- Exercise & Fitness
For the Beginner Yogi- Where to start and what to know in Yoga
Yoga is the practice of breathing control, meditation, and body control. Over all empowering yourself, relaxing yourself, and growing within yourself while you increase your flexibility and physical strength. I began my Yoga practice without an instructor or DVD. It’s easy to do Yoga at home at your pace your own way, you just have to know where to begin. Knowing the basic rules is the first place to start when you’re ready to begin practicing Yoga. Here are some things I’ve learned in my time doing Yoga.
Watch Your Hands
It can be really easy to end up with a sore wrist if you aren’t careful. When you’re balancing on your hands, try to keep your weight off your wrist, and out of the palm of your hand. Instead, shift your weight more on your fingers and knuckles. Doing this will relieve your wrist, and help you learn balance while building more muscle
Breathing control is the key to successful Yoga practice. Keeping your body steady and calm, and helping you get a deeper stretch. Doing this is harder than it sounds, especially when you’re doing a challenging pose. Begin your sequence in the Sukhansa pose, with your legs crossed and your neck and back straight. Focus on your breathing, making it steady and deep.
Keep It Slow, And Start Simple
Moving through poses you aren’t a master at yet too fast is an easy way to hurt yourself. Get in your pose, breathe, and just relax. This is one reason why I’ve never enjoyed DVD’s, they make it so much of a workout it isn’t very relaxing. When you’re coming out of a pose, it’s important to come out of it slowly and carefully. This should always be a comfortable movement. At the beginning of your sequence, start with easier poses before doing more challenging ones. So you should start with things like the butterfly pose, working your way up to things like the Downward Facing Dog.
The One Month Rule
You can’t expect to see changes immediately, so don’t keep looking for them every day. When it comes to flexibility, you’ll notice a change in about one month. Do your sequence every day, and it will pay off. You won’t have a big change in only a month, but you will see a difference. Pick one pose of out your sequence, and watch yourself progress through that pose as you get better at it. This is a practice that takes time and dedication, but has many rewards. If you want to watch your progress throughout the month, watch your breathing during the pose. If it’s a harder position, keeping calm breathing will be difficult. While you get better, your breathing will slowly improve.
Building Your Sequence
After you have chosen the poses you want to start out with, try to place them in a smooth order. Over time, you’re going to get better at those poses and want to change your sequence. I recommend not changing, but adding to it. You don’t have to start out with a long sequence, so this will give you the chance to slowly build a longer one as you get better. Once it’s time to find new poses, you’ll find yourself in the place you are now. You won’t know which poses you should try, or where to begin. This time though, you have the advantage of knowing better what you’re capable of. So when you get ready to choose the next poses, choose ones that will push a little further.
Finding poses that are right for you in the beginning can be very hard. Remember to pick poses that are comfortable, but still challenging. These are just some of the poses that beginners can do and achieve, there are many more out there.
The Butterfly Pose
Putting your feet together, and leaning forward. This is a good pose for stretching your hips and inner thighs, and good relaxation pose too. Over time, try to bring your feet in more and lean out further.
The Downward Facing Dog
There are other variations to this pose, such as the three legged dog. The Downward-facing dog is the place to start though. Getting a good stretch in your calves, you’ll also be working your arms and shoulders. This is the kind of pose you need to watch your hands with, and be careful where you’re placing your weight.
The Bridge Pose
This pose can also be used in a sequence for back pain. Keeping your knees in line with your ankles, it’s a great way to work your thighs and gain some flexibility in your back.
The Cobra Pose
This one is also good for a back ache sequence. If you can do this pose with arms fully extended, it can help with stretching the abdominal muscles along with assisting in back flexibility.