Yoga is one of the most beneficial practices you can incorporate into your life. Many new students enter the exercise completely surprised by how much yoga not only builds core strength and flexibility, but soothes the mind as well.
If you are wondering how to start yoga by yourself, but all you know is the standard sun salutation and downward dog, there is an overwhelming amount of information on your doorstep. Do not let your lack of knowledge, keep you from investing in yoga. Read this, and other helpful articles, on yoga tips for beginners to ease you into the practice.
There are 8 branches of yoga, each with its own unique set of poses and themes that define that branch. Determining which one is right for you will also depend heavily on the classes being offered in your area.
In the west, styles such as Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Hatha yoga are some of the most popular. So, for simplicity’s sake, this article will focus on best yoga tips for beginners in these styles.
What You Should Focus on As a Yoga Beginner
Starting out at the beginning of anything can be intimidating. With yoga, however, the more you learn, and the more you notice your body easing into poses, the more satisfactory the experience.
Keep an open, healthy mind, and remember that starting out as a beginner is incredibly common in yoga.
More and more people are turning to the mat, so you are bound to be one of many trying out yoga for the first time. Plenty of people are looking to expand their minds and improve their bodies.
Yoga is about slowly building flexibility, strength, and endurance. Keep in mind that very few beginners can do all the poses right away, and that’s okay.
If you are wondering what your first yoga class experience will be like or how to start yoga by yourself, this article will guide you through 10 helpful yoga tips for beginners.
Let’s dive in!
1. Find a Good Yoga Teacher and Studio
You want to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck when first starting out with yoga. Because of its blossoming popularity, some studios will charge far more than their class is worth.
So, look for a good, passionate teacher that works for a fair studio. You want someone that is passionate about yoga, is well-qualified, experienced, and personable.
You will also want to ensure that you are at ease in the class. Yoga is an incredibly enjoyable experience. When you really bond with your instructor and classmates around you, it becomes an even more rewarding experience.
Being comfortable with the instructor is crucial. You are there to learn and grow. For first-time yoga poses, you should feel comfortable being guided by your instructor when you are doing something wrong.
2. Never Compare Yourself to Others
While this also serves as a great general rule in life, it is also an incredibly important rule for enjoying yoga. When you compare yourself to others, you belittle your own achievements, neglecting how far your body has come and where you can grow next.
Be kind to yourself and your body and pay attention to your own limitations. This will help you blossom into your yoga practice in a way that fits you perfectly. If there was anyone yoga tip for beginners to remember for a comfortable, holistic experience, it would be this one.
3. Don’t Push Yourself
This goes hand in hand with not comparing yourself to others. You might be tempted to overreach on Trikonasana in order to match the teacher or your neighbor, but listen to your body.
Yoga is meant to heal the body, not harm it. Listening to your body’s current physical limitations is important in progressing through the practice in a healthy way.
Your yoga instructor will walk you through this as well, but women who are pregnant or menstruating also have to adjust various poses to work with their current physical state. This yoga tip for beginners is important in ensuring you have a safe, healthy, first-time experience.
4. Breathe, Breathe, Breathe
One great yoga tip for beginners at home is that you remember to breathe. Breathing is also important if you are looking to maximize the benefit of a beginner yoga sequence.
This is important to keep in mind as a new yogi. Classes will stress breath with each pose. Furthermore, each pose has its own pattern of breathing that follows inward and outward movements.
If you are building your yoga practice at home, don’t forget to monitor your breath! It has such power in completing the yoga practice that there is a name for it: Pranayama.
5. Don’t Eat Before Class
If this is your first time jumping into yoga, an important yoga tip for beginners is to skip your morning meal before heading to the studio.
Many wrongly assume that the workout is easy and a little meal beforehand won’t hinder your workout.
Yoga, however, is harder than people anticipate. You need to be fresh, ready, and not bogged down by a stomach focused on digesting.
6. Get Comfortable Clothes that Breathe
Your yoga teacher is going to want to see your posture as plainly as possible. This means that baggy t-shirts and sweatpants are not optimal yoga wear. Your teacher won’t kick you out by any means, but they will kindly instruct you to bring better, more form-fitting clothing to the next class.
This usually means leggings and a slightly loose butform-fitting shirt. Also, make sure these clothes breath and allow you to stretch comfortably. The last thing you want is to be restricted by your clothes.
If you are still stuck on what to wear for yoga class you can always get advice from your instructor or other people in the class.
7. Adjust a Pose to Fit Your Body
This goes along with not comparing yourself to others and not pushing yourself beyond your limit, but different poses look different for each individual.
When you are just starting out, your Parsvakonasana will not look the same as the teachers. He or she has worked for years to gain that kind of flexibility and strength.
This yoga tip for beginners helps you ease into the practice with confidence.
8. Get Comfortable with Your Teacher
This is important for ensuring your safety and comfort during the class. You should tell your teacher when a pose makes you uncomfortable, or when a pose frustrates you.
Forging a good relationship with your teacher also means you have a lot of fun during class. While many might be shocked by this, a great benefit to regularly practicing yoga is the ability to not take things so seriously.
A good yoga teacher will be an exemplary model of that, encouraging you to grow and laugh at the same time. This is an exercise of the body and mind, and getting close with your teacher will bring you closer to its overwhelming list of benefits.
9. Practice Outside of Class
An important yoga tip for beginners in building a solid foundation is to practice outside of class. Most classes meet once a week, and it is important to practice a few simple, basic poses outside of class to build strength and flexibility.
Make sure that when you are practicing outside of class that you remember the proper form to avoid injury. And, remember to breathe as well.
10. Practice With Friends
If you don’t want to practice on your own try and find some enthusiastic friends who are also interested in yoga. While yoga can be a soothing solitary activity there is also value in practicing with others.
By working with friends you may also improve your technique and feel for some poses. There are certainly many poses that present challenges for beginners. It would be ideal if you could practice with friends who have more experience than you.
If you believe practicing with friends can improve your confidence and technique then it is definitely worth a go. Intimate group sessions may also help you feel less self-conscious about practicing in a larger class.
Practicing with friends also opens new avenues for you to explore. Partner yoga involves poses that require two people. Partner yoga can help you further your core strength and balance. It is a continual learning experience that can be enhanced by genuine companionship.
Practicing with friends is also a great option if you are not fond of your teacher or the class environment. You will be able to hold each other accountable without worrying about unnecessary pressure.
11. Write Notes
Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the steps to a yoga pose. The best way to keep track of some of the trickier poses is to write down things that may help you.
You can also keep a personal diary of your progress. This way your experience can be tailored to your mind and body. Often your individual needs may be glossed over in a large group session. It is handy to keep track of your performance so that you do not pick up bad habits.
It is important that you find balance as a beginner between learning and reflecting. Writing notes is often one of the overlooked yoga tips for beginners. You don’t want to let the note-taking get in the way of the experience. But you do want to make sure you are posing and breathing in the correct way.
12. Read Books
There is plenty of yoga-related wisdom that you will miss if you don’t read. Initially, your yoga instructor should be your first port of call. However, it is unlikely that your instructor knows how to answer all your questions. It is helpful to be curious.
Reading books may not be for everyone but it can be useful if you are serious about learning. Knowing the history and philosophy behind yoga may change the way you undertake and view your sessions.
Reading may also point you towards new and different classes. Books can act as a great yoga finder.
13. Relax, Enjoy, and Have Fun
Last but not least, just relax and slip into the wonderful practice that is yoga. This tradition has been around for centuries and has been known as one of the most powerful, healing forms of exercise in the world.
You are here to heal, both mentally and physically, from the stressors of everyday life. Try not to stress about what to wear for yoga class, or what other people are doing. Yoga should be about improving yourself and you have to resist the temptation to be self-conscious or judgemental.
If you are just getting into yoga for the first time remember to enjoy yourself. Don’t push yourself, and enjoy the subtle progression as your body grows stronger and your mind grows calmer.
Follow These Tips for a Great Yoga Journey
At the end of the day, don’t use yoga as art to show off, don’t worry about other’s progress, let yourself slip into the meditative pace, and take a moment to relax from your stressful day.
Yoga is a wonderful art, and these tips and tricks will help you appreciate it to the fullest.
So, which one of these yoga tips for beginners was your favorite?
Comment below to let us know!