If you are a yoga beginner or considering yoga, here are some tips to get you started; some helpful tips for any yoga beginner.
1. Find a good yoga teacher
It is much easier and more fun to learn yoga, with all its detailed and subtle physical and mental aspects, from the hand of an experienced and qualified teacher. You can find many free videos on YouTube or apps that will guide you through the poses for beginners.
2. Respect the inner wisdom and limitations of your body
Don’t go out of your way to do something that seems dangerous or wrong. This is “Ahimsa”, the practice of harmlessness, which is essential to the skillful and beneficial practice of yoga. Be aware of the contraindications relevant to your specific circumstances: for example, some poses should not be practiced during early pregnancy, with certain injuries, or during menstruation, while other poses can be very helpful.
Yoga is about finding a deeper and healthier harmony between our body and mind, and our breathing is essential for this. Breathe your whole body into the poses and relax. There is a lot to learn about healthy breathing in yoga.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others
Look inward at your own progress; there will always be people with more experience than you. Yoga may be fashionable, but it is not a spectator sport or a competition. Appreciate the subtle progress of your own practice, the best part is inside, in the healing awareness and unity of your own body, mind and spirit.
5. Have a sense of humor
Yoga is a calm and focused activity, but we should not take ourselves too seriously. We may feel awkward and stiff as a board while trying to navigate into new poses. Humility, an inner smile, and a little gentleness can save us from pushing ourselves to the point of stress and injury.
6. Eat, drink and yoga
It is advisable not to eat an hour or two before yoga practice, and to drink only small amounts of water beforehand and not to drink during the practice. Avoid alcohol, sugar, or caffeine before yoga.
7. Wear loose, comfortable clothing (that stays on)
You’ll stretch your body in all directions, so you don’t want to wear anything that buries or restricts your movement. At some point, you are likely to bend your body and also roll onto your stomach, thus saving you from twisting or exposing more than you want if you wear stretch-fitting gear.
8. Modify your body postures
The perfect pose that we can see in a book or see a demonstration by a teacher may be far from what our own body can currently achieve. A good yoga teacher will show you how to carefully relax your own body into the ideal posture, perhaps with the use of yoga accessories such as additional blocks, pads, a belt, etc.