’s pose at any point during the practice to regain perspective.

Stay curious and open

During practice, remember to keep an open mind. Perhaps certain terms and techniques might sound out of this world. But yoga is an ancient method and has been practiced by many to achieve peace and happiness. If something doesn’t make sense or is hard to fathom, asking after class is always a great way to fulfill that curiosity.

In preparation for a class, consider these yoga tips:

  1. Perhaps bringing a water bottle might be useful. When one works with energy, in order to cleanse the body, adequate hydration is necessary.
  2. Don’t go on a full stomach. The energy that you need for postures and focused attention should not be spent on digestion.  
  3. Bring extra layers. If the air conditioning or outside weather conditions are a little cooler, warming up and cooling down should be in a comfortable temperature where your joints are warm.

Whatever may happen in a yoga practice, remember to allow things to happen without placing a label on it as being good or bad. This will allow you to enjoy whatever happens and create a wonderful experience where you might just find you learn something new.