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11 Tips for Yoga Beginners

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How often do we figure a person doing the headstand against some picturesque backdrop and say ‘yoga is not for me’? You might want to revisit your thought once you go through these 11 unique beginners’ yoga tips. This is an easy way to initiate your yoga practice and reap the benefits yoga has to offer. Read them and find yourself doing yoga against a picturesque backdrop instead.

Yoga Tips for Beginners

  1. Yoga for Beginners
  2. Yoga A New Dimension to Life
  3. Take the Experts Help to Learn Yoga
  4. Dress Comfortably!
  5. Be a Regular Yogi
  6. Stay Light!
  7. Warm-up before Hitting the Yoga Mat
  8. Smile To Take You through the Miles
  9. Challenge Your Limits – One Step at a Time
  10. Every Yoga Asana Is Unique, Just Like You
  11. Relax to Recharge! - Yoga Tips

1. Yoga for Beginners

As a beginner, often we equate yoga with some tough, limb-twisting poses. And aren't you sometimes concerned that: "I can't even touch my toes, how can I do yoga?" Yoga is not about touching your toes, or stretching 98 degrees to your northeast. It’s a simple process of uniting with yourself - using your breath, body and mind. And it’s easy and effortless.

So, never mind if you're not Ms. Flexible or Mr. Stretchable, or are venturing into yoga at the age of 40, or you have secret love handles that are stressing you out - just remove all those myths before beginning your yoga practice! The only one watching you is yourself - so just relax. This journey will bring much joy and relaxation to you!

2. Yoga A New Dimension to Life

It is best to start learning yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher who can lead you through the correct way of doing each technique. This would help you learn yoga asanas (postures) properly and avoid possible injuries. Some of the philosophies or techniques taught in yoga may be new but it is a good idea to keep an open mind, as it will help broaden your vision and enhance your yoga experience.

3. Take the Experts Help to Learn Yoga 

If you have a medical condition, inform your Sri Sri Yoga instructor prior to the commencement of your yoga training. It will help the teacher customize your yoga asana practice and avoid any complications or injuries.

4. Dress Comfortably!

Wear comfortable clothing while going for the yoga class or when practicing yoga at home. Also, avoid wearing belts or excessive jewelry as it could get in the way of your yoga practice.

5. Be a Regular Yogi

Although it’s best to practice yoga asanas early in the morning, any time of the day is fine till you are regular with your practice. If mornings don’t suit your schedule, don’t let it be an excuse to give up practicing yoga completely!

6. Stay Light!

It is advised to practice on an empty stomach or at least 2-3 hours after your last meal. Also, it’s advised to have at least three to four liters of water during the day as it will help you to flush the toxins that are released during your yoga practice, out of the body.

7. Warm-up before Hitting the Yoga Mat

Sushma Vyayam or gentle warm-up exercises help loosen up the body and prepare it for the yoga asanas coming ahead. Here are a few warm up exercises:

> Massaging the head, brows, nose and cheeks: Whenever we make a mistake, we instinctively place a hand on the head. This is a sign that blood circulation in the brain is less and a massage is needed!
> Rotate your neck, both clockwise and anticlockwise to relieve any stiffness.
> Pump your shoulders and shake those hands to shrug off the lethargy.

8. Smile To Take You through the Miles

Keeping a gentle smile relaxes the body and mind and helps you enjoy the yoga asanas much more. With a calm mind, you can push your body’s limits further and stretch more than usual.

9. Challenge Your Limits – One Step at a Time

The ancient yogic text, Patanjali Yoga Sutra, defines yoga asana as Sthira Sukham Asanam. Do only as much as you comfortably can and then just stretch a bit more (to improve body flexibility). Remember to use the breath as a reference point - when it is light and long, then the muscles begin to relax; but when the breath is jagged or uneven, it means you have over-exerted.

Going slightly beyond your comfort zone will keep the yoga practice interesting and will add a spark of challenge as you progress and adopt new yoga asanas.

10. Every Yoga Asana Is Unique, Just Like You

Wherever you stand in your yoga practice, be happy with it and don’t compare yourself to other students in the yoga class. Remember that each body type is unique and different people are at different levels of expertise. Some might easily perform a particular yoga asana, while others may need a little more time and practice to get there. Therefore, don't feel pressurized and over-exert yourself. Your flexibility and efficiency in doing yoga postures will improve with regular practice.

Do not be alarmed if you experience some soreness in the muscles during the initial days of the practice. But if the pain persists, inform your instructor immediately. The crux here is to be regular with your yoga practice and have patience. Just like any other discipline, it will take some time for the body to get used to the yoga asanas.

11. Relax to Recharge! - Yoga Tips

As you complete your yoga asana practice, don't be in a great hurry to get up and start moving about with the tasks lined up for the day. It is a good idea to lie down in Yoga Nidra for a few minutes, as it helps cool down the body and consolidate the energy produced through yoga asana practice. Yoga Nidra is also beneficial in completely relaxing the mind and body after the yoga workout.

You will be able to experience the subtler and deeper benefits of yoga in due time only if you stay regular with your practice. Yoga encompasses yoga asanas, timeless ancient philosophy, pranayamas (breathing techniques) and meditations, which take you beyond the body level, offering a deeper spiritual experience.

Your body is like the wick of a candle and the mind is like the glow all around it. It is the "Prana" or life force in us that nourishes the mind and keeps the body alive. "Pranayama" means working in the dimension of "prana".

The Prana creates an aura around the body. Every problem first generates in the subtle and then surfaces on the physical level. Sickness shows up in your Prana (Pranic Body) much before you get sick physically. Pranayama clears the whole energy around you, expands your aura and heightens the spirit. It brings clarity to the mind and good health to the body.

So, give yourself some of your valuable time and be patient for the results that will make you more flexible, healthy, calm, efficient and zealous. Happy practicing yogis!

posted Jun 3 by Mahendra.h.s

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Taking time to stretch and centre yourself as a mother is important to try to fit into your hectic schedule. Yoga has been proven to improve both physical and mental health, which, as we all know are so important in this stressful time of life! Are you struggling to try to find time to fit your practice into your routine? Here are a few poses that can be done in hardly any time, anywhere and they offer some amazing benefits:

1. FORWARD FOLD

Inversions, such as forward folds, are thought to provide the following benefits:

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased immunity
  • Increased energy
  • Increased relaxation
  • Better balance

Forward folds also strengthen and stretch the muscles in the legs, hips, and spine. To protect the lower back, keep your knees slightly bent when doing the pose. It can feel nice to fold halfway over while holding onto a countertop, the back of the couch, or your stroller or grocery cart handles. Focus on keeping the spine straight, rather than rolling your shoulders forward into a “hunch” while bending. To do this, think about pushing your chest towards your thighs if folding fully, or towards the floor, if folding halfway.

2. TREE

Balancing postures, such as tree pose, are great for increasing focus and helping us connect to our breath. If you are feeling off-kilter, use tree pose to centre yourself and drop back into your body.

Yogi Elizabeth Wellington recommends the following approach to tree pose:

"Start with your feet hip-width apart. Take a few deep breaths, and lift your left foot. Rest the bottom of your left foot along your shin, and if you’re comfortable, bring it up to rest on your thigh. Breathe with your eyes fixed on a focal point ahead of you. Switch sides to reap the benefits of this balancing pose."

3. CAT COW

Cat-Cow can be performed on the floor, on all fours, or seated in a chair or on a stability ball. It is a simple sequence where you round your back and press the space between your shoulder blades up if you’re on all fours, or into the back of the chair if you’re seated. Exhale as you round, like a cat. Then, inhaling through the nose, raise your forehead and arch your back, like a cow. Keep your core engaged by tucking your tailbone forward a tiny bit. Flowing with your breath, repeat the sequence several times.

This is a great pose to relieve feelings of anxiety or fear. It is easily performed in a variety of settings, from your desk chair, to the bathroom stall, on your bed, or the floor of your living room. If you are practising yoga in the midst of children, this is a really fun way to engage your kids in the practice. Invite them to moo like a cow and meow like a cat as you move through the sequence!

4. STANDING FIGURE FOUR

This is an easy stretch to perform just about anywhere. I’ve been known to drop into a standing figure four stretch while waiting in checkout lines while standing and talking to a friend at the park while cooking, and just about everywhere else.

To get into this pose, sit back as though you’re dropping into a chair, with knees bent and core strength. Shift your weight into the heels. Then, lift one foot and cross it over the opposite leg, so your ankle is sitting on your thigh. You may have to come up out of your “chair” slightly or depending on your flexibility, you might be able to sit deeper into your chair once you've balanced in your figure four stance.

This posture stretches the legs, hips, calves, and piriformis muscles. Keep your core strong and engaged to avoid angering your lower back muscles. Avoid placing the ankle directly on the knee. If you’ve got a history of knee problems, it might feel better to practice this pose lying down on your back.

5. TOE SQUAT

This simple pose comes from the Yin Yoga practice and helps to open the body’s lower meridians. The six meridians that begin and end in the lower body are the Liver, Gall Bladder, Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Spleen, and Stomach. By simply kneeling, tucking your toes under, and sitting back towards your heels, you can gently release these lower meridians through a toe squat.

Those new to the toe squat may find that sitting back is too uncomfortable at first. Only go back as far as you can without experiencing discomfort, and lean forward resting your hands on a block if need be. It is handy to have something to distract you while in toe squat, because focusing intently on the sensation can intensify discomfort. It’s a great time to get down to your child’s level and engage with them!

Place a blanket under your feet, or perform this pose on a rug or soft surface to minimize pain. You can hold this pose up to two-three minutes, but feel free to take a break, roll your ankles, and drop back in. Enjoy the release of your feet and toes!

We don't provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.
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