New to yoga? This article is a comprehensive guide that seeks to answer all your questions about yoga, including everything you need to know before you take your first yoga class. At the end of this article, you will learn what yoga is, how to determine if yoga is right for you, what you need to wear, what equipment you need, how often you need to do it and what style to choose for your first class.
What are the basics of yoga?
Yoga is practiced barefoot on a yoga mat. Even the most basic stretches require clothing that can stretch, so wear the most comfortable outfit that allows you to move around and move easily.
If you're doing a softer, slower class, dress warmly (sweatpants, long-sleeved shirt) and if it's a more dynamic class, wear shorts and a t-shirt or tank top. Teachers will often suggest that you leave your ego at the door, and that includes not being embarrassed by the clothes you are wearing. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in no matter what the style!
Some types of yoga require additional equipment or accessories, such as straps, blocks, bolsters, blankets and chairs. But you don't need to buy props to start yoga. If classes are held in a gym or yoga studio, they will provide you with everything you need.
However, if you are doing an online beginner's yoga class, you will need a yoga mat and you will need to check if additional equipment is needed beforehand. If so, there are simple ways to replace yoga props with everyday objects. For example, you can use a belt or rope instead of a strap.
If you feel like buying your own, you should buy a yoga mat first. Most studios provide mats for free or for rent, but they are often plastic mats that are not very nice and not very comfortable. You will probably feel better on a mat you have chosen yourself.
They come in all sizes and materials. So it is a good idea to find out, especially if you are looking for something that is non-toxic and supports your joints such as knees and wrists. You'll find a wide variety, so check out our article on the best yoga mats, where we review some yoga mats that can be easily purchased online.
Is yoga right for you?
Are you a beginner in yoga or hesitating to start? Know that yoga is accessible to everyone, regardless of your physical condition, age, clothing, weight, profession, place of residence or religion. Yoga is by no means an exclusive or elitist practice.
It is possible that you may have recently contracted an injury that may make it more difficult or risky to practice certain types of yoga, poses or breathing techniques. But don't worry! There will probably be alternatives that you can do safely with the help of a yoga teacher.
If you are 55 years of age or older, if you are out of shape or not very flexible, start with a "gentle" class until you feel safe to move on to something more dynamic. That it pulls you a little is okay, but if the pain is too intense then stop and find an alternative posture.
What are the benefits of yoga?
There are so many benefits to doing yoga and we have written an article on these many benefits! Yoga can help you to :
• improve and maintain your muscles, joints and organs
• keep your mind healthy,
• have a better sleep
• improve your performance and prevent sports injuries
• recover more quickly after training
• prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune diseases,
• slow down the negative effects of office work
• increase your sense of happiness and well-being.
It is a practice that is both a physical exercise that helps improve tone, endurance, posture, strength, balance and flexibility, as well as a discipline that helps you to decompress, relax, feel healthier and more energetic.
The best way to know if yoga is right for you is simply to try it. We suggest you visit a few gyms or gyms to see which one you feel most comfortable at or which one practices the type of yoga you want. Take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have at that time.
If you opt for an online class at home then do the same and don't hesitate to ask the people in charge of the program and tell them about any physical problems you may have. Yoga should be fun for you!
In any case, if you are a person recovering from an injury or have health problems, we recommend that you consult a doctor before practicing. Especially if you think there may be risks associated with practicing yoga.
How do I prepare for the first class?
For your first yoga class, we strongly advise you to arrive early to introduce yourself to the teacher and tell him that you are starting and not to wear too strong perfume to disturb the other yogis around you. Questions are always welcome, but we advise you to ask them at the beginning or end of the class, depending on the number of students present.
Each instructor has a different approach to a yoga class. Some focus more on physical postures, others on meditation. Some instructors do mantras and some don't. Some adapt to their students and others do not. Your experience from class to class can be radically different, even within the same style of yoga. So don't give up if you didn't enjoy your first class!
A yoga class is meant to be a place where you feel comfortable, confident and non-judgmental. Don't worry if you can't keep up with everyone. It is more important to go at your own pace to make sure you do everything safely. You don't need to know the names of the poses to participate. Most instructors give clear instructions and tips for alignment and positioning.
Yoga and weight loss ?
Yoga is not a cardio workout, so it is not the ultimate weight loss exercise. However, it is a workout that involves the whole body and can make you work hard.
Its strength lies in its ability to tone the body by mobilizing all the deep muscles through sheathing but also by improving general health through greater flexibility, a state of relaxation and increased body awareness. This will notably allow you to hurt yourself less and motivate you if you decide to start more fitness oriented classes such as bodypump.
What are the different styles of yoga?
If you are new to yoga then the best type of yoga to start with is a Hatha yoga class. There are often dedicated classes for beginners.
Hatha yoga is more dedicated to physical postures, instead of mantras, pranayama and meditation. The sequences and postures are done slowly enough for everyone to follow so that they can concentrate more on the correct realization of the postures to avoid injury. As we said earlier, however, all of the above depends on the teacher.
If you are 55 or older, you may want to take a class that is either gentle or specifically for seniors like Hatha yoga.
If you consider yourself particularly stiff, don't be discouraged! You will benefit from yoga as much as anyone else, but you may need to give yourself a little more time to realize the positive effects. You may want to consider trying yin yoga, where the poses are held for much longer and are more akin to meditation.
If you're already in good shape and enjoy a really challenging style of yoga, Power Yoga may be for you.
How does a yoga class take place in the studio?
Studio classes last from 45 minutes to 2 hours and the number of participants can vary from 2 to 100 yogis, depending on the room. Some rooms allow anyone to come and go as they please, which is great if your schedule varies from week to week. However, most rooms require you to register and pay for a pre-determined amount of time.
Depending on the number of people, your instructor may be able to give you individual advice and adapt postures to your needs. Especially if your instructor is highly qualified and experienced. If you have difficulty doing certain postures, your instructor will show you an alternative. In classes with more than 20 students, it is harder to give everyone attention.
How often should I do yoga?
If you are able to do yoga 2 or more times a week, you will likely see significant improvements in areas such as flexibility, range of motion, strength, balance, ability to manage stress, quality of sleep, happiness and general well-being.
Everyone's body is different, so of course this is relative. For beginners, practicing yoga once or twice a week will help you maintain your physical condition, while seeing your level progress over time. As with anything else related to fitness, the more time you spend on it, the more beneficial it will be.
What is the state of mind or mindset of yoga?
Yoga is not a religion, sect or belief system. At the basis of yoga is self-questioning. Everything we do, whether it is a yoga posture, meditation, mantra or breathing technique (pranayama), is meant to encourage us to connect more with our body and life experience.
For example, understanding the balance between effort and relaxation in the practice of yoga requires constant attention and sensitivity. Experiencing true relaxation is a deeply rewarding experience. And understanding how to perform extremely difficult postures effortlessly, with a calm mind and regular breathing, is invaluable for all of us who live a hectic life.
The origins of yoga come from a deep desire for self-understanding, physical and emotional release and total well-being. It is much more than just the physical experience of a yoga posture. It immerses us in the reality of who we are, what we want and why we are here.
If you spend more time doing yoga, you will probably dig deeper into the layers that make up who you are as a person. Yoga helps you get rid of old patterns, feel more open, happier and communicate with friends, family and the world in a more constructive and caring way.
We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need if you are a beginner.