Have you been thinking about practicing yoga? You don’t have to think about it anymore! Make up your mind to take your first class. You will notice the positive changes it will bring to your life, both physical, emotional and spiritual. Make up your mind and — most importantly — don’t forget to breathe, smile and enjoy your practice with your heart!
To start in this practice you must mentally prepare yourself. You will see that the instructions to do the yoga postures show the “goal”, that is, where you should go, not where you must go. This means that you can experiment and explore different positions to make the pose work for you, without hurting yourself.
These are some important tips that you should know if you are a beginner in the practice of yoga:
1. Be patient and observe
A beginner yoga class does not always mean that it is an easy class. You must have a lot of patience and know how to listen to your body. It takes time to learn the practice of yoga. At the beginning you will have to observe your yoga instructor so that you see the correct way to perform the postures (asana).
2. Breathing is the most important thing
It is important that you emphasize breathing, as it is one of the most important steps in yoga, it regulates our mental and emotional state and helps our concentration. Breathing affects stress levels and sleep. Learning to breathe in the correct way will make us feel healthier, calmer and more prepared to face stressful situations. It also makes you feel better. The correct way to breathe is to push your abdomen out on the inhale and let it come back in on the exhale.
3. Above all comfort, there is no ideal outfit
During practice you should feel comfortable. Loose clothing that allows you to move freely, is the best. Keep in mind that you need mobility throughout your body, in all your joints. Also think that you will do yoga positions in which you will be with your head down, and if you wear something too wide, the shirt may fall to your head; so it is recommended that you wear a sports bra or a shirt that does not be so wide.
4. Choose your ideal mat
You can buy the yoga mat in any supermarket, sports store or flea market. There is a wide variety of yoga mats, they differ in thickness and material.
-The rubber mats are thin and prevent you from slipping.
-The rubber doubles are the same, although thicker and more cushioning.
-Cotton mats are the best option for those Bikram Yoga sessions, for example, since they cause a lot of sweat, these mats prevent you from slipping. It is advisable to moisten the cotton mats a little before starting the exercises to obtain a more pleasant sensation.
5. Have the necessary accessories on hand before you begin
It is good that you have a block, a rope and even a blanket on hand. There are positions where you will need to help yourself with these accessories. For example, for positions where you need to support your head or knees on the floor with pressure, a blanket underneath is very useful. For the triangle pose, you may need a block to rest your hands on. Your instructor will tell you in which position you will need these accessories and what is the correct way to use them.
6. Do the practice without shoes
To feel a connection with the earth and with your practice it is important that you do it barefoot. You will feel a pleasant sensation and you will be able to feel that you return to the origins with this practice. Also, being barefoot is also for your safety, otherwise you could slip on the mat. It also helps you to have better support to hold your body in a position, to improve your balance and you can separate each toe as much as possible.
7. Ask your instructor all your questions
This is an important point during your yoga practice even more so if you are a beginner. If you do not understand a posture, you do not know how to do it or what its benefit will be, feel free to ask your instructor, he will answer all your questions. It is preferable that you understand something well before doing it, than entering a position with uncertainty. You can ask him at the end of class, but never be in doubt.
8. Listen to your body, don’t push yourself too hard
It is preferable that you let your instructor know if you have previous injuries or surgeries. With the practice of yoga you will discover muscles that you did not know existed and that you have never exercised. Therefore, it allows your body to adapt to new exercises and movements without straining. Listen to your body. Don’t fight him and don’t stress him out.
9. When doing a posture that you have not done before, observe first
If you are constant with the practice you will notice the advances in your body. Little by little you will advance your level more, but there will always be positions that you do not know. When you do a pose for the first time it is best to first look at how your teacher does it and listen to the instructions. Trying to do it at the same time can make it more difficult and could lead to injury. If you are doing an asana for the first time, be sure to watch and listen carefully to your instructor before doing it yourself.
10. When NOT to practice yoga
It is recommended that you know the contraindications for each position before doing them, in this way you will avoid hurting any muscle or joint. Preferably do not practice during periods of menstruation, pregnancy, high blood pressure or injuries to the knees, hips, shoulders and necks. If you decide to do it, consult your doctor first and let your instructor know. Consider that you must take special care in all postures and if possible avoid them if you have any discomfort. The most important thing is to take care of your body and not hurt it.