Yoga for Beginners - Where to begin?
As a studio owner and teacher I often get asked lots of questions from people looking to start yoga, I thought I would put together a few common questions and the answers, hopefully it will inspire you to start or re-start your yoga classes!
1. What type of yoga is best for beginners?
Many studios have beginner classes or workshops. These offerings are fantastic for a beginner. They are often slower paced and focus more attention on alignment and how to safely get into the poses. You will also be with like-minded students which will put you at ease.
More relaxing forms of yoga include Yin yoga and Restorative, and these are also suitable for beginners.
2. What are the benefits of beginner’s yoga?
Practising yoga has lots of physical benefits: it creates a flexible, toned, and strong body and improves breathing, energy, and metabolism. Yoga improves circulatory and cardiac health, as well as fitness levels, pain, and posture. It also has benefits for your mental health, making you happier, more balanced and calmer. It helps you relax so you can handle your everyday stresses better.
3. How often should a beginner do yoga?
Even if you practice once a week, you will feel the difference. If you can, try to practice twice a week but don’t let unrealistic expectations stop you from doing shorter practices. 10 or 20 minutes is better than doing nothing at all.
4. How can someone start doing yoga at home?
If you want to start practicing at home, you can get started right away as so many teachers and studios are now offering classes online. Wear clothes you feel comfortable in that won’t restrict your movement. A yoga mat will provide some cushioning and help stop your hands from slipping in poses like Downward Facing Dog.
If you start practicing at home without a teacher, you might wonder if you’re doing the poses properly at first. It’s good to bear in mind from the beginning that our bodies and bone structures are all very different so there isn’t just one ‘right’ way to do a pose. It’s about finding out what works for our own bodies and not trying to recreate a certain shape. It’s always a good idea to go to a teacher in person as well as online yoga if you can.
The main thing to know is that yoga is not meant to hurt – that goes for whether you are practicing at home on your own or in a class with a teacher. You will probably experience different sensations than you are not used to, as your muscles stretch and strengthen, but if you feel any type of “warning” pain, such as sharpness or pinching, listen to your body and come slowly out of the pose.
5. Is it possible to lose weight doing yoga for beginners?
As a beginner practicing yoga will help you develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism.
While restorative yoga isn’t an especially physical type of yoga, it still helps in weight loss. American researchers have not yet concluded why restorative yoga seems to be so helpful for weight loss, but one theory is connected to cortisol, the stress hormone. High cortisol levels are a known contributor to weight again, particularly in the abdomen, and yoga, in general, reduces cortisol levels. So, it may not matter so much what style of yoga you are doing, so long as you are reducing stress by breathing mindfully in and out through the nose.
The fact that restorative yoga helps people lose weight is a good thing, as this style of yoga is accessible to all.
In conclusion, yoga helps you be more connected with your body and your mind. In turn, this elevated sense of mindfulness should hopefully lead you to a more balanced lifestyle which is exactly what sustainable weight loss is about finding a healthy balance.
Ready to start your yoga journey? Drop me a line and I would be delighted to help you on your way!