How To: Yoga for Beginners
As with everything in life, the first steps in Yoga are the hardest. All Yoga is Yoga for beginners because all Yoga is for everyone but there are ways to ensure that the start of your Yoga journey is a positive one.
Choose the right class
Vinyasa or power-flow are probably the most well-known styles of Yoga in our Western world. But often, a dynamic and fast-paced class like Vinyasa can be intimidating and overwhelming and has the ability to leave newbies feeling like Yoga is too hard for them. It is not that Yoga is not for you but rather that, at this stage, Vinyasa or Power may not be the right fit for you (yet). Often, these classes are not tailored to Yoga for beginners. Choose a slower, more gentle style that suits your pace and gives you time to find your feet and learn how to breathe. At the same time, the stillness and intensity of a Yin class can be excruciating for a beginner yogi. Learn how to walk before trying to run.
Arrive a few minutes early
Give yourself the time before your first few classes, to chat to the teacher and let them know you are a newbie. Ask anything you are unsure about and give yourself the space to figure out the lay of the land (or studio) rather than rushing in last minute and hoping for the best. You will also need to register before your first class so allow an extra few minutes there.
Place your mat at the BACK of the class
This might seem a little controversial as you would think being as close to the teacher as possible at first is best but in reality, most teachers describe most of the class instead of demonstrating it. So the easiest way to see what is going on is to see the other people in the class doing it, You cannot do that when you are in the front row. Additionally, the back row feels safer and less exposed, leaving you to focus on learning and trying.
Give yourself a break
EVERYone was a beginner at some point. We all struggled, we all felt like we were going to break and we all progressed to where we are now. You have to start somewhere. The good thing is that in Yoga, there is no right or wrong and the only one judging you is yourself. Everyone else is busy focusing on their own Yoga. If you do nothing more than observing your breath for even a minute, you have already had a perfect Yoga class.
Try different styles and different teachers
Every class is different, every teacher has a different style and some might suit you better than others. Allow yourself to find your Yoga.
Focus on your breath
The poses don’t matter. The only reason we practice them is to bring comfort to the body in order to be able to sit still and breathe, meditate, turn inwards. Make your breath your primary focus and the poses will eventually follow.