Yoga Tips for Beginners
Yoga can help raise energy levels, increase flexibility, relieve stress and tension, strengthen and tone the body, improve posture, enhance sleep, eliminate minor aches and pains and promote general feelings of health and vitality.
If you are thinking of beginning a regular yoga practice or if you are new to yoga, here are a few useful tips.
- Wear loose comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement.
- A non- slip yoga mat is essential for practice, this enables you to get the most out of the postures without experiencing slipping of the hands or feet.
- Practice Yoga with any empty stomach. Yoga postures fold and twist the torso. It’s really uncomfortable and difficult to perform these postures if you have just eaten.
- Start at the beginning and practice basic postures to establish correct alignment. You can never do too many basic postures, they will provide you with a solid foundation.
- Before performing yoga postures take a moment to breathe slowly through your nose, during this time notice how your body feels. As you slow your breathing down your mind should follow and become a little quieter. This enables you to focus on your alignment and physical sensations as you move your body into different postures.
- Pain is always a warning sign. If you feel pain or discomfort, relax the posture immediately.
- Always seek medical advice before commencing any new physical activity.
Yoga and the Breath
Yoga has a strong focus on the breath. It helps when beginning yoga to remind ourselves that oxygen is our main source of fuel so it is important that we maintain a constant and steady supply this can be maximised by breathing correctly. Oxygen will help the body function more efficiently. As a beginner you might notice that some practitioners make a sound when they breathe do not be distracted as this is part of the practice and extremely beneficial (be warned that some practitioners do make more noise than others). Just close your eyes, focus on your breath and your alignment and you won’t notice the other people practicing yoga alongside you.
A few extra considerations
- Good alignment will prevent strain to the body.
- The benefits to be gained from each posture become greater with practice.
- Yoga is a never ending journey, to get the most out of the journey the mind needs to be engaged in the activity.
This blog article was written by Sue Fuller creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes and yoga teacher training courses.