You have probably seen some videos or Instagram images of people doing incredible things and showing their flexibility during yoga practices. If you are a complete beginner, yoga might seem intimidating at first. If you want to give yoga a try but do not know what to expect, read on and you will find everything you need to know before you begin.
Your first yoga practice
You have two options when it comes to your first yoga practice – you can go to a studio and have a group practice with other people and a yoga guru, or you can practice on your own at home following a video.
Of course, practicing next to a teacher seems like a better option, but actually, most of the people making yoga videos online are yoga teachers as well and can guide you through a practice just as good. The only question is which one you prefer more. Many people like to try it out at home before committing to a practice in a studio just so they do not feel completely out of place once they get there.
The reason, or the excuse, most people use for not starting yoga is that they are not flexible or strong enough. This probably comes from watching yoga Instagrammers show off their flexibility anytime you visit their profile, but you do not need to be intimidated by this. Yoga is for everyone. If you are a complete beginner, nobody is going to expect splits and headstands anytime soon. Moreover, many people do not care about those poses even after years of practicing. Yoga is so much more than being flexible and strong. Of course, if that is something you like you can work on it and eventually be able to do all kinds of incredible poses, but you will also start to appreciate yoga for many other things as well.
If you are practicing yoga at home, you do not need any equipment except perhaps a yoga mat, although a soft carpet can be a great substitute. If you want to go to a studio, you probably do not need to bring your equipment as most yoga studios have their mats. When it comes to clothing, wear something comfortable and stretchy so that your clothes are not limiting you while working out. Also, you can bring a bottle of water and a towel, especially if you are trying out hot yoga.
Different kinds of yoga
There are many different kinds of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, which is a slower yoga that focuses on posture; Yin yoga, which is great for meditation; or Bikram yoga, which is fast-paced and focuses on breathing. Some other types include Vinyasa Flow yoga and Ashtanga yoga. All of these are great, but they might not all be great for you. The best thing you can do is explore and find the one or ones that work best for you and your needs. Also, not all teachers and studios are the same, so do not give up on yoga completely if you do not find your match first time around.
Lastly, yoga offers you not only physical benefits by tightening and toning the muscles, increasing flexibility, and improving posture, but it also offers incredible psychological benefits as it helps you focus and remove stress, as well as deepen your breathing which helps with anxiety.