Whether you just plan to use it to stay flexible, or want to become an expert, these tips will offer guidance and help you settle more comfortably into the practice.
Start with the basics: You may be just about to start your first class or maybe going it alone in the privacy of your own home. Wherever you are, it’s important to nail the basics. Start seated postures, such as Sukhasana and stretches like Pawanmuktasana.
Go Slow: Practicing yoga even for a few minutes every day can have positive impact, therefore it is crucial not to rush. Yoga is supposed to be nurturing for your mind and body. Hurrying through it will eliminate any benefit. Respect your body and give it sufficient time to adjust to the practice of yoga, be patient and get every pose perfect.
It’s important to ease yourself into it, as it can take time for your body to become comfortable moving in new ways. Do not try and go straight in with the most complex of poses just because they look good as this could result in injury. It is better to allow your body to slowly adjust and open to this new way of moving before progressing with the more complicated postures.
Practice yoga on an empty stomach: Although yoga can be practiced at your convenience, it is best to wait for a couple of hours after you have eaten and practice on an empty stomach. If food is in your system while practicing yoga, the different postures may cause problems with digestion.
Remember to breathe: It sounds obvious, but breathing correctly is essential when practicing Yoga. Practicing at home or in a class you must remember to only hold your breath when it is specified. If you experience shortness of breath at any point throughout your workout, this is your body’s way of asking you to slow down.
Wear comfortable clothing: Is there a particular top or pair of slacks you feel most comfortable in? Then wear them! The best clothes are flexible and breathable whilst being able to absorb sweat along the way.
Identify a comfortable space: Be it a gym, yoga studio or your own home, identifying a comfortable space for you to practice is essential. Yoga helps the body unwind. Finding your own space of serenity where you feel most comfortable will aid relaxation, giving you maximum benefit.
Invest in a ‘sticky’ yoga mat – Yoga mats are also referred to as sticky mats. The mat helps define your own personal space, and more importantly creates traction so you don’t slip! The mat is likely to get a little sweaty throughout your session, so after every use make sure to clean it with some antibacterial yoga mat wipes.
Blocks: Blocks are useful props if you are just starting out. They aid in making certain poses more comfortable and improve your alignment. They are especially great for standing poses in which your hands do not reach the floor. Like your yoga mat it is best to wipe these down after each use.
Lastly make sure to keep an open mind!