If you’ve never been to a yoga class, chances are you know someone who has. Maybe they rave about it, but you’re a little nervous to get started with your own yoga practice. Well, my friend, I’m here to help you! Before I became a writer, I was a yogi (well, it’s tough to say which came first) – but, when I’m not writing for FresYes or editing our blogs – you can find me on my mat. The practice of yoga has drastically improved my confidence, sense of calm and helped me as I lost over 60 pounds.
Convinced it’s something worth trying?
Here’s everything you need to know:
First off, just what is yoga?
Yoga is a form of exercise that originated in India, it’s believed that the certain postures your body moves through during a practice can help you live a healthier life.
Do I have to go out to do it? What if I want to practice at home?
Of course not – you can do everything at home these days! In fact, practicing on YouTube in the comfort of your own home is a great place to start. Here’s a video you can start with.
Do I need to be super fit? Or have $100 Yoga pants?
It’s become really popular lately, so many think you need the fanciest clothes or the perfect body – but yoga is for ALL bodies. Start with a beginner class on YouTube, like I mentioned, this will help you see the postures and get familiar with the lingo mentioned above. Then, check out a few studios and find the one you feel most at home in. You may even make some amazing friends, I know I have!
Here’s my guide to breaking down a Yoga Studio’s class schedule:
Beginner Yoga: A slower sequence of postures with lots of modifications for every body type. You can expect to hear more instruction in this class and receive attention from your teacher to keep you safe.
Hot Yoga: This practice is usually heated to 85-95 degrees, so be sure to bring your water bottle and towel. Hot yoga is usually synonymous with a powerful class — it’s a great way to get in shape or stay in shape this winter.
Restorative Yoga: This class is like nap-time for adults. Students will enjoy the support of many props: including large pillows called bolsters, yoga blocks and more. If you recently have been affected by an injury, or feel the need for rest, this is a great class to attend.
Gentle Yoga: Similar to beginner yoga, but at a slower pace. This is a wonderful practice for elderly or beginner students.
Yin Yoga: A meditative practice where you hold postures for one to five minutes. Though the postures are not physically demanding, this practice requires mental attention to stay in the moment as you do the uncommon: sit still.
Power Yoga: Similar to Hot Yoga, without the heat. Often this class is condensed into 60 minutes, allowing you to reap the benefits of a 90-minute class during a short period of time like your lunch break.
What are some common yoga terms that are helpful for
practitioners to know – especially beginners?
- Savasana: Relaxation, this is your time to take a mini nap at the end of the practice. Yogis believe this helps the magic of each yoga posture take effect.
- Tadasana: Think of this as ‘TA-DA’ -Sana. This translates to Mountain Pose which allows you to stand tall in your own strength.
- A Flow, which is common in a Vinyasa Class, includes the following three items:
- Chatarunga: A low push up with your elbows in close to your ribcage – you use this posture to go from Downward dog to Plank to Upward dog.
- Downward Dog: A stretch with your heels pressing down towards the ground, seat upward and palms facing up. Think of yourself in a big triangle, with your hips at the top.
- Upward Dog: This pose allows you to stretch the front of your body with your hips on the ground. Your gaze is kept upwards and it’s commonly followed by the downward dog.
- Cobbler’s Pose: Think of this as your favorite butterfly stretch from P.E., both your soles of the feet go together and knees drop out to the side.
There you have it! All you really need to have is an open mind to try yoga. I guarantee you will find an improved since of well-being and confidence for trying something new. And hey, you may even finally be able to touch your toes!
If you have more questions about getting started, just head over to Instagram and find me at @IamGabiGarrett.
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