Starting something new always holds a certain challenge. Just the fact that it is something we have never tried before involves a level of escape from our comfort zone. If you go back through time and remember your first day at school, first day in a new office, or first time visiting a new class, what are the first emotions that come to mind? Maybe a slight shiver or butterflies in the stomach (it turns out we don’t only get these when we fall in love)?
The better you prepare for your next first-timer, the better you will feel during and after the process or activity. Yoga is no exception.
How to prepare for yoga as a beginner?
Although yoga is a popular way to relieve stress, relax the body, and calm the mind, your first reaction may not be as healing as you may have expected. One of the main reasons behind this possibility is poor preparation. For this reason, we wanted to share with you the top eight things that you should know about yoga if you are a beginner.
Buckle up, here we go!
1. Choose your yoga clothes with care
Although yoga is not exactly an activity that is associated with staying in fashion, the choice of clothing is essential. Not because of its looks but rather because of its comfort and flexibility. There are many different types of yoga and all of them do require some level of body stretching and flexibility. Even if you don’t sign up for Ashtanga, which is among the most advanced of the yoga styles, be prepared for some new poses and postures.
To stay comfortable and be able to perform the stretches as much as your body allows you to with ease, it is essential to choose the right clothing. You can try our specifically designed yoga leggings, which offer a four-way stretch and are 100% squat proof. A great way to combine the stretchy leggings is by choosing from our diverse set of sports bras. Created with elastic and comfortable material, the sports bra will offer all the breast protection you could possibly need during your yoga session.
2. Expect the unexpected
It is important to enter the world of yoga with an open mind. Chances are that you will find yourself in a completely new field and you will witness things that you have never before seen or imagined. Yoga focuses not only on physical strength and durability but on inner balance and mental concentration. Some of the exercises that you will be taught may not exactly be standard but this shouldn’t be a reason to worry.
Remind yourself that you won’t remain a beginner forever and now is your chance to indulge in all that is new. In fact, if you develop a habit of regularly practicing yoga that in no time you will jump a level and from beginner, you will become an intermediate yogi. Just embrace the moment and stay relaxed.
3. You don’t need to be a pro in flexibility
One of the most common misconceptions about yoga is that if you are not able to perform all the complex and flexibility-demanding postures from the workout, you won’t get anything out of the practice. This cannot be any further from reality. Even if you aren’t able to perform the pretzel postures that doesn’t mean that yoga is not the right choice for you.
Yoga teaches many things apart from flexibility. It helps you develop body balance, strength, and is a great method that equips you with patience, a clear focus, and concentration. In fact, mastering a complex pose doesn’t mean anything unless it is harmonized with the breath, the state of mind, and the process of letting go of the ego.
To sum up, don’t give up if you have gone to a few yoga classes and flexibility is not there yet.
4. Try to stay away from comparisons
If you will be trying yoga in a studio where you will be surrounded by other yoga enthusiasts, you may be tempted to compare yourself to those around you. This is a big “no-no” when it comes to evolving as an experienced yogi. Yoga puts great emphasis on the importance of being aware and concentrated in your own body and experiencing the moment through your own lenses. Even if you feel a strong desire to look at the others to check if you are doing it right, try to release this thought and continue focusing inward.
If you have a yoga teacher leading the class it is alright to check with them once in a while if you are performing the pose in a similar way but looking at others will certainly distract you. It may even create thoughts of doubt and insecurity.
5. Breathing is among the most important parts of yoga
Starting as a beginner yogi, one of the challenges you are likely to face is with breathing. Once you visit a few yoga classes you will quickly notice that there is immense importance placed on the way we breathe during and after the practice. Different postures and practices even go along with their own, independent, and unique set of breathing exercises.
Breathing helps the body move energy from one place to another, helps with calming the mind, and can come in useful when trying to elevate to a new level of concentration. It is especially important for entering into a deeply calm state and can even be therapeutic for certain health conditions. Going back to an earlier point, during your first yoga attempts try to focus on learning more about the breathing rather than pushing your flexibility to the max.
6. Don’t be afraid of releasing your emotional energy
The art of yoga can be extremely cleansing if done properly. The yoga beginner’s experience will vary depending on your physical and mental state. It is worth mentioning that it is natural for each and every one of us to keep emotional energy locked in different parts of the body. For instance, the hips and shoulders are common areas where energy is locked.
During yoga, when the areas are worked on and they slowly start to open up and unlock, you may feel the stored emotions flying out. While some go through the experience without much drama, for others it may be unsettling. Allow yourself to embrace these unlocked feelings, even if they are not the greatest ones out there. Don’t push them back in but confront them openly and let them go. Once you go through this experience you are likely to be filled with gratefulness, love, and appreciation.
7. Yoga takes practice
If you get excited about yoga, make sure to transform this excitement into doing. Although it is beneficial to do some reading on the topic and learn the theory behind certain postures, movements, or breathing exercises, it all comes down to practice. In fact, 1% of yoga is about the theory and the remaining 99% is practice.
Quickly moving from a beginner to the next level will require a lot of time spent on your yoga mat. The process is enjoyable and exciting, as long as you remember to stay calm, relaxed, and avoid comparing yourself to others. The pace at which you develop is yours and only yours. There is no rush and no time tracking.
8. Try to make time for Savasana
Savasana is one of the most commonly overlooked parts of yoga. A lot of yogis skip Savasana as they compare it to meaningless laying around towards the end of the session. This is certainly not true and skipping Savasana can prevent you from growing as a yogi in the long term. Savasana is concerned with keeping the mind still rather than the body. If you give it a try you will notice that the mind is actually more difficult to calm down than the physical body.
Giving your body the time to absorb all that it has worked for during the yoga session is essential. Always try to make time for Savasana and give yourself the deserved time for relaxation and cooling off. Turning this into a habit while you are a beginner will help you make the most of each and every yoga practice in the future.
We hope that the information we shared here will help you turn your first yoga time into a pleasant adventure and a value-adding journey. Don’t let frustration prevail and remember that consistency will slowly show results. In no time you will find yourself gradually improving your postures, maintaining a calm mind will no longer be an issue and your breathing will start to change. Being a yoga beginner is an exciting chapter in one’s life and the more prepared you are – the more pleasure you will be able to gain from the experience.