- Exercise & Fitness
Yoga for Beginners 101: Take Two to Four
Doing the tree pose takes a good deal of practice to master the balance for beginner yogis
Getting Better and Used to It
Since it had been three weeks I had posted about my yoga experiences, instead of doing three separate hub posts, I'm combining them into one hub in a three-week recap for you all to see how I'm doing and progressing as a yogi. Three weeks ago, I was still rough around the edges in my yoga classes. Although I still had trouble with the balancing poses, I knew time and practice would help me get better and used to it everyday. I also realized, that though some poses were taught in one class from another, it helped me attend them and hone them as well. I still had my gripes about my Gentle Yoga class, since it wasn't so gentle on my body, leaving me sore. That's when I doubted it was for advanced beginners, beginners, or advanced in general. I contemplated bailing that class, but I stuck to my guns and hung in there.
Two weekends ago, that's when I invested in doing home practice via about.com's quick start 30-day guides (along with Pilates, one day later) to getting into the rhythm of it for a daily basis. Although the daily stretch routine were the easiest to do, except for the tree pose, I devoted my mornings, afternoons, or nights, to practice before class, whenever I can. And I believed it helped me in the long run to excel and get ready for last week's class. Practice does make perfect in my opinion. I've also noticed a difference in my back pain going down and decreasing a tiny bt, little by little.
Meditation is essential for every yoga practice, before and at the end--at home and at class
Do you meditate during your yoga practice?
Making it Work For Me
Last week, I've gotten the hang of having meditation and yoga in my life. I've already experienced the calmness and the peace of mind. For those hard poses like the bird-dog, spider and other balances, I've gotten closer to mastering it, inch by inch. As for the tree pose, I had no problem doing it at home practice than in class, since that's where I lose my balance after thirty seconds. I've slowly progressed into the many seated stretches, which are still tricky for me to do, like the seated wide-legged straddle and the cow-face. The sun salutations, which makes the routine a bit longer and harder, I'm going slow at my own pace. The standing poses were quite complicated, which would take me awhile to get used to as well.
As for this week, I've moved forward into the moon salutations, like the dreaded cobra pose, and the standing balances, like the eagle pose and sugarcane pose, which are both hard for me to right now. Even though Gentle Yoga was more like rough yoga, I'm still going there and making it work for me so far. Since I've attended a total of eleven yoga classes, (last Friday's yoga class was cancelled), all three yoga instructors have told me that I'm doing well, since I've started a month ago. Yeah me!
Each yoga practice starts with the Sun Salutations and then add the other sequential poses from there
Most of the yoga poses come with two versions to do, besides the full version. If you haven't trouble with those standing poses and balances like I did, a modification is always acceptable to work your way up to the full version. And that went double for your home practice as well. Within time and practice, you would progress to the challenging advanced versions of it. I love those options, whether you do yoga, Pilates, or both in pi-yo exercises. You would know when you're ready for it, when your body tell you to take it slow and work your way up to the next level of stretching and meditating.
Yoga Beginners Kit are essential for home practice and for class, portable too
"All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs" from HomesteadBound.
Yoga journaling is a great way to keep track of your yoga practice
If you have a spare notebook, notepad, or binder, you can use it for your yoga journal. This is a good way to track down your progress on the exercises you've excelled at and what you need to work on. You can also do it on your laptop or tablet. Depending if you do it by shorthand or long hand, you could do it in a spreadsheet for your daily progression. Be creative and innovative. Use stickers and emoticons for those exercises and how you're feeling. A sad face for something you're stuck and having trouble with, and a smiley face for those who've mastered and challenged yourself with. Use folders and plenty of paper as well. This will take you a few minutes of time to track it down, when you've completed your workout for the day. You should also reward yourself with a treat, too.
Hard yoga poses poll
Which yoga move is giving you a hard time?
Here's some helpful tips for you to take in closing. If you have any health concerns, like with your back, inform your instructor before class. This is what I've forgotten to do, when I first started, a month ago. If you can't do a move, you can sit it out and resume when ready. That's a helpful tip for us to do it at home practice, too. This is a helpful way to prevent further accidents or incidents in class.
If you don't have a yoga mat to do it a home, you can do what I've done for now. Use a towel in the meantime--an old beach towel or bath towel will do and serve its purpose. The same will work, if you do Pilates, too. If you have the money for it, you can buy a yoga beginners kit online or any store. It's composed of what you need for home practice--a block, a mat, a DVD for instruction, and a strap.
If you have to miss a class for any reason, like illness, weather, or have to be out-of-town, you can always make up for it with home practice. Take your yoga on the road with your Pilates/Yoga gear. There's an app you can do it for your smartphone or Android that will help you fit it in. Watch videos on Youtube, read books, magazines or online articles on your phone, tablet, or computer. On Demand videos does help out as well. By the time you're ready to resume class, you'll be back in top form.
One last thing: As for Gentle Yoga, I'm still contemplating the class. I've informed my gym's land class director about it to get a clearer definition about it. I'll be meeting her next week. I'll let you know what I find out. Have a good workout! Don't overdo it! And drop me a line about your yoga pose tips to me as well!