If you’re looking to start yoga, we’ve covered everything that you need to know about the practice as a whole.
Read on to find out about the origins of yoga, the benefits, and how to start your yoga practice.
What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient form of spiritual development and practice.
What is commonly referred to as ‘yoga’ in the western world is actually ‘hatha yoga’ – the practice of physical movement through asanas (or yoga poses) designed to connect the body and mind.
Though in the modern world most people turn to yoga for the physical practice, the benefits to the mental state are immediate and undeniable. Through regular yoga practice, you’ll learn to quiet your mind and relieve stress, as well as improving the health of your body.
What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
Here are just some of the incredible benefits of practicing yoga regularly:
Stress relief Yoga is well-known as a wonderful way to alleviate stress. By practicing mindful movement and incorporating breathing techniques we begin to focus on the present moment and less on the concerns of the day.
Strength Depending on the style of yoga that you practice, you’ll be working a lot on lower and upper body strength. This is a great way to stabilize the entire body whilst improving our overall fitness.
Increased heart rate During faster-paced styles of yoga your heart rate will increase. This enables your body to receive oxygen-rich blood, helping your organs and muscles to perform better.
Flexibility Though what most of us think of when we picture yoga, flexibility is only one of the many benefits of yoga. If you struggle with mobility, yoga is a great way to work on lengthening and softening the muscles of the body.
Socializing If you attend in-person classes there’s a good chance that soon enough you’ll have made yourself some ‘yoga friends’!
As well as all of the above, yoga can relieve pain, improve the quality of your sleep, and boost your immune system.
What do you need to start your yoga practice?
Starting yoga is easy, all you need is yourself!
Most studios will have mats that you can borrow during class until you’re ready to invest in your own. With that in mind, buying your own mat from the start is a great way to feel motivated and excited about your practice!
Yoga studios will be able to provide you with all of the props that you need during class. But if practicing at home, you may want to consider getting yourself a couple of yoga blocks and a strap.
Which style of yoga is best for beginners?
As a beginner, you can choose to practice any style of yoga that calls out to you the most!
However, it’s usually best to start with a more gentle style like hatha yoga. Once you’re familiar with the pose names and how to do them, you’ll be better prepared to follow faster-paced classes should you choose to.
If you’re looking to attend yoga for chronic stress relief or anxiety, it might be best to try restorative or yin yoga.
How to choose a yoga class
If you want to attend group classes, try looking for a studio that offers various styles of yoga so that you can try them all and learn which classes you like most.
Online classes are a great way to experiment with different styles of yoga, but you won’t get the hands-on, personalized experience available in in-person classes.
Have fun experimenting, dedicate yourself to regular practice, and reap the benefits!