Yoga is a highly spiritual practice that incorporates breath control, meditation, and physical asana (a variety of poses). When practicing yoga consistently, one can see great benefits to both their physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health. The word “yoga” in itself means union, and that can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but serves to bring about relaxation and oneness with the self. Have you always wanted to start doing yoga, but didn’t know where to start?
Many people adopt the notion that they aren’t flexible, and therefore wouldn’t be able to keep up in a yoga class. Some let this be the driving factor of preventing them from even stepping foot in a yoga studio. However, what is so great about yoga is that there are many different forms and arrays of difficulty levels, so you are bound to find a class that is appropriate for you. Additionally, many teachers provide modifications and variations of poses to meet you where you are at this moment in time.
With this in mind, here are some great tips to get started:
- What to Wear
You do not need the most expensive yoga wear on the market to be able to practice yoga. Although you may certainly opt to do that, or add those options into your practice later on, keep in mind simplicity. What you will want is to wear something that allows you to move fluidly, such as leggings, stretchy pants, joggers, or longer shorts on the bottom, and a tee-shirt, tank top, or sports bra on top. There are lots of options for clothing, and ultimately you should choose something that you feel confident and comfortable in.
2. Choosing the Right Class for You
As mentioned before, yoga comes in a variety of forms. There is gentle, chair, vinyasa, hot, restorative, ashtanga, and hatha yoga just to name a few. Because there are so many, you are bound to find one that fits what you’re looking for. There are 2 suggestions for approaching finding the right class for you. The first is to start with a more gentle class, like restorative or chair yoga, that moves at a slower pace as you get acquainted with the world of yoga and different vocabulary. And second, perhaps you try each style and see what feels right, and stick with that for now. What is nice is that many studios are offering virtual yoga right now at fair prices.
3. Realize that it is a Practice
It is not called a yoga “practice” for no reason. A lot of the movements, breathwork, and mediations you will learn may feel foreign at first, but over time will become more comfortable. It is important to keep in mind as well that yoga is not a competition, and you should not be comparing yourself to anyone else that is in the room.
Yoga can uplift your day, and improve your overall well being. When leaving a good yoga class, you will hopefully feel a sense of calm, clear head, and relaxed (but worked) muscles. Getting started with yoga is fun, and accessible. Using these three tips in mind, you can begin your journey into the spiritual world of yoga, and all it has to offer.
Jenn holds a deep-seated interest in yoga and wellness and enjoys meshing her two worlds, and writing about it. She received her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Certificate from Sangha Studios.