– By Josee Smith
Yoga is one of the most incredible and useful exercise regimens known to man. It has more than 50 distinct and highly valuable benefits for mind, body, and spirit and is low impact so accessible to all age groups and health levels.
Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years but it can seem like a minefield to get started with. There’s the different poses, language and techniques that can seem overwhelming to a beginner. However, once you have begun it becomes a lot easier.
Here are 8 top tips for anyone new to yoga to ensure it is enjoyable for everyone.
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
Chances are there are people in the group who have been doing yoga for significantly longer than you and others who seem like they really know what they are doing. Try not to compare yourself to them as you may end up disheartened and give up. Accept that everyone has their own unique style and are at different stages; concentrate on what you are doing instead.
2. Listen to your body
Yoga can engage muscles and parts of your body that you might not be used to exercising. It is important you listen to your body and if it starts to ache then it might be time to have a break. Try not to do too much too soon and make sure you take a break when your body is telling you to.
3. Wear loose and comfortable clothing
Yoga involves stretches and movements that you might not be used to doing. By wearing loose and comfortable clothing, you are ensuring you will not be uncomfortable when doing it. Once you have tried it, a few times you will be more aware of what type of clothing is best for you.
4. Stay hydrated
The movements, particularly if you are not used to them, can be quite exhausting and you may find you are sweating a lot. It is important to make sure you drink enough water both before, during and after the yoga session.
5. Go for bare feet if possible
Bare feet will help you with your balance and ensure a smooth quality of moves. If you do not want to go bare foot then you can purchase yoga socks that have grips on the bottom to help with balance.
6. Maintain a sense of humor
Remember that you are learning a new skill and cannot be expected to excel at it from the beginning. Yoga can include some unusual poses and some people may find these harder than others. Maintain a sense of humor and you can get through the first few sessions until you know what you’re doing.
7. Eat a light meal a couple of hours before the session
As with other types of exercise, avoid eating a large meal just before starting a session. Try to each a small, light meal a couple of hours before the session and eat a healthy meal afterwards.
8. Practice little and often
Initially it might be quite exhausting and seem overwhelming to keep up with all the poses and language. You are better off practicing in small and regular intervals to increase your skills and build up your endurance.