21 Things You Must Know About Learning Yoga

21 Things You Must Know About Learning Yoga
(Photo : WeTravel/ Flickr) Yoga Retreat On The Beach
21 Things You Must Know About Learning Yoga
(Photo : Burst / Pexels) Woman performing child pose

1.         Start with ABCs: before you start anything new, it is very crucial to learn the basics so that your foundation for further learning is strong. It will help you learn not just yoga, but any new skill you want to acquire.

2.         Invest in right clothes: before you start practicing yoga, you need comfortable clothing that will allow you to move your body freely. Yoga involves a lot of stretching that increases the range of motion for your limbs. Hence, your yoga wear should be stretchy or loose enough to allow free movement.

3.         Buy a yoga mat: this is one of the most important accessories when practicing yoga. Start with a cheap mat when you are only a beginner. As you learn more complex poses, you can invest in a good quality mat.

4.         Fix your eating schedule: before you practice yoga, it is very important to empty your stomach and bowels. This is why it is important to have a gap of at least 2-4 hours between your workout and last meal. Never practice yoga immediately before or after your meal.

5.         Keep your shoes and phone outside the yoga room: no matter where you are practicing yoga, be it your room or a park, be sure to do it barefoot. Yoga is all about staying grounded and connecting with your body. You should also leave your phone outside to avoid being distracted by its constant ringing.

6.         Don't quit: even though you may love the idea of yoga, but may find it tougher than you thought when you join a class. Well, don't just give up because it is hard. Before you quit, check out a few more studios. Believe it or not, a lot depends on the teacher when you start your yoga journey.

7.         Keep practicing: you will not become limber in just days of practice. It takes years before your body reaches its full range of motion. So don't be disheartened if you can barely touch your feet on the first day. Keep practicing and you will eventually gain the flexibility you have been after.

8.         Take it easy: Don't make yoga a stressful activity. It is in fact meant to relax your body and senses. Make sure that you make time for yoga daily so that you can create Zen and infuse balance in your busy lives.

9.         Pay attention to your breathing: a lot of yoga's effectiveness depends on your breathing. The trick is to coordinate your body's movement with your breath. With the help of breathing techniques, you will be able to relax your body and focus your mind.

10.   Known when to stop: while it is advisable to push your limits, it is strictly not recommended to push it. Listen to your body and when you feel that your body is saying no, listen to it. Yoga is all about breaking your mental barriers, but not by causing yourself pain.  

11.   Never compare yourself: everyone has a different body that is tuned differently. Yoga is not about competing with others but finding your own rhythm. Never compare yourself with your partners in a yoga class. This is the quickest way to disappoint yourself.

12.   Choose your own pace: many people prefer their workout to be fast paced. However, you can tweak the pace according to your own preference. Choose from faster Bikram yoga, hot yoga or ashtanga yoga, or slow it down with Yin yoga or Kandalini forms. No matter what you choose, the benefits will pretty much remain the same.

13.   Don't have unrealistic expectations from your body: you may give up the idea of practicing yoga because you think you are not strong enough or not flexible enough. But it is important to know that being strong and flexible is not a prerequisite.

14.   Tell your instructor about injuries: If you have any injuries or illnesses, your instructor should know about them. This is very important to avoid any further injuries.

15.   Yoga for period and pregnancy: It is better to keep exercises light during period. While it is ok to workout, avoid exerting your body. If you are pregnant, never start practicing yoga without consulting your doctor.

16.   Meditate: yoga and meditation go hand in hand. In fact, breathing exercises that you learn during yoga can help you focus your mind. At the same time, you can also practice meditation to increase focus on your practice.

17.   Let yoga improve your quality of life as well: when you are practicing yoga, you must first learn to have patience. Yoga is slow in yielding results but the results you get are long lasting. Within a month you will start noticing visible results, but it is important to stay committed to your routine until then.

18.   Enjoy the practice: the best way to stay committed to any workout is to enjoy it. Yoga is not a sprint but a marathon, it is a lifestyle change that will stay with you forever. The best way to make it a part of your life is by treating it as a lifelong process.

19.   When in doubt, get into child pose: as a beginner, the best way to ease into yoga is to start with simple poses. Avoid being overambitious and enjoy the learning process. Whenever you feel drained from all the workout, slip into child pose and relax.

20.   It is normal to fear headstands: many beginners fear advanced level headstands because they think they are incapable of doing that. However, the whole point of practicing yoga daily is to get outside your comfort zone. So don't worry, you will get there, just keep doing what you are doing.

21.   Exercise caution: the last thing you want is to get injured while practicing yoga. If you feel discomfort while performing an asana, take a break and tell your guide. Yoga should make you feel good about yourself. If you feel otherwise, it is time to stop and check.

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