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beginner yoga - where to start?
Photography by kendell mcleod

beginner yoga - where to start?

by laura mcconney laura mcconney
Practice Yoga | Hatha Yoga | | Tips | | Tips for Beginners |

Although many people have an interest in starting yoga, most of them don’t know where to start.  With all of the different classes and disciplines, choosing the right location and beginning a yoga regime can be challenging.  If you’re looking to start yoga, here are some tips to help you begin.

1. Pick a Type

There are a lot of different types of yoga, ranging from the traditional ashtanga to the incredibly sweaty Bikram.  Before embarking on a yoga regiment, be sure to research each type of yoga out there.  Choose the practice that best suits you.  Some discplines may be more challenging than others, and depending on your fitness level, the right decision can either turn you into a bona fide yogi or turn you away from yoga forever.

2. Find a Class

Ideally, any newcomer should learn yoga from a certified instructor.  Doing so will ensure proper technique and help prevent injuries.  Also, a teacher can properly modify poses for you.  The right adjustment can build strength and comfort with certain poses, guaranteeing progress over time.  When searching for a class, look for studios that suit your goals.  If you’re simply hoping to get in shape, a class offered through a gym might be best for you.  Meanwhile, if you want to receive in depth training that includes a spiritual element, you might want to consider a studio or a yoga retreat.  Remember that when you do attend a class, no one is judging you.  Most of the time, everyone else is too focused on mastering their own poses and breathing to even noticewho’s around them.  That being said, if you enter a class and don’t like the energy in the room, it is okay to leave, just do so before it begins.  Yoga is all about energy.  Make sure that yours fits with the tone of the room.

3. Just Do It

Not everyone can attend yoga classes at a studio or through a gym, and that’s okay, too.  Practicing at home is a great way to get started.  But if you do practice at home, figure out a routine that you will use as a foundation for you’re entire routine.  This way, you don’t waste time deciding which poses to perform.  In the first week or so, find the right pacing for your routine.  Physically getting started is often the hardest part of yoga for beginners, and having a set regiment will help with this process.

4. Get What You Need

Finding out what you might need to bring to class and what equipment you will need at home is an essential step in starting yoga.  Although it may seem obvious, this action tends to be overlooked by beginners.  This is particularly important if you plan on practicing at home, as borrowing equipment will not be an option.

6. Find a Time That’s Right for You

Having a set time to practice yoga is a great way to ensure that you get in your training.  Usually, going through your routine in the morning is optimal, as your stomach is empty.  One of the biggest mistakes that newcomers to yoga make is practicing after having eaten.  However, if you can’t fit yoga into your morning schedule, that’s okay.  Determine a time that works best for you, and get your poses done.

7. Don’t Drink Water During Class

Although staying hydrated is extremely important, drinking water during a yoga class can negatively affect your internal energy.  Sweating too much in your body indicates that your energy is flowing in the wrong direction.  Yoga has the potential to purify your entire body, but if you’re drinking water during your session, then you’re hindering this process.  Drink water before class and after class in order to maintain your hydration. 

Yoga is a great way to stay fit and find balance in your life.  Although beginning a yoga lifestyle may seem daunting, these tips will provide you with the baby steps necessary to make it a breeze.  But don’t wait.  Procrastination kills inspiration.  Once you jump into a yoga routine, you’re sure to become a yogi in no time.