If you want to join the millions of “yogis” that are practicing this form of exercise today… you need to know the right place to start. It can be challenging to figure out what kind of yoga poses you should do – and what gear you need to get started.
That said, we’ve made it our goal to help you learn everything you need to know before embarking on your yoga journey.
In this article, we will talk about what you need to do before embarking on your yoga journey. Then, we’ll explain what the best yoga poses are for beginners to do at home. Plus, we will help you find the best yoga gear possible for comfortable, effective yoga practice.
What You Need to Do Before Doing Yoga
Yoga is not as difficult as it looks at first glance. Nevertheless, it can be quite daunting for someone with no experience. But with proper preparation, you will be able to walk into your first yoga session with full confidence.
Here are some things that you need to do before your first yoga class or at home session:
Do your research
Yoga is an ancient exercise with a rich history. The goal of yoga is self-realization; finding one’s true Self and achieving freedom from desires and materialistic attachments. Understanding the history of yoga and what it aims to achieve can help you appreciate this artful exercise as more than just a workout.
The physical and mental benefits that yoga provides are secondary, but they are just as important. Knowing what yoga can do for your mind and body can motivate you to stay on track, especially when the poses get challenging. We highly recommend reading this article: what are the health benefits of doing yoga?
Talk to your doctor
If you have a condition that you think might be affected by yoga practice, talk to your doctor before your first session. For example, if you’ve torn a ligament recently but you feel that it has already healed, you still need a green light from your doctor to be absolutely sure. Otherwise, you may risk re-injuring yourself while doing yoga.
Prepare your body
Before starting your first session, be sure that your body is well-conditioned for it. The rule of thumb is to avoid eating 1 to 3 hours beforehand. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure optimum hydration.
It also helps to stretch regularly in the weeks prior to your first yoga session. Doing so can help improve your flexibility and make for a smooth first session. It can also help you avoid muscle cramps, which are common for beginner yogis.
Gather your gear
Another reason you shouldn’t be afraid to start yoga is that it doesn’t require much gear. All you need is the right yoga mat to start with.
When choosing a yoga mat, here are some of the most important factors to consider:
- Thickness. The standard thickness for yoga mats is 1/8 inch. If you want more support, you can get a thicker mat. There are mats as thick as 1/4 inch.
- Material. Yoga mats can be made from PVC, cotton, jute, or cork. Rubber mats are the most common type. But if you want more comfort, choose a mat that is made from natural fibers.
- Texture. The material of a yoga mat largely determines its texture. Rubber mats tend to be smooth, while jute or cotton mats have an organic roughness to them.
- Color. You don’t want a yoga mat that is too flashy or colorful. Remember that meditation is a big part of yoga; a neutral-colored mat will help you relax more.
Whether you’re doing yoga at home or in a yoga class, always dress for comfort. Wear well-fitting yoga pants and a loose shirt or sports bra. You must be able to move comfortably without your clothes pressing too tightly on your body.
Prepare your space
If you’re doing yoga at home, make sure that you have enough space to move without knocking into something. Clear an area in your bedroom or living room, preferably somewhere with a lot of natural light. You also want your area to be well-ventilated so that you can breathe properly.
Best Beginner Yoga Poses You Can Do at Home
If you don’t want to take yoga classes, you can start practicing yoga at home instead. All you need is a yoga mat, enough space, and perhaps a yoga playlist to set the ambiance.
The following yoga poses make up a complete workout. Do each pose slowly for a few breaths before moving to the next one. If you find a pose particularly challenging, stop and catch your breath before trying again.
The child’s pose is the default pause position in yoga. It aims to stretch your neck, spine, and hips gently while allowing you to think of your next position.
How to do it: Kneel and lean forward until your forehead is resting on the mat. Put your arms either behind or in front of you. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths or as long as you need to.
When to avoid it: If you are pregnant or have problems in your knees or ankles.
Downward facing dog
The downward facing dog pose stretches your hamstrings, calves, and the arches of your feet. It also helps strengthen your back, shoulders, and arms.
How to do it: Start in a kneeling position. Then, spread your hands on your mat. Lift your butt and then push it back. Straighten your legs with your feet flat on the floor. Your body should look like an upside-down V. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.
When to avoid it: If you are pregnant, have wrist problems, have acid reflux disease, or are hypertensive.
The mountain pose serves as the foundation for other poses. The goal is to promote focus and concentration while allowing you to catch your breath.
How to do it: Stand with your heels slightly apart, keeping your toes together. Engage your core and relax your shoulders. Upon the inhale, reach your arms toward the ceiling while pushing down into your feet. Keep your arms parallel with your ears. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.
When to avoid it: If you have a shoulder injury.
The plank pose is common in many different exercises apart from yoga. Holding a plank helps strengthen your core, shoulders, arms, and legs.
How to do it: Start on your hands and knees, then lift your lower body until only your hands and toes are supporting your weight. You can also use your elbows to support your weight. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths. If you want to build more core strength, hold the pose for a longer amount of time.
When to avoid it: If you have carpal tunnel syndrome or have lower back pain.
The crescent lunge is great for promoting balance and stability. It also helps stretch your hamstrings and strengthen your legs, glutes, and arm muscles.
How to do it: Take a big step forward with your left leg, then bend the knee in front while keeping your back leg as straight as possible. Try to bend your front leg until your thigh is parallel to the mat. Extend your arms upward. After holding the pose for 5 to 10 breaths, transition to the other leg.
When to avoid it: If you have any problems with your legs, such as a pulled hamstring or sore ankle.
The goal of the tree pose is to improve your balance and strengthen your core, thighs, spine, and ankles.
How to do it: Starting from the mountain pose, lift your right foot to the inner thigh of your left leg until your right thigh is facing the floor at a 45-degree angle. Find your balance, then put your hands in a prayer position or reach upwards. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths then repeat the process for the other leg.
When to avoid it: If you have a condition that affects your balance.
Doing this pose can help improve your balance and posture. It also opens your hips, chest, and shoulders, which can also help increase your breathing capacity.
How to do it: Take a big step forward like in the lunge pose, then extend your arms with one facing forward and the other facing backward. Bend your left knee while keeping the right leg straight. Turn your right foot until it is perpendicular to your left. Twist your torso to the right. Hold the position for 1 to 5 breaths.
When to avoid it: If you have balance problems.
Apart from strengthening your legs, the triangle pose is also great for stretching the spine, chest, hips, shoulders, groin, and calves. This pose can also help improve your balance.
How to do it: Starting from the Warrior II pose, straighten the leg at the front before reaching your right hand forward. At the same time, your left arm must be pointing to the ground. Tilt your torso forward then to the right. Rotate your arms so that it looks like you’re pointing to 6 and 12 o’clock. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.
When to avoid it: If you have a back injury.
Half pigeon pose
Many types of workouts use this pose to stretch the hamstrings, glutes, and back. In yoga, it is used to relieve pain in the lower body and improve flexibility in the legs.
How to do it: From the downward facing dog, stretch your left leg then bring it underneath your body. Your shin should be parallel to the top of the mat. Next, extend your right leg behind you with the top of your foot resting on the floor. Flex your left foot as much as you can and tuck in your left knee if you have to. After three breaths, lean forward and rest your head on the floor for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat the position for the other leg.
When to avoid it: If you have knee pain, are pregnant, or have back problems.
As the ending to most yoga sequences, the corpse pose is used to relax the body and mind. Most yogis stay in this pose for a few minutes to meditate.
How to do it: Simply lay on your back, arms slightly placed away from your body. Relax and let your whole being rest.
When to avoid it: Never! If you have an ache in your back, try using a yoga block for back pain.
Start Doing Yoga At Home With A Great Yoga Mat From Pureful Yoga!
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Better yet, complete your yoga set with an organic cork yoga block and a cork yoga mat bag! Shop now and enjoy generous discounts on your first-ever yoga mat.