Updated: Jan 6, 2020
When you’re new to yoga, it can feel intimidating and be difficult to know exactly where and how to get started. This article was written specifically to give you a bit of general knowledge, guidelines, and recommendations to start a successful yoga practice.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is the Sanskrit word for union. Aimed at integrating mind, body, and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe.
What is normally thought of as “yoga” in the West is really Hatha Yoga, one of the many paths of yoga. The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment.
Hatha Yoga attains the union of mind-body-spirit through a practice of asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (yoga breathing), mudra (body gestures) and shatkarma (internal cleansing). These physical practices are used to purify the body and cultivate prana (life-force energy).
Modern Hatha Yoga does not emphasize many of these practices and instead focuses more on the physical yoga postures.
Regardless of what your goals or intentions are for starting a yoga practice, just the yoga poses themselves is a fantastic form of mental and physical exercise.
Is Yoga Right for You?
We mentioned above yoga is union. Thereafter, Yoga/union is for everybody by its very nature.
Yoga is in no way exclusive and makes not judgment.
You need to find the right intensity and yoga modality for your needs and goals.
For beginners the best way to start is by seeking a knologable teacher / studio to lead you throughout the right steps.
If you have a medical condition or a recent injury, it can be challenging or dangerous to do certain types of yoga, specific poses, or breathing techniques. Usually, there are alternatives or modifications that can allow you to practice safely.
If you are recovering from an injury or are of poor health, we recommended consulting with a physician or other qualified health care professional before beginning a yoga practice.
While you may feel some intensity in the belly of your muscles while in a yoga pose, you should never feel pain, especially in the joints. A sharp or intense pain is your body’s signal to tell you to stop, back off and take it easy.
How Often Should I Do Yoga?
If you can practice yoga 3 or more times per week, you will see significant improvements in your range of motion, strength, balance, inner peace, and overall well being. Ideally, we recommend shorter and more frequent sessions, 20-45 minutes long, and for a total of 3-4 hours spread over several days. Practicing yoga less than this amount will still be beneficial, but you will see smaller improvements over a longer period of time. Like most things, the more time you can dedicate towards it, the more benefits you will receive.
How to Improve After Starting
Patience, commitment, repetition, and consistency are the keys to developing and progressing in the practice of yoga.
After you’ve found a style, teacher, and yoga provider that works for you, try these tips: • Commit to a regular schedule of yoga classes or home practice • Increase the length of your yoga practice and the number of days per week that you practice • Find sources of inspiration
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