They say the most important step in any journey is the very first one, and there’s a lot of truth in that. Taking on something entirely new can be a difficult process, both physically with the learning of an unfamiliar skill which requires strength to be built up over time, and mentally with the worry that comes with wanting to do something that you might not be perfect at your first few times doing it.
However, this is how we learn, and taking that first shaky step into unfamiliar territory is essential in broadening our horizons and expanding our worldview that little bit more. So, if you’re looking up how to practice yoga for beginners, then you’ve already allowed yourself a great start on what is sure to be a valuable and insightful journey.
At KĀYA, we are dedicated to helping people of all fitness and skill levels reap the benefits of yoga, pilates, HIIT and more. Because of this, we have set up yoga for beginners classes that are designed to be safe, comfortable, supportive spaces for people to learn about yoga, and themselves. So, if you’re looking for a way to immerse yourself in how to practice yoga for beginners before you step into the yoga studio, KĀYA has you covered.
Step 1: Create a Space For Yourself
For many, the great appeal of yoga is the feeling that you are letting go of the rest of the world and just fully experiencing your own form as you move through the various poses. However, it’s hard to let go of your stressors when they’re staring you in the face as you get into your Child’s pose. So, if you’re wanting to get the most out of yoga for beginners, you should take the time to properly clear out a space for your yoga mat and make a calm little area for you to unwind in.
Yoga can, in general, be a good excuse to shuffle around your space so you have a designated relaxation area. Buying plants and art you find calming can be a good way to revitalise the energy of a space, but don’t feel that this is an absolute necessity if you’d rather avoid the distractions. Other little unnecessary extras that can add to the experience include candles, incense and low light lamps to really create an atmosphere for your yoga.
Step 2: Yoga Necessities and Accessories
Once you have your space set up, you can start looking into the tools of the trade, as it were. Luckily, with yoga, there is little to no requirements outside of having a yoga mat. Yoga mats are easy to find, but it is worth investing in a higher quality one as it will ensure that you have it for a long time. Even then, if you’re doing yoga at home, you can really start out with no equipment if you haven’t had time to go out and get your mat. Work with what you have, as the most important thing is going to just be that you’re doing it and working on your form.
All that said, there are certainly accessories that will improve your experiences, such as blocks or a bolster, but even these can often be replaced by books, weights, pillows, and other normal household items. So, if you’ve been worried about getting together the right items to start yoga, don’t worry, you definitely have everything you need to start the process.
Step 3: Selecting Your Style
Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to beginner’s yoga, so you have to ask yourself what you hope to get out of it. After all, outside of the 11 or so major styles most commonly taught, the number of yoga styles is practically endless, each one with its own philosophical elements and each one providing a very different experience.
At KĀYA, we focus on three primary forms of yoga:
Vinyasa – A form of yoga that focuses on seamlessly moving between postures and positions utilising your breathing. It is also known by the name “flow” yoga for this reason.
Hatha – With its name coming from the Sanskrit word for “force, Hatha yoga is one of the more commonly practised forms of the discipline. Hatha focuses on deliberate movements which emphasise flexibility and strength, whilst promoting relaxation at the same time.
Yin – Bringing together traditional yoga movements and poses with elements of traditional Chinese medicine, Yin is a much slower-paced form of yoga. This slow pace tends to come from positions being held longer than other yoga disciplines.
For those that are looking into yoga for beginners for the first time, it might be worth trying some of these disciplines and seeing which one of them speaks to you the most. There are so many options to choose from, with each having a different focus and different outcomes for different people, so the process of elimination is going to be a great way to ensure that you’re getting the workout and experience that you are the most comfortable and happy with.
Step 4: Ensure That You’re Doing Things Safely to Prevent Injuries
One of the main benefits of working with a designated yoga for beginners class is that you’re being looked over by a passionate professional who can tell you if your form is safe for your body. Yoga doesn’t have any shortcuts when it comes to safety, and you need to know your own boundaries, especially when working on it alone. Understand your pain points, take note of any vulnerable areas, and make sure that you stop and come out of any pose that is causing pain or intense discomfort. Progress is good, but only when it is safe and healthy, so put your body first and allow yourself to work at your own pace.
Step 5: Stay Consistent
As with any exercise or fitness routine, you’re only going to get the benefits of workouts that you’re doing regularly. The body takes time to develop and build muscle, so practising consistently and regularly is a must for those that want to get results from their experiences. That said, even once a week can be enough to stay on top of your goals, and it’s better to be able to enjoy each practice rather than forcing yourself to do routines 4 times a week if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.
Additionally, when it comes to yoga’s many benefits, one of the most important muscles is your mind. Even for those that are primarily attracted to yoga for its physical benefits, its mental benefits are where you’re likely to see the greatest impact.
Learning how to practice yoga for beginners can be a little daunting at first, but it’s a truly enriching experience for those that are able to push through and grow along with their routine. If you’re looking for more information on how to start yoga as a beginner or as a seasoned expert, stay up-to-date with the KĀYA wellness blog for more tips and tricks.