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Yoga for Beginners 101

Updated on October 27, 2016

Namaste, we say that at the end of yoga class after the corpse pose and meditation

Giving it a try

Last year, my neurologist recommended to me to do some low-impact exercises to help out with my back pain with my post-therapy follow-up visit. He suggested to try water aerobics, swimming, yoga and Pilates. But that’s when my mother had gotten sicker and money was tight to join the gym. Fast forward a year later, I dove into new territory to try Yoga for the first time out last week. I tried three different yoga classes for beginners at the same two—one gentle yoga, and two different beginning/beginners yoga classes. Since it was a brand new experience for me, I’m giving you my first experience on trying it every week. So please bare with me.

Yoga can keep you flexible, tone your core muscles and prevent low back pain from recurring

What is Yoga?

Yoga have came from pre-vidic Indian traditions as far as the 5th and 6 centuries before Christ existed. It consisted of the physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciples to transform body and mind with exercise, breathing and meditation. It can help improve your bones and mental health, your mood and anxiety. It can also improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, lower cardiovascular risk factors, and was also beneficial for those suffering from heart disease, studied as a treatment for schizophrenia and also for cancer patients and substance abuse addicts, decrease depression, insomnia, sleep anxiety, quality of life and spiritual growth.

Before I went to my first three yoga classes at my local gym, last week, I learned all about Pilates. I’ve heard that it was funner than Pilates and decided to give it a go and not to get frustrated on first tries. One reason I decides to try Yoga, besides it was low-impact, that it can help back pain.That sounded like the perfect deal for me.

Your yoga strap can also hold your mat in place for traveling besides using it for stretches in hard-to-reach poses

A Yoga cinch strap is perfect for stretching your arms from the triangle pose and so much more

Straps and belts for yoga stretches including the shoulder stretch

Yoga straps are amazing and the best yoga prop ever to use in your yoga routines. They allow control in a pose that wouldn't be allowed otherwise. A belt allows us fellow practitioners to slowly and completely stretch out. In a handstand, use the belt as an assistant in keeping arms together, or after a long run, stretch tight hamstrings. There's beauty in help, when you can use the belt for any pose, when you haven't quite found the length yet. You might not need for stretching one day; but for now, it can help you relax, when you enjoy the feeling of extension with a little assistance.

To help you stretch and relax into a pose more deeply and effectively, when yogis of all levels uses yoga straps. Attempting certain poses without the assistance may result in incorrect alignment, when you won't receive the natural benefits of the pose. Yoga straps will help you learn difficult poses and become more flexible. They come in a variety of buckle types, colors, materials and sizes.

Taking the first steps

I’ve looked at my fall/winter gym schedule and the different types of classes for beginners. There was just Beginners/Beginning Yoga and Gentle Yoga. The Introduction to Yoga class was off the schedule and would return next year. That introduced you to the basic poses and equipment—it was also listed with one star for a healthy beginner. I’ll be signing up for that one next year. There’s a slight difference between the Beginning/Beginner Yoga and the Gentle Yoga classes, when I took them last week. Both beginning classes were rated with two stars at my gym for Intermediate level, while the Gentle Yoga was rated with three stars at the athletic level.

For the more advanced levels in the future, there’s Intermediate and Advanced Yoga. There’s also the two fusion classes I might consider somewhere down the road for next year in Stretch-lates, (a Pilates classes with stretches, rated with one star for a healthy beginning level), and Yoga-Lates (a Yoga class meshed with Pilates poses, rated with three stars for the athletic level, too). So I’m sticking to the beginning lever classes for now.

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All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs" from Homesteadbound."

Beginning or gentle yoga?

Do you think I should stick to beginning classes and pass on gentle yoga?

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Take one-two-three

Although I’ve come unprepared for my first three classes, I wore my sweats, until I get my yoga outfit and equipment. I’ve met my instructors for the first time. It was a good thing my gym let you lend you the stuff, until I can bring my own. I’ve noticed a different in the class size, where the Yoga Beginners class on Wednesday night was packed in the room, whereas the gentle yoga and the beginners were smaller with less than ten people—once again, only one male joined the class. For the first class, we’ve used the cinch straps for when we stretched our arms behind our back for a few seconds.

I kicked off my sneakers and left my socks on my feet. My first class was set to the traditional yoga meditation music in the background. We’ve started out real slow with the stretches and began to relax. I’ve noticed the tempo of the class was slower and calmer. Most of the stretches I recalled seeing it online this summer and also On Demand, when I first peaked at it this spring. Once again, I knew I wasn’t expected to be perfect and do all the stretches. But the balancing poses like the tree and the bridge were really tricky for me to hold on the mat. For my first Gentle Yoga class on Thursday night, which was a good follow-up to the Intro to Yoga class, some of the basic poses I’ve recalled from my first class were the same, while the bird-dog and the spider ones were a real buster. We did our workout do a mix of rock and oldies music. Once again, I flopped during the bridge, while my invisible sound affect went off in my head. I think gentle was more than an understatement on how it described the class. I would like to call it tough as well. For the Friday beginners class, this also had a small class size with the workout done to the same calming music. Although some of the classes I’ve done before, some were different and a bit easier. That had put me done to ease. I knew I wasn’t expecting to do most of them. My fellow Facebook friend Leah told me this spring, and who’s a Pilates/Yoga instructor, do what you can and don’t expect to do all of them the first time out. Easy for her to say! Well, I did try my best and had fun doing it. I’m glad I wasn’t the only beginner Yogi in my class. After that hour was up, I had no sore body parts and had a good workout. So exhausted, each night, but I slept well that night with a better back.

Practice and more practice will make you better with each pose

Until then, I’ll be practicing those poses more at home this weekend. I’ll be doing them via ON Demand and them via websites on how to do the exercises. I believe that’s the right thing to do in between time. That’s what my friend Leah told me to do as well. In my next post, I’ll highlight what kinds of yoga gear you need for beginners.

If you’re a beginner Yogi like me and have any tips, please feel free to drop me a comment and say hi.

Fusion classes?

Would you consider doing either Stretch-lates, Yoga-lates or both?

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    • Sharp Points profile image

      Sharp Points 2 years ago from Big Bear Lake, California

      I tried out yoga last year, a large part of it was because the teacher was just so amazing. The way that she would talk us through it slowly, her voice was so soothing. So I tried what I had learned last spring recently at home and it was just weird. Being alone and not having a guide just made it feel awkward. Plus I think I fell in love with my yoga teacher Christine haha. Great hub, voted up and interesting/awesome.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Sharp Points for stopping by. Yoga helped my back pain out last fall and this winter. I feel better with every practice. When my cold's over and my knee's better, I'll be back to yoga practice.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 23 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Yoga is wonderful. I have been doing for 20 years and its effects are amazing. Nice post

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Emge. Wow, 20 years! For me, it's been eight months. My power to you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 23 months ago

      I just viewed a yoga video and am considering taking this up for body stretching. Thanks for the tips.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Teaches. It's real great for meditation too.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 22 months ago from Norfolk

      Interesting, I have never done Yoga but have always wanted to have a go. Thanks for sharing your experience of doing it.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Sally, my pleasure my friend. Yoga has many benefits and meditation is perfect for relaxation and for stressful times. Give it a try!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 21 months ago from Canada

      Yoga is such an amazing exercise because it is easily adaptable to virtually every skill level and can be done at home as well. Happy to see it being used as therapy more often.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Lorelei for your lovely comments. It's a great method to use for alternative therapy than physical therapy. It helped me out with my back pain issues. I agree with you, 100%.

    • mariexotoni profile image

      mariexotoni 7 months ago

      Great hub! Hope this encourages me in the morning. Shared on HP and Pinterest !!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 7 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Marie for sharing my hub. I so appreciate it.

    • mariexotoni profile image

      mariexotoni 7 months ago

      Do you happen to know any good youtube videos of yoga for flexibility for beginners? I've found so many and don't know how to choose

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 7 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      I wish I did. I can take a look into it this weekend and add it to my hub.

    • mariexotoni profile image

      mariexotoni 7 months ago

      I think it would make a great separate hub too! Just would like an opinion of someone who is actually experienced with these things :)

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 7 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      maybe

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