Yoga for Beginners

Hatha yoga

Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga postures, meaning your ashtanga, vinyasa, Iyengar, and Power Yoga classes are all hatha Yoga. The word “hatha” can be translated two ways: as “willful” or “forceful” (or the yoga of activity) and as “sun” (ha) and “moon” (that) meaning the yoga of balance. Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation, and as such you may hold each pose for several breaths at a time and move slowly between postures.

How to get started in yoga

Props and equipment – To enhance your practice by making it more accessible and comfortable, will be needing props and equipment.

Yoga blocks

Blocks are often used by experienced yogis to help them work within the limitations of their bodies and allow them to achieve a fuller expression of poses. 

Yoga straps-

Straps are another helpful tool—you can buy a yoga strap or use a long, flexible item like a tie or belt, and extend your reach in postures. If you have a stiff lower back or tight hamstrings, for example, the strap allows you to access and connect more poses.

What to wear to yoga class

For an asana practice, look for clothes that you personally feel comfortable in, that easily move with your body, don’t get in the way, and provide adequate coverage so you don’t feel exposed in various postures. Avoid pants that you might trip over or shirts that will fall around your face in inversions. While more vigorous vinyasa practices might call for leggings and a fitted tank top, you might prefer wide-legged pants and a loose-fitting shirt for a restorative yoga class. Men might wear joggers and a moisture-wicking top or shorts with no shirt. For meditation practice, you can look for any comfortable clothes.

Tips for finding the right yoga class for you

Should look for classes that are for “beginner,” “basic,”. These courses will help you learn the foundations of yoga. You may also consider observing a class before you participate in it yourself.

Your goal, should be to find a practice that is safe for your body and any particular conditions you are experiencing, and also effective in the ways you want it to be. If you have a particular health condition, talk to your yoga teacher about it before joining class. Your class will be customized.

If you have a bad first experience with yoga, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Instead, find another teacher and see if their class is better suited to your needs.

How yoga can benefit your fitness routine

Yoga complements a number of sports and activities—from dance, swimming, and running to cycling, hiking, and weight lifting—making it a great addition to a broader fitness routine. There’s no prescription for how many times a week you can (or should) practice yoga. “I wouldn’t get caught up on the frequency,”. “Once you get a taste of it, then you’ll start to experience the benefits and you’ll naturally want more of it.”

The importance of breathing in yoga

Focusing on your breath—pranayama—is an important element of yoga. In fact, some yoga gurus rank pranayama over asana (physical postures) as the most important part of the practice. Prana means life force or breath sustaining the body; ayama translates as “to extend or draw out.” Together, the two mean breath extension or control.

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