Yoga is becoming more and more popular in this day and age. People from all around the world are being drawn to this practice and immerse in the benefits that it provides.
Do you want to know how to start yoga?
Starting new habits and maintaining them is not an easy task. It might be difficult for you to add something new to your schedule and not let it overwhelm you. It’s important to figure out how you can incorporate yoga into your life so that you practice because you genuinely want to and love to, and not making it feel like a burden that you have to do your practice. Find out what it is about yoga that fires you up and tie a goal to the practice so that you always have something to look forward to.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the meaning of yoga and what you should expect from it, and I will lead you through some tips that are especially helpful for the yoga beginner.
If you’re a complete beginner with no experience in the practice, yoga may seem weird, confusing, and maybe even difficult. But in reality, it’s quite the opposite! Yoga is a simple form of practice, that can easily be carried out by anyone who’s willing to give it a try.
So how do you start yoga? Let’s keep reading.
What is yoga?
In literal translation, yoga is union, which ultimately refers to a deep connection between the physical and the spiritual altogether.
Truly understanding what yoga is, can be difficult for a beginner. What’s interesting about yoga is that it’s an experiential practice, which means that you have to go through your own process to understand. And most certainly, yoga represents different things to different people.
But yoga is certainly not a competition, where the best posture wins a gold medal. Yoga is, in fact, not about the postures but uses postures as a tool to redirect the mind to higher consciousness.
For any of you who are interested in yoga, your interest is probably coming from either fitness or weight loss, but then when you start the actual practice of yoga, you may begin experiencing benefits beyond the physical.
Yoga often starts out as one thing and ends up being something totally different. When you find out what yoga is for you, the real practice begins and fires up a new purpose.
Am I ready to start yoga?
Anyone is suitable for starting yoga.
You don’t need to be flexible or strong to start yoga, you don’t need to “feel ready”, and you certainly don’t need to do the crazy-looking advanced poses to qualify as a yogi.
The perfect body for the practice is the one you have, and the best time to start yoga is right now. The real question is: what’s holding you back from starting?
But how do I start yoga?
How to start yoga? I prepared a 15-tip guide in which I’m going to lead you through my tips on how you can start yoga including practices that bring you the full yoga experience!
However, what’s most important is not how you start yoga, but how you can commit to the practice, so that you practice from a place of love, rather than feeling pressured to engage in physical activity.
List of tips — How to start yoga
HOW TO START YOGA: TIPS
1. JUST START
What’s holding you back?
Push your coffee table aside, make some room, and just start!
2. GET A YOGA MAT
There is no more significant symbol for the modern yoga practice than the yoga mat.
Even though they might have not existed when yoga was first being practiced, they provide much-needed support. For safety reasons alone, a good mat is a great investment.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MAT
As a beginner to yoga, I grabbed a 20$ mat from a random shop, foolishly thinking all mats are the same and that there’s no reason I should invest more money on a particular model or brand.
Soon enough, as I was just starting to actually enjoy yoga, I began to see that my mat was peeling and flaking away (basically deteriorating itself).
This led to excessive slipping and me feeling utterly unstable in most of the standing poses. Here’s a picture of my old mat after a few months of using it.
However, things have changed when I was introduced to the Manduka mats.
I learned that a low-quality yoga mat can actually create a more accident-prone environment and lead to injury. Furthermore, your mind will completely focus on how to keep yourself from slipping and falling. You are absolutely taken away from the mindfulness and steady breathing you are supposed to be feeling.
Manduka has a material that will never peel, flake, or fade. In fact, I find that the quality of the Manduka mat actually improves with use over time. The material is eco-friendly, and it prevents absorption into the mat, which means that it’s less prone to bacteria and it’s very easy to clean.
With Manduka, every yoga pose feels lighter, I never slip on the mat, I always feel grounded and stable, and to this day, this mat looks and feels like it’s new.
If you think that yoga deserves a place into your life and you’re ready to commit to this transformative practice, a good mat like Manduka is a great investment!
Check out the Manduka-Pro/ProLite mats below!
3. START ONLINE
Instead of attending classes and going to studios, spending a bunch of money to try something that you don’t even know if you’re going to enjoy or not, go online and browse the internet. See what shows up and try to follow along.
Practicing yoga at home is especially helpful if you fear that you might not be able to follow along at a studio class. It’s a fantastic way to start things out, and by the time you actually hit the studio, you’ll feel so much more comfortable!
To help you find the best online yoga classes and programs, I have created an article about the best online platforms for practicing yoga at home, based on my own experience and reviews of yogis from all around the world. Check it out here!
4. DON’T WEAR SOCKS
Yoga is traditionally practiced barefoot! And trust me, that’s the way to go!
Most of the yoga poses require us to have our feet in direct contact with the ground. This is important for maintaining the balance and stability of the body while performing a pose. At the same time, yoga is not just about aligning the body in some yoga pose or the other and is about forming a deep connection between ourselves and the universe.
You want no barrier between you and the mat. Take off the socks!
5. TRY ALL TYPES OF YOGA
There are multiple different types of yoga; and while all yoga types strive for the same outcome, they often differ in their structure and physical manifestation.
Figure out what you like and what best suits your needs!
To get started on your own journey, ask yourself, where do you want the practice to take you? Are you looking to sweat your way into a lean form, or does a gentle, more meditative approach sound more appealing?
Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Kundalini, Iyengar, Bikram, and the list goes on — try them all. Experiment! 🙂
6. EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
Yoga was traditionally practiced in the morning. Practicing yoga in the morning does have a different feeling than an afternoon class.
However, what is truly important in the development of your practice is the action of coming to your mat every day. Don’t make the mistake of skipping yoga for the whole day if, for some reason, you were not able to practice early morning.
Strive to practice yoga in the morning, but if that’s not possible for you, know that you will still experience all the benefits of yoga even if you practice at a different time.
7. STAY CONSISTENT
It’s incredibly important to figure out a way in which you can practice regularly and develop a daily routine out of it.
If you only practice when it’s convenient or when you feel good, then yoga is more of a hobby that you choose to look at on Monday and forget it exists for the rest of the week. If you want to experience the deepest truth yoga has to offer, you must develop the kind of devotional determination needed to progress along this internal path.
As a beginner, you shouldn’t force your body to do anything that feels uncomfortable. Start with easy, beginner-level classes. Small consistent effort is the key to success.
Ultimately, there really is nothing I can say or do to motivate you to succeed at being consistent with yoga and create a habit out of it in the long run. YOU have all the power. It’s up to you!
8. FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH
The breath is the foundation of yoga. Working with the breath in the practice of yoga can not only be challenging but also sometimes frustrating, especially for a beginner.
Maybe the greatest challenge of the yoga practice is that you are expected to maintain a calm, steady breath while you move through increasing levels of difficulty.
One of the main manifestations of proficiency in a series of postures is not solely the ability to perform them well, but actually the ability to breathe deeply and steadily while holding these postures.
I’m sure you’ve heard of meditation before! Did you know that the physical practice of yoga was originally intended to prepare the body for meditation?
Pairing yoga with meditation can do wonders for your state of well-being! Meditation is a powerful practice that works to still the mind, promote emotional health, and bring you in the present moment. It’s something you can do alone, at any time, any place, and for however long you want.
Sitting upright in a seated position for a longer period of time is, however, not only difficult mentally, but also physically.
10. INSPIRATION IS KEY
Inspiration is an important part of the practice and a great tool to help you stay consistent. Where do you draw inspiration from?
To inspire yogis, we put together a list of 300 YOGA QUOTES that you can come back to, every time you seek inspiration. On top of that, if you’re an active Instagram user, I’m sure you’d love to follow some inspirational yogis: 21 Instagram Yogis to follow in 2021!
Stay inspired to practice— it will take you places. 🙂
11. READ A YOGA BOOK
Yoga books play an important role in your understanding of yoga; they give you a much better insight into the philosophy, history, meaning, purpose, and many other aspects of yoga.
YOGA BOOKS — MUST-READS
12. BE PATIENT
Frustration is a common part of yoga that we all experience at some point in the practice.
Most certainly, there are going to be yoga poses that are not accessible to you at the very beginning. But yoga is a journey. One that requires patience, trust, and acceptance. And along the way, the lessons you learn are invaluable.
As one famous yoga guru once said: “DO YOUR PRACTICE AND ALL IS COMING“
So don’t rush this process, and instead, let it flow. But remember to keep practicing, keep showing up on your mat every day.
13. WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES
When you practice yoga, you definitely want to put on clothes that make you feel comfortable and set you in the mood for movement.
Practicing yoga in my pajamas is definitely my guilty pleasure.
But after all, clothes are not really an important part of the yoga journey. However, we all like to feel comfortable in our clothes, or let’s just be honest— we all like to show off our fancy yoga outfits when we show up at our studio or take a stroll through the park.
So if you’re looking for some inspiration, one yoga clothing brand that we love is CRZYOGA. Their clothes are perfect for yoga, fashionable, and affordable.
Check out their online shop on Amazon here.
14. GET YOGA BLOCKS
If you’ve never done yoga before, or you’re just getting things started, and you’re generally not very flexible, the best and most efficient tool for you to use is a yoga block!
Yoga blocks are very useful props for anyone to use during the practice. Blocks make poses more accessible by providing length, support, and proper alignment.
15. JOIN A YOGA STUDIO
You might love your home yoga practice. I do too!
And I get it— joining a public class can be really scary and intimidating. I’ve been there! But practicing yoga in a room full of people, within a community of yogis, is totally different. You need to be there to experience it!
It’s the best opportunity to learn more about yoga, to advance in your practice, and to build quality friendships with like-minded individuals.
However, I am in no way pressuring you to join a yoga studio right away! It might be quite challenging and hard to follow along, especially if you’ve never done yoga before! So take your time, start yoga at home, and when you feel ready to join a studio, you’ll know! 🙂
I hope you’re all set to start yoga and will take these yoga tips with you on your journey.
Would love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below!