Yoga For Beginners: Enhancing Your Physical Lifestyle
Staying fit and physically active is important for the maintenance of one’s peak physical condition. Whether it’s going up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, sneaking in a quick post-office session at the tennis courts or going for a run in the early morning, maximizing one’s time to remain active is always a great idea. With the sheer number of options available—from aerial silk classes to Ballet Beautiful, printable tabata worksheets and boxing workshops—it may be quite time-consuming to peruse all the pamphlets and material online before you settle on something that’s right for you. Yoga is one option that’s definitely highly-recommended by many people of all walks of life, with varying schedules, body types and fitness levels. Because it is so versatile as an activity, there are many beginner classes that incorporate some variety, such as doing the poses in a heated room or incorporating it with Pilates. When in doubt as to what you can fit into your daily routine, yoga is a great choice.
Lately, yoga has become a popular class for people to take, both for increasing flexibility and strength while burning calories and enhancing the connection between the body and the mind. If you’re new to yoga, here are a few things which you should take note of:
The meditation parts of your class are key, so don’t fall asleep!
Meditation increases mindfulness—you become calmer and more spatially aware, so it enhances the quality of your subsequent yoga workout, and you become more focused as you visualize the poses and hold them. Although the silence and relaxed position may tempt you into drifting off, stilling your mind will have a positive impact on your health. Save your naps for later!
Your flexibility will increase…gradually.
You will not become a pretzel overnight that can twist into the King Cobra at will. Don’t push yourself into uncomfortable positions—if you have to hold your limbs in a particular position for a prolonged period of time, it’s best to ease into it to avoid pain or exacerbating pre-existing injuries. Yoga is not supposed to be painful. This easing in will make you more flexible over time, so don’t be in a hurry to accomplish the more difficult poses.
On that note, remember that there are levels of difficulty for yoga.
In your classes, there will be initial poses which will be taught, such as the Sun Salute, the Downward Dog, the Easy Pose…these are often good transition positions as well for those of increasing difficulty, which will require one to do things such as balance on one’s fists or even the crown of one’s head! Your instructor does not expect you to be able to do these straightaway—and even if your flexibility has improved, it will take some time for you to have that connection between your mind and body that will allow you to try these positions. Don’t be in a rush!
Yoga is about the study of contrasts, which is a great mindset to incorporate into your everyday train of thought.
Yoga is not about being relaxed—according to its practitioners, it is the study of balance, the contrast between the easy and the difficult, expansion and contraction, inhaling and exhaling, the hard and the soft. Remember this when you do your poses, as you may be tempted to quit not because it is painful, but because of the effort that it takes at times.
Don’t let poses intimidate you.
Anyone can do yoga—thin or fat, tall or short, it is really made for all kinds of people. Learn to let go of your fear when it comes to balancing or holding poses. If you wobble a little bit, that’s perfectly natural as your body is adjusting to this realignment of your center of gravity. Increase your determination by knowing that the whole point of beginner yoga is to help you gradually fall into this more mindful way of life, which will improve your health and make you feel more at peace with your environment and other people. With benefits like this, why let your fear of embarrassment hold you back? You’re all beginners in the same class. It’s not about competing with someone to be more flexible. When you let go of that narrow mindset, your practice of yoga will be stress-free.