Yoga For Beginners- Part 1

Hi all,

For this Monday, I decided to share something very fun that I’ve been working on for a while. I sat down with Audrey, a yoga teacher in the UK, to discuss the practice of yoga with a special focus on yoga for beginners.

[Make sure you read to the end; there’s a morning yoga routine!]

Audrey has been practicing yoga for eight years, and has been teaching for four. She originally practiced martial arts, but due to an injury, she had to heavily cut back. She wanted to keep doing something physical but felt drawn to incorporate a spiritual element into her exercise. She decided to try a yoga class near her home and she instantly fell in love with it, finding it natural for her body to replicate the movements.

Before we delve into some tips to get started, let’s look at some of the benefits Audrey finds in practicing yoga (these might vary from one person to the next).

Benefits for the body:

  • Builds strength, flexibility, endurance
  • Improves overall fitness

Benefits for the mind/spirit:

  • Improves concentration
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Builds self-esteem
  • Improves or develops the ability to focus on something for a long period of time
  • Develops patience
  • Learn to be more compassionate towards others and the self
  • Can build social relationships (in a studio practice)

If you’re thinking of starting yoga but don’t quite know where/how to begin, here are some tips:

  • Always consult with a doctor before starting: they will be able to confirm if this type of exercise is alright for your health/body.
  • Try as many different classes in the beginning: this will allow you to find out what you like the most. Some classes to try: Hatha, Power, Yin, Hot.
  • Try different teachers: some things might work/stick best with some teachers more than others. This preference might also change over time.
  • If you’re not comfortable going into a studio yet, try doing it on your own at home. There are plenty of websites that you can subscribe to (monthly or annually) to get videos. Example: YogaGlo.
  • Be open & honest. If you didn’t like the first class, don’t be shy to speak to the instructor. [Side note- it’s important that you take classes from registered yoga teachers, as they have followed a rigorous training program in order to prepare them for teaching.] Let the teacher know what you didn’t like, they might be able to show you different poses or direct you to different classes that may better suit your needs.

For those who are ready to take the plunge, Audrey was kind enough to provide us with a beginner-level morning and night yoga routine. The details/instructions are below.

Morning yoga routine:

This is a variation of the Sun Salutation A- Surya Namaskar (the names in italics are the names of the poses in Sanskrit). Repeat this entire routine 3-5 times.

  1. Start with mountain pose- Tadasana1-20160923
  2. Inhale to arms up- Urdhva Hastasana2-20160923
  3. Exhale to standing forward fold- Uttanasana3-20160923
  4. Inhale to flat back- Ardha Uttanasana4-20160923
  5. Exhale to plank pose- Phalakasana.5-20160923
  6. Continue on the exhale and lower on the belly.6-20160923
  7. Inhale to cobra pose- Bhujangasana. Hold it here for three to five cycles of breaths.7-20160923
  8. Exhale into downward dog- Adho Mukha Svanasana.8-20160923
  9. Inhale into flat back- Ardha Uttanasana9-20160923
  10. Exhale to standing forward fold- Uttanasana10-20160923
  11. Inhale to arms up- Urdhva Hastasana.11-20160923
  12. Exhale to mountain pose- Tadasana12-20160923

The night routine will be up this Saturday, October 22nd so make sure you check back!

Thanks for reading and a special thanks to Audrey for all her help!

I hope this will help some of you who are thinking of starting yoga.

Have a great week!

Marilyn

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