Are you now planning on trying yoga? It is a great low-impact exercise that helps you gain flexibility and strength without putting your heart at risk. Just like Pilates, you will need a lot of steady concentration to be successful in this practice.
If you are a newbie, here are some tips to help you ease your way to the world of yoga:
1. Choose the right clothes
Keep it bare: Good news for all the on-the-go folks! You don’t need to carry around a pair of gym shoes with you since yoga is typically practiced barefoot. However, if you have a particular condition or suffering from an injury, then you can wear some socks or a pair of “barefoot” shoes to make you feel comfortable.
Keep it stretchy: When choosing a pair of pants for your practice, make sure that it is made of a stretchable material. Stay away from jeans and the like. You don’t need to buy new ones before starting out. Any pants or shorts that you already own that allow you to move freely will do. Along the way, the way you fit into your pants will be different due to the changes in your body caused by practicing. The ones you were using may fall every time you stretch, feels shorter, or may seem tighter. That’s the time to buy more comfortable ones. There are a lot of different styles of yoga pants to choose from.
Keep it snug: When choosing what shirt to wear, keep in mind that yoga is full of bending and stretching so pick something that’s considerably fitted to your body. Loose tops will not be comfortable since you don’t want your shirt to ride up every time you bend over. Many individuals wear sleeveless tops to maximize their arm and shoulder movements.
2. Before every class
Go easy: You can have something light at least an hour before the class. There are a lot of options for your pre-workout snack. Eating a banana is on top of the list for it boosts your glycogen and blood sugar level. You can also get creative with homemade protein bars, fruit smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal. Eating a heavy meal right before the class might make you feel sick when you start your routine. Moving around with a full stomach will limit you. It may cause you to experience side stitches, and may give you the feeling of wanting to throw up when you start moving around.
Start at peace: There are several ways to warm you up before every class. You can look serene by merely lying down or sitting cross-legged for a while on your mat. Warming up is essential before you do any physical activity for it loosens up your muscles to get you ready for all the bending and flexing that you will do during practice. It gets your body prepared by slowly increasing your heart rate and blood flow.
3. During practice
Take note: Look closely at the way the instructor’s body is aligned in every posture. It is essential to watch out for that whether you are in an actual class or you’re watching an instructional video. Getting the alignment right makes every pose more effective, and it will prevent you from hurting yourself.
Stay focused: It is okay to look around the class to see how well you’re doing during the first few sessions. However, you should do so without losing focus on your instructor. Take note of everything that your teacher is saying and demonstrating so that you will get the instructions correctly.
Take it easy: There are times that you will not get the postures right the first time and your teacher will have to show you how it’s done. Don’t take it the wrong way. Always remember that first-hand learning is the best way and you will eventually get it right. Avoid comparing yourself with the rest of the class and don’t feel bad when others are ahead. Just enjoy the process and don’t forget to laugh when you fall off and keep your smile when it’s tough.
Work with your body: If there’s someone who knows your body better than anyone, it’s you. Listen to what your body is telling you. Learning, after all, is a unique journey for everyone. You will learn more along the way. You may feel scared of trying something out only to discover that you can do it with ease. Some poses will hurt, and you will find that your body is not comfortable with it. To ease the body aches, acupuncture & Chinese medicine can help you stay attuned to how you feel and without rushing yourself to perfecting each pose.
To end, do not forget to speak your mind. If you feel unsure about something or you want to learn more, you can always ask questions. It is perhaps the most important tip to keep in mind. You can ask your classmates, especially the more advanced ones, about yoga culture or etiquette. You will find that they are more than willing to talk to you about it. If you have questions about postures, you can direct them to your teacher after class.