10 Yoga Tips for Beginners … at any age
1. Relax , you can totally do this
Before taking up yoga, people sometimes tend to believe that it involves tough, limb-twisting poses, acrobatic balances and regularly planting their legs behind their heads.
And at an advanced level Yoga can involve all of those.
But you wouldn’t expect yourself to run a marathon after just taking up brisk walking, would you? Well, your journey with yoga is exactly same. Start slowly. It’s a journey. A process. A building of strength, stability, flexibility and an inside understanding of what your own body is capable of.
So don’t worry if you’re not Mrs. Flexible or Mr. Stretchable. Don’t worry if you’re taking up yoga at the age of 35 or 55. Don’t worry that you can’t touch your toes.
Just start. And give it time. You can totally do this.
2. Let the Experts Help
In order to progress smoothly and injury free, it’s always best to start learning yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher who can show you the correct way of practicing each posture. Their initial guidance will help you to learn yoga asanas (postures) properly and safely, meaning you can avoid possible injuries when you feel like practicing at home (Which you will, believe me).
If you have a medical condition, or suffer from joint pain, or old injuries, always inform your yoga teacher prior to starting your journey with them. Knowing your uniqueness will help the teacher to customize your yoga practice for you and your body.
3. Dress Comfortably
Whether you’re practicing yoga in a class setting, on the beach or at home, wear comfortable clothing that gives you space to move your limbs freely. Comfortable clothing might mean tight leggings for some, and baggy pants for others. It’s your comfort, so you get to choose.
4. Be a Regular
Although it’s generally best to practice yoga first thing in the morning you’ll feel the benefits of practicing yoga at any time of the day. So if Good Morning Yoga doesn't suit your schedule, don’t let it be an excuse not to start yoga, or to continue. Try a lunchtime class, or an evening class. And when you find what suits, make it a regular part of your week.
But do bear in mind it’s advised to practice on an empty stomach or at least 2-3 hours after your last meal.
5. Challenge Your Limits – One Step at a Time
Do only as much as you comfortably can and then, as you progress, start to gauge if you can stretch just a little bit more (to improve body flexibility), or hold the stretch for one or two more breaths (to improve strength and stability).
Remember to use your breathing as a reference - when it is light and long, then the muscles begin to relax; if the breath is jagged or uneven, it means you have over-exerted.
Going slightly beyond your comfort zone will keep your practice interesting, and it will add challenges as you progress through your yoga journey.
6. Remember that Every Yoga Asana Is Unique, Just Like You
Wherever you are in your yoga journey, be happy with it and don’t compare yourself to other students in the yoga class. Don't feel pressurized to over-exert yourself just to do what the guy on the mat next to you is doing. Everyone’s flexibility and efficiency in doing yoga postures is different, and each improves in the process of regular practice.
Keeping a gentle smile on your face relaxes the body and mind and helps you enjoy yoga much more. With a calm and happy mind, you can push your body’s limits a little more and maybe get that stretch to lengthen just that little millimetre further.
8. The Burn
Don’t be alarmed if you experience some soreness in the muscles after the first few yoga practices. The goal is to be regular with your yoga practice, have patience and allow the muscles to gain more flexibility and strength. And just like any other discipline, sport or exercise; it will take some time for the body to get used to the movements involved in yoga.
If any pain persists, inform your yoga teacher and you can work through problem areas together.
9. Relax to Recharge
Instead of being in a hurry to get up and get back into your day, it’s always a good idea to lie down in Savasana for a few minutes of relaxation at the end of a yoga practice. Allowing the weight of your body to relax into the support of the floor helps you to consolidate and benefit from the calming energy produced through the yoga practice.
10. Be proud of your efforts
Mindfully moving, stretching and breathing - even in the gentlest way - will have a positive impact on both your mind and your body. And from there you will grow. So don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back for starting.
Feel free to comment below and share your experience, or ask for any further advise.
Have yourself a great day :)