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Are you a beginner to yoga and you need more information on how to start and what to expect? You have come to the right place. My name is Prema Gaia and I am a yoga teacher, with a lot of experience teaching to all different kinds of levels and I remember well how it was for me to start my own yoga journey.
First and foremost, ask yourself the question why you are drawn to yoga.
- Do you want to achieve a high level of flexiblity and strength?
- Are you seeking to achieve a certain pose?
- Do you want to improve physically?
- Are you seeking peace of mind, more happiness and a higher state of consciousness?
Whatever your answer, it’s ok! But stay open to change your focus while diving into the yoga practice!
1. You are exactly where you need to be
Many people don’t even start with yoga, because they think they are not flexible enough and they are afraid to be laughed at in the yoga class. But know that yoga is not only a physical practice but rather a spiritual practice and any practice is great. Yoga will help your body and mind, no matter how deep you can go into the splits. Focus on yourself and don´t even start comparing yourself to others, everybody is in their own development phase.
2. There is no senseless movement
Even if you may think that certain movements or poses are not doing anything, think again! They all are amazing and have their purpose. Yoga is a (at least) 5000-year-old practice and it has been developing since then, so just trust the process. Sometimes a pose is just helping you to gain something mentally, so stay present throughout each yoga class and observe what’s happening.
3. Practice poses you don´t like!
Every yogi has a couple of poses he or she avoids at all cost because it feels very uncomfortable. Those poses are your best teachers. Practice poses you don´t like and stay present in them. Your mental and physical development will skyrocket that way!
4. Breath and focus is the key to the yoga practice
If your yoga teacher doesn’t focus on the breath or in the moment, you are not in a real yoga class, but rather a fitness session. Stay away from this kind of yoga, if you want to get the full benefit of this practice!
5. Finding the right teacher
First and foremost, you need to feel comfortable with the yoga teacher. If you get bad vibes from the teacher, look somewhere else. It can take time until you find the right teacher. You can also look online and try certain yoga platforms where you pay a monthly fee and you can practice as much as you like, trying out different teachers.
6. Try every aspect of yoga
Understand that techniques like meditation, mantras, kriyas (cleansing techniques) and pranayama (breathing exercises) are all part of yoga, try them out and see whether it resonates with you. Yoga is a way of life and will eventually affect every single aspect of life, even your diet and how to act consciously.
7. Chant along but know why
It’s said that Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages of the human race. Back in the old days, when yoga was developed (probably even 10.000 years ago, while 5.000 years is the proven age), the yogis meditated on certain emotions, sensations, terms, and the essence of this was then expressed in a word that matched its energy. While chanting in the sacred language called Sanskrit you tap into those energies and it can help you to unblock blockages. It’s worth knowing what you are chanting, as this will help you to use Mantras wisely in the future.
8. Know when and what to practice
Don’t eat before your yoga practice. The best time is the morning on an empty stomach. Furthermore, don´t practice every day for hours on end. Your body needs time to rest and restore. 4 times a week for up to one hour is more than enough! You should also try different yoga techniques, like yin yoga, restorative yoga, Hatha yoga Vinyasa yoga and Ashtanga yoga. Everyone is different and you probably need some time to figure out your favorite type. But even if you know your favorite type of yoga, alternate between the styles. Yin yoga, for example, can help you to enhance your flexibility a lot and in combination with the flowing breath of vinyasa yoga, you will get the most benefit of yoga, getting fit and flexible, along with creating more patience and determination in your life.
9. Be conscious about your practice and respect your boundaries
While you are stiffer in the morning and during colder temperatures, you will be amazed how flexible you can be in the late afternoon and during warmer temperatures. Don’t overstretch when you feel warm and flexible! Always enter poses with care and never push yourself too hard. This can cause injuries and will eventually set your practice back by a lot. Over time you will be able to distinguish the good pain from the harmful pain, in the meantime better be extra careful!
10. Products you may need to start your yoga journey
While you could practice on your carpet, it’s worth looking into the most common products, most yogis own. This will help you along your journey, giving you the support you need.
A great yoga store I am affiliated with, because I believe in its sustainable and eco-friendly products, is Yoloha Yoga: