Yoga is a well-known practice that helps you maintain both physical and mental health. You can do it under the guidance of a trained expert, or you can even apply its principles at home using tips you’ve read online. Either way, you might feel a bit intimidated, especially if you are a beginner yoga practitioner.
Yoga poses might seem complex and difficult, but once you get the hang of it, everything will become a lot easier. Even better, continued yoga practice could help some of you lose the stubborn weight that seems to hang around. All you have to do is to follow the recommendations presented in this complete beginner yoga guide.
There are plenty of yoga exercises, but you should stick to those that make you feel comfortable and that don’t push your body way too close to its limits. Yoga is related to relaxation and meditation, not to physical pain and muscle sores. Here are the most common beginner yoga poses that you should start with.
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This seems like an easy pose (and should indeed be easy to perform), and it will help you develop better yoga skills as well as flexibility. Stand up with your feet closely together and let your arms hang on your body sides. Make sure you ground your feet and press them against the floor as much as you can. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible while you tuck your tailbone in, to engage all your thigh muscles. Pay attention to your breathing process and at the moment in which you inhale, extend your arms up simultaneously. Then, exhale and let your arms slowly go down as their initially were.
2. Child’s Pose Yoga Exercises
You should do this beginner yoga’s pose every time you need a break or a reset moment. It is credited to relaxing your entire nervous system, and it can be a great breathing pause during your yoga class or program. The child’s pose is simple and easy to do. Just sit down in a kneeling position and tuck your toes under your body. Put your bottom over your feet and stretch your upper body as much as you can. Don’t forget to extend your arms and rest your head on the yoga mat. The only contact point, when it comes to your head and the mat, should be your forehead.
3. Cat Pose Yoga Exercises
Source: Vimeo Dr Melissa West
This is a great method to relax and to warm up your back. If you do this regularly, your back will hurt less, and it will become more flexible. This pose should be done before the one that I will present next, the downward facing dog. It assures mobility especially for those who have desk jobs. Keep your hands and knees on the floor and at first, don’t engage any of your back and abdomen muscles. Inhale and exhale while you round up with the spine towards the ceiling. Place your chin close to your chest. Then, arch your back with your abs getting closer to the floor this time. Be careful not to do this move too quickly.
4. Downward Facing Dog Yoga Exercises
Start by sitting on your hands and knees. Now, press on your palm and raise your body, pushing your bottom up. The correct position is when you form a V with your body. Try to relax your upper back and press firmly on the mat with your palms and foot toes. This yoga pose is great because it makes your bones stronger, boost blood circulation, and reduces back pain. This pose is great for those of you who have a busy and active life. It will wake you up and make your more energetic. This should not miss from your yoga routine.
There are two different beginner yoga warrior poses. The first one begins with the mountain pose previously described. Exhale and bring your left foot back like in a lunge position. Raise your arms up and make sure they are in line with your ears. Flex your right foot to form a 90-degree angle around your knee and expand your chest, bringing your shoulders back. The second warrior pose is very similar to the first one. Instead of facing forwards, your body should be externally rotated to one side. This time, your arms will be raised out to the sides, reaching your shoulders’ height.
Using props might be helpful, especially for a beginner yoga trainee. There are plenty of yoga accessories you can use to create more complex poses. Among the most common ones, there are the following: yoga blocks, straps, mats, blankets, and more. You shouldn’t think that all these props and accessories will help you cheat by making your exercises easier. That’s not the case.
Instead, all these things will help you get better at yoga and add a new dimension to your whole experience. Let’ see how you can use them in the proper way.
You should always use a yoga mat during your yoga class or program because it prevents injuries such as slipping and back problems. During yoga, you might sweat and usually the floor is slippery. Even though they are not that thick, mats and blankets still provide a better ground for your body. This way, you can focus only on meditating and on your poses. You can even place a blanket or a thicker towel on top of your yoga mat.
Yoga straps and belts create a new deeper experience during your poses. You can use them to hold your feet together or elevate your legs from the ground. You can even grab both ends and stretch your body by extending the strap. The only difference between a strap and a belt is the fact that the second one is closed into a circle. Straps are opened at both ends.
First of all, you won’t need both of these items. So, you should decide which one of them you prefer to work with. Blocks and bolsters support your body and create the perfect height and background for you to do your yoga poses safely and correctly. During yoga exercises, the body needs to achieve a certain alignment that can be difficult to obtain especially if you are a newbie. Therefore, you should use proper accessories.
The most important thing to consider when choosing your yoga outfit is to pick those clothing items that feel comfortable and hug your body shape. They should allow you to move easily and make poses properly. Even though you don’t necessarily have to wear special clothes for yoga, you need to make sure your pants and your T-shirt are comfortable and made out of a stretching material.
When it comes to yoga tops, choose one that doesn’t reveal too much, and in which you feel fresh even when you sweat. Nobody says you should be extra modest. However, your yoga clothing should cover you up, in order to avoid embarrassing situations. Think about it! If you always try to pull your pants up and your T-shirt down, you will be distracted and not be able to execute the poses in a correct way.
The best solution is to purchase a tank top and wear a sports bra underneath. Now let’s take a look at the pants. You should decide from the start which type of yoga pants you want. They should be as comfortable as possible, whether they are long or short. What I would recommend you to wear are leggings. I think this is the best choice. They stretch well enough and they nicely hug your body as well. Also, make sure the fabric is a light one, even natural if you find it. You wouldn’t want the fabric to get in your way.
You can even wear shorts if you want to, or pants that cover your knees, leaving your ankles free. The most important thing is that they have to be form-fitting. Pants with this length are called Capri tights. On the other hand, don’t choose pants that are too tight because they might cut off your blood circulation or restrict your flexibility.
Like I previously said, you should choose the right fabric. Yoga clothes must be made out of cotton or other natural materials. Even if you pick a synthetic fabric, try to opt for one that allows your skin to breathe and keeps sweat away from your body. Spandex is also a good alternative.
Whatever option you go for, from the ones described above, make sure you avoid jeans. Jeans are highly restrictive and they are probably the worst item to use as a yoga outfit. Another key element that will help your focus and mindfulness practice is to wear proper colors. Pick those you love most.
Most women prefer neutral shades. However, you should wear whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Hues such as lavender, light blue or warm green will help you relax during your yoga poses.
Another thing to consider, especially if you are a beginner yoga practitioner who wants to save time and receive everything in one product, is a complete yoga starter kit that contains everything you need. You need this if you want to do yoga at home. Such a kit contains things like a yoga mat, blocks, towels, straps, and other useful items for yoga practicing.
I hope our beginner yoga guide was helpful, and now you know more about how to start doing yoga at home. I would be glad to know you feel ready to do yoga as a daily habit. It can really change your life for the better. We strongly encourage you to check out a Yoga DVD such as Yoga For Beginners. We find this video is perfect for those of you just starting out.
There are some things you should consider before starting yoga classes or doing it at home. First of all, try to wear appropriate clothes that make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Then, find out a bit about main yoga poses. You can even practice them at home before going to a yoga class (don’t push yourself, though, because you might get injured).
Yoga is not only a great workout but it is also an ancient practice that helps you get in touch with your entire body, as well as mind. You can even say that yoga is similar to an active meditation technique. During poses, you will learn to breathe properly, which will improve many aspects of your life, such as the quality of sleep. Remember that yoga is not just another sport, but a complete exercising method that has plenty of benefits for your physical and mental health.