Yoga for beginners: Learn about the do’s and dont’s, truths and myths about Yoga
“Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down.”
– Jigar Gor (International Yoga & Ayurveda Consultant)
Namaste! Everyone these days talks about practicing yoga and how they can’t live without their daily or weekly class. But if you’re a beginner, attending your first class can sometimes be overwhelming! It certainly was for me!
If you’re nervous about your stepping onto the mat for the first time, here are a few tips and tricks that can help you on your yoga journey as a beginner:
Truths and myths about yoga
- It is often a misconception that yoga is only for flexible people. Well, truth is, yoga is much more than downward dog, warrior pose and sweating profusely for hours on the mat. Yoga is for everybody. It is a holistic practice that elevates your mind, body, and soul.
- Another myth about yoga is that it is more suited for women rather than men. Like we mentioned earlier, yoga is for everybody. If you have an open mind and desire to learn, your age, race, gender or flexibility doesn’t matter.
- The truth about yoga is that it is one of the most gentle ways to strengthen yourself, not just on a physical but also a psychological level. Practicing basic breathing exercises (Pranayamas) have also proven to bring a sense of calm among individuals.
Asanas are the building blocks of yoga. They are poses that are designed to create peace of mind and body. When done correctly (under the watchful eye of a yogi or yogini), these asanas give you the strength to build your immunity and a solid core that supports your body.W
Yoga for Beginners Do’s & Don’ts:
As a beginner, there are many do’s & don’ts that may help before beginning your yoga journey.
- Do go in with a sense of purpose. Attending multiple Yoga classes without sincerity or intent may not lead to fulfilling mind and body experience. It is always advisable to go for a class with a purpose (however simple it maybe). The intent is important.
- Don’t have a heavy meal before a yoga class. Practicing yoga on a full stomach may lead to discomfort, nausea or even vomiting. So, wait for 2 to 3 hours before eating.
- Do invest in your own yoga mat and comfortable clothing /attire that isn’t restrictive in any way. Make sure you practice yoga on leveled flooring.
- Don’t push it. Yoga for beginners is a journey. Unlike personal training or outdoor group fitness, yoga doesn’t work on your body if you strain yourself too much. All your movements should be unhurried and rhythmic. Also, refrain from rigorous workout sessions after practicing yoga.
Yoga is a personal journey
Starting yoga can be intimidating, but it’s always easier if you have the right teacher to guide you along the way. A very important part of yoga practice is your guru. While yoga sessions online can help to a certain level, it is always advisable to take lessons from a knowledgeable practitioner (yogi) at a yoga studio near you.
To make your yoga journey a holistic one, firstly, you must begin with no expectations. Simply show up for the class with an open mind and a focus to be healthy (in your mind and body). You may not get the postures right, or the asanas exactly the way the teacher demonstrates. But just remember, yoga is a personal journey. You will get to your intended destination, so just be patient.
Secondly, listen to your body! When we say yoga is a personal journey, we mean it. It is not a practice that comes with the label of ‘one size fits all’. Most knowledgeable teachers offer modifications according to your body and its level of flexibility. So, respect your body and adjust your poses accordingly.
Lastly, find the right group of people to support you. Whether you are on the mat or off it, yoga is a spiritual practice. So, try to find a community that is inclusive, supportive and positive.
Whether you follow your teacher’s guidelines in yoga for beginners or follow your heart, Yoga can open the door to a happy, healthy and stress-free life. So, namaste to you!