Best Yoga Guide for Beginners
Yoga has been around so long that the details of its origin remain a mystery. What we do know is that this practice has existed for at least 5,000 years.
The development of Yoga began in the northern part of India. Since then, it has spread throughout the world. It has also taken numerous forms.
Yoga remains a deeply spiritual practice for dedicated Yogis. For others, it is a casual way to care for the body and mind. Either way, yoga has the potential to transform your life for the better, even if you are a beginner.
What is Yoga?
Today, there are countless schools of yoga. Each one has unique practices that set it apart from the others. With such a long history, this variety is to be expected.
There is plenty of diversity in the way people currently practice yoga. But there are a few common elements that unify these yoga forms.
All forms of yoga aim to improve physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. These three features are present throughout yoga. But sometimes, one of these elements becomes the focus over the others. This will depend on your personal goals and the setting in which you practice yoga.
For example, in the United States, modern yoga falls into the category of light exercise. Traditional yoga is more likely to be tied to a religion.
Often, traditional yoga will incorporate some form of meditation or prayer. This yoga often places more priority on other goals like inner peace.
Regardless of specific styles, yoga often looks the same to an outside observer. The practice of yoga typically consists of a series of poses. These practiced poses can build strength and improve flexibility. Depending on your focus, they can bring you to a higher state of mental clarity as well.
Why is Yoga Beneficial
A brief description of yoga seems to imply its main benefits. It is relatively apparent that yoga is helpful in a general sense. But it is important to know that there are countless benefits to regular yoga practice. Table top yoga poses, for example, are great for your spine and strengthening your wrists and arms. Other benefits of various yoga poses include::
- Weight loss
- Injury prevention
- Injury recovery
- Improved blood flow
- Improved respiration
Those are some of the most common physical benefits of yoga. But surprisingly, that long list is not comprehensive. There are far more physical benefits to yoga. Likewise, there are many mental benefits as well; here are just a few:
- Reduced stress
- Deeper concentration
With such benefits, it is hard to deny the positive impact of yoga. Whether you seek to improve fitness or mental health, yoga can help. But are there some people for whom yoga is particularly beneficial?
Who Should Try Yoga
There is no denying that yoga can help any average person. However, yoga is particularly helpful for certain groups of people. You stand to gain a lot from yoga if you are:
- Recovering from injury
- Experiencing emotional trauma
- Training for another sport
- Looking for a community environment
Yoga is a low impact exercise. That’s why it is helpful for those who are injured and the elderly alike. Yoga is also relaxing and restorative. This can be extremely impactful for those who are experiencing emotional loss or another kind of trauma.
Do you play a competitive sport? If so, yoga is great for you as well. As you practice yoga, you will increase your stability and range of motion. This will facilitate the movements you need to perform in your sport.
Lastly, yoga studios are a place of positivity. Many people look forward to yoga for the community aspect as much as the practice itself. It is important not to lose sight of the main focus of a yoga session. But building friendships and a strong community environment are always a life improvement.
What to Know Before Starting Yoga
Perhaps you are convinced that you should try yoga. This is certainly a practical choice for your health. But there are also a few thoughts to consider before starting your yoga practice. There is what you should keep in mind before getting started.
Yoga is for Everyone
As you enter a studio for the first time, there is no need for intimidation. Beginners take up yoga all the time. As such, instructors are ready to help anyone who has little to no experience.
Don’t worry if you can’t perform poses to perfection on your first attempts. This is normal. Yoga poses require flexibility and strength. They can also lead you into unconventional body positions.
Take your time adjusting to these new movements. Just learn at your own pace, and improvements will come naturally. A yoga studio is a great place for the uninitiated to practice and explore without feeling judged.
Respect is Important
Many use yoga as a hobby. But don’t forget its sacred origins. As a spiritual practice, it is important to maintain a high level of respect when doing yoga.
You may not feel a religious connection to yoga. That is ok. But to thousands of people around the world, yoga is about spirituality. As such, refrain from being rude or joking about yoga.
Each studio will also have a set of rules and etiquette standards. You should follow these carefully to show respect to those who are kind enough to teach and practice with you.
There are Multiple Popular Yoga Styles and Poses
When it’s time to start yoga, you may not know where to begin. There are many styles you can choose to practice. Explore each of these popular options to see which is best for you:
Those are some of the most popular styles. Along with these, there are some common poses you should know as well. These are some of the poses you will likely come across as a beginner:
- Upward facing dog
- Downward facing dog
- Child’s pose
- Mountain pose
- Table Top pose
It does not matter what style you choose. Chances are, you will find yourself in the poses mentioned above quite often. Take time to get to know them before you start practicing. This can help you transition into regular yoga practice more quickly.
As a beginner, don’t be shy about starting yoga. Yoga is great for people across a range of age spectrum. Practicing is sure to improve your fitness and mentality. With these benefits, starting yoga is one of the healthiest choices you can make.
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