If you needed a reason to start your yoga practice, here’s one for you. According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga can help reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing. During a normal yoga practice you’re main goal is to quiet your mind and as the ancient yogis said, reach a state of overall bliss. So, don’t worry if you can’t bend yourself into a pretzel, your goal should be to feel good and pay attention to the sensations in your body. The bonus: you also get to break a sweat, lose weight, and improve your flexibility.
Yoga is as much a physical exercise as it is emotional and mental, with each breath that you take you put your mind in the present, the now. This helps with slowing a racing mind that may tend to over worry. We know that in today’s climate we all tend to have anxious moments, so an exercise routine that helps with not just getting fit but alleviating stress is probably just the thing your body needs right now. Research has also shown that people who practice yoga regularly tend to make pretty drastic lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating healthier and more nutritious meals
- Quit smoking
- Show effects of positive mental health
- Weight management
- Stress management
How to Start Your Yoga Practice
The best way to start your yoga practice is to join a beginner's level yoga class. There you will learn all of the foundational basics to start your practice. Things you'll learn will be how to align your body to move safely into the poses, various breathing techniques, and different ways to calm your mind including meditation. What you should bring to your first yoga class:
- Yoga mat
- Water bottle
- Wear comfortable clothes (yoga pants, loose fitting shirt)
Tip: If you can, go to the class a few minutes early to meet your instructor. Tell them about any injuries or tightness you might have so they can help you with modifications.
Online Classes: If You Can't Make It to a Physical Yoga Class
If you’re worried about going to your local yoga class due to inexperience or any other reason, you can always start with a home practice. Thankfully there are plenty of free and paid online sources that offer amazing beginner yoga classes.
We all love Youtube to learn all kinds of different things from hair and makeup tutorials to how to fix your car, but did you know that there’s treasure trove of workout videos on there as well? There is an abundance of amazing Yoga videos from beginner to prenatal you won’t be disappointed.
Amazon Prime Video
While Amazon Prime is not free, if you have a Prime membership you probably already know that it comes with free videos and movies, but did you know that it has a bunch of workout and yoga videos as well? A quick search will give you lists of all types of yoga classes for anything from back pain, to flexibility.
Yoga Journal is a great source for all things yoga related which is why they dub themselves to be the #1 authority on yoga and lifestyle. On their website they have a list of free yoga videos and everything to help you lead a healthy lifestyle.