The question I get asked the most is: “How do I start practicing yoga?”. A lot of people are intimidated because on Instagram you only see picture perfect splits, handstands and incredibly good-looking people with expensive clothes who are bendy as a pretzel. And Yoga is also presented simplified on social media, whereas it has much more to offer than the physical part.
Nowadays you have a lot of free resources online: YouTube videos, Apps or Guides, but for the beginning, I recommend a Yoga course. The group setting is motivating, and you get to know the right alignment. Although I love YouTube for practicing Yoga at home, a real yoga teacher can´t be replaced. For beginners, it is crucial to learn the right alignment in order to not get hurt.
Don´t worry, you don´t have to start with professional, expensive clothes–leggings and a top are fine. And in most studios, you can borrow a mat. Also, a beginner´s course does not start with handstands or splits. You are guided step by step through basic asanas, learn sun salutations and breathing techniques.
After a course, you can visit open yoga classes. As you´re already familiar with the basics, you can do YouTube classes at home or look for an App. Eventually, you will create your own flows as you proceed on your yoga journey.
Finding your Yoga Style
As a beginner, yoga seems like another world, like a secret club. There are so many different styles, which one is for me? I recommend trying out different types of yoga. Great opportunities to discover your style are at yoga festivals with different teachers from all over the world. If you´re an energetic person, perhaps Ashtanga is for you. If you want deep relaxation, perhaps Yoga Nidra is your thing. Just read a little bit about the different styles or watch videos to get an insight.
Staying on track
To stay on track, it´s important to have your own personal why. Why do you want to integrate yoga into your life? Do you want to become more flexible, be calmer and more present, do you want to practice yoga because you´re a runner? This is where you find your motivation. And it helps you to stick to your routine.
Mental health benefits
Yoga is much more than beautiful people bending on Instagram. Yoga has a lot of mental health benefits to offer.
Yoga benefits in various ways:
- Yoga helps to master your thoughts and teaches us to distance from ruminating.
- Being on the mat regularly reduces stress, and as a result, it leads to a more positive mood and a higher level of self-respect.
- Yoga is effective in reducing pain.
- Taking your time out practicing
- Yoga improves sleep significantly.
- It is also beneficial for concentration.
- Yoga reduces anxiety.