There are many things that I wish I would have known when I first started out with my yoga journey. I didn’t like it, and I stopped for an extended period of time before I started up again. These are main things that I wish I would have known ahead of time, so maybe I would have stuck with it instead of stopping and waiting so long to start back up with yoga again. If you’re a yoga beginner, definitely check out these 6 tips!
1. Listen Carefully to Your Teacher
Number one is to listen to your instructor’s words instead of looking at their body. Your teacher’s body may not be perfectly aligned, or their body is still working towards more flexibility. Your teacher probably puts a lot of thought into what they are saying. A teacher tries to speak their instructions are carefully so that you can achieve your best yoga pose. Sometimes their body may not look the way your body is going to look, and that’s fine. When we’re in a yoga class, you need to listen to a little bit more carefully to the instructions of the yoga teacher, especially if you’re a yoga beginner and just learning the poses. Keep those ears peeled and listen carefully to the instructions.
2. Don’t Judge a Pose by the Way It Looks
My number two tip is don’t judge a pose by the way it looks. This could go two ways. You could look at a pose and say, that is way too hard, and I’m never going to do that. Or you can see in a pose and say, that is super easy. But asanas or yoga poses can be deceiving as the cliche states “don’t judge a book by its cover.” So try to not judge a yoga pose by the way it looks. This is primarily by the way the pose looks on someone else’s body which is likely to be very different to you. The same thing applies when looking at yoga websites or books as these Illustrations are not always accurate regarding the anatomy or alignment. . Instead, try it out for yourself. You can ask a yoga teacher to teach you how to do the yoga pose and try it out for yourself before you make a judgment on it.
3. Don’t Skip the Hard Poses
My number three tip is to practice the yoga poses even though you don’t like the pose. That probably means that you need to practice it. For instance, there’s a pose called King Pigeon which is a very intense and deep quad stretch especially if you are sitting down all day. If you sit down at your computer a lot, your quads and their hip flexors are very tight. King Pigeon is adamant for me, and I hate doing that pose. It is something that I dread doing, and I don’t do it nearly as often as I should, but since I know that I feel this way about this pose, I also understand that this is supposed that I need the most. This is something that their body is in need of their body is in need of more flexibility and openness and ease in their hip flexors and then their quads, so this is a pose that I should be doing more often, so this is just an example.
Everyone is tight and different places. Everyone is more flexible in different areas, so some yoga poses will be a little bit easier for you in some other yoga poses will be a little bit more challenging. The ones that are more challenging are the poses that you need to practice the most. You might be surprised that they may turn out to be your favorite poses.
4. Be Patient
My number four tip for yoga beginners is don’t rush things and be patient. Especially when you’re a yoga beginner, you might not be accustomed to holding poses for long periods of time. That’s why in their beginner’s poses, I like to add some movement a little bit, especially in the warrior poses. I add a modification that adds some dynamic movement to make it a little bit easier to hold the pose or to maintain the bows, but when you get more advanced, maybe at the strong beginner or intermediate level, you need to be more accustomed to holding the poses for longer and longer periods of time. When you’re a beginner, it’s great to pay attention to when you want to rush out of a yoga pose.
Try to be patient and hold it for just a bit longer than you usually would want to. Some tips to being a little bit more patient with yourself with focusing on your breathing, drawing your attention away from the fact that you’re uncomfortable or you’re feeling more fatigued and instead of trying to focus on your breathing. Also, another aspect of this tip is to be patient with yourself concerning perfecting certain yoga poses. For instance, sometimes we might get frustrated if we’re trying to achieve an inversion like handstand or headstand or some deeper backbends. If these poses are too advanced, we might be discouraged because they’re not coming as fast as we would like them to come. I would say be more patient with yourself and take your time. I know it can be frustrating because everyone’s body is different, so it might take you a little bit longer to achieve this pose than you would like to, but I would say overall to be persistent.
Keep practicing and be gentle with yourself and try not to rush into anything because this may cause injury, so you want to be safe and you want to ease yourself into a yoga pose. Perhaps if you’re trying to do a handstand, you might not be completely ready to go upside down and to support all of your weight with only your hands and arms. You might need to build some more upper body strength and practice more of the preparatory poses in order to achieve that yoga pose. Ultimately, you need to ease yourself into it and be more patient with yourself. You will get there eventually.
5. Start Yoga at Home
My number 5th tip for yoga beginners is to start out at home. Everyone is different, but if you’re new to yoga, it is possible that you may be a bit self-conscious. You may not want to join a big group Yoga class if you aren’t familiar with the poses yet, so practicing yoga at home might be a great way to start. Another way that you can do this if you’re feeling self-conscious is to get a private yoga lesson. Most Yoga Studios, they’re teachers offer private lessons. You can find tons of yoga teachers in your area that offer private lessons by just doing a simple google search. Private lessons are always a great way to start out. If you’re able to, they can be a bit pricier, which is why practicing at home with the videos on youtube or even yoga programs online are a great way to start out as well.
6. Explore All Your Options
My final tip is to explore the many different types and styles of yoga. There will certainly be some teachers or styles of yoga that you will not like, but don’t let that discourage you or think that all yoga is going to be like that one class. Once you feel comfortable with the yoga basics be courageous and explore some of the more challenging yogas like hot yoga, Ashtanga or vinyasa. Or check out some of the more contemplative yogas like restorative yoga and chanting japa meditation mantras.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and find them helpful to start or refine your yoga practice. These six are obviously the basic things to work on when starting a yoga practice, so once you have achieved them, I’d encourage you to look for even more ways to make your yoga time more powerful and successful.