Yoga for Begainners
Yoga for Beginners: Poses, Tips, Workouts and Benefits
Yoga for beginners means starting right at the beginning – ‘a very good place to start’!
We’ve all heard of yoga; we know it’s kind of exercises – we’ve no doubt seen people carrying their yoga mats to class, and now, with the New Year in full swing, you might have become intrigued – can yoga help tone the body? Can it help me lose weight? Maybe at the start of a New Year, you have entered it with unwanted and negative thoughts that are hindering those New Year resolutions. But did you know that from a yogic point of view, by releasing that negativity, you invite alignment in your body and mind, along with deeper integrity? That’s yoga – and practicing it can be helpful at any time you feel the need to realign your mind and body and let go of what is holding you back.
You can get started immediately with yoga
It makes no difference how old you are or what your level of fitness is; yoga keeps you healthy and looking good, let alone feeling good. But if you are new to yoga, you might not know where to start. Just remembering a few simple hints will start you on your way that you will find very, very rewarding. And the fabulous thing about yoga is it can be done anywhere, anytime – just put on some loose comfortable clothes, get yourself a non-slip yoga mat and you’re all set to go! The only other things you need to carry with you are an open mind and patience and believe you me, you will see the results.
As a beginner, you will love the face-to-face teaching that a yoga class or gym offers you. Don’t be intimated – look, here is something about attending your first class. But if you can’t find a class near you, you can always invest in a good quality beginner-DVD on yoga like these.
Important beginner yoga poses
It’s important in yoga to control your breathing – you will learn that. It’s called pranayama. You take deep breaths through your nose, sitting on the floor in a relaxed pose – legs crossed; neck and back straight – concentrating on your breathing. This might sound easy-peasy but mastering your back and neck control with your breathing is essential to start out with any yoga routines.
- When you are relaxed, you can stand straight up, stretching your arms above your head, slowly, breathing in and then exhaling as you start to bend down toward the ground. You need to go down as far as you can without straining yourself. This is the first beginner yoga pose and once you get the hang of it and feel comfortable with it, you can start adding it to other sequences for more advanced workouts. Check out two more excellent yoga poses for beginners.
This is a very basic stretch exercise, great for the back and abdomen. Starting on your knees and hands, align your wrists so that they are aligned with the shoulders and your hips with the knees. Hold your spine flat so it’s like a table – it’s called ‘neutral spine’. Hold your neck in line with the spine without dropping or lifting it. As you breathe in, you will drop your stomach towards the floor, looking up. You can curl your toes under if this helps. As you are exhaling, pull your spine in a way that rounds your back, pulling towards the ceiling, dropping your head down to focus on the navel. The tops of the feet will be lying flat on the floor. Concentrate on your breathing as you repeat this action.
This is another beginner yoga pose that is pretty easy – give it a try. You start on your knees in the same manner as you did with your Cat-Cow pose – your wrists will be aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips. As you breathe in, pushing your hips towards the ceiling, you straighten out your legs, placing your feet flat down on the ground. With your legs straight, you spread out your fingers, letting your head hang between the arms, using your quadriceps to lessen the pressure on your arms. In this position, continue being in control of your breath.
You will usually find the above two positions in basic type beginners yoga classes. Work at your pace. If you are in a class, you will benefit from your yoga instructor showing you how to get the most out of the exercises and postures (asanas)
Yoga workouts for beginners
Many beginners to yoga ask the question – “How many beginner classes do I need to take before joining the all-levels classes for workouts?”
Yoga teachers suggest that beginners should try at least 8 or 10 classes first before advancing on. This is a general idea of the class levels to see where you fit in:
- Level 1-Beginners – no experience to yoga
- Level 2-Experienced Beginners – some exposure to yoga
- Level 3-Intermediates – a good understanding of basic postures in yoga
- Level 4-Advanced-Intermediates – a very good understanding of the basic postures of yoga
- All-levels – suitable for anyone, from beginners to masters
You can push yourself to the limits as a beginner before trying the all-levels classes.
It is also good for the beginner to start a yoga session with a few gentle warming up exercises because these will loosen up the body, preparing it for the exercises.
- Massage your head, nose, cheeks, and brows. Many times, people, when they make a mistake, they automatically reach for their head – a sign that the blood circulation is less in the head and a soothing massage might be needed.
- Also, rotate the neck, both anticlockwise and clockwise. This will relieve stiffness.
- Pump the shoulders, shaking your hands to shake off any lethargy.
- Smile too, because keeping a gentle smile on your face relaxes your mind and body, helping you to enjoy the asana With that calm mind, you are able to push your body further, able to stretch better and further than usual!
What intensity workouts mean for you
- Low-intensity workouts to relax and soothe.
- Medium Intensity workouts will work your muscles and even work up a sweat.
- High-intensity workouts will get your heart rate really working and working up a real sweat.
Remember, always, to keep on using your breath as the reference point – with light and long breathes, you can relax the muscles. If your breath is uneven and jagged, you have over-exerted yourself. Just go slightly beyond your comfort zone which will keep your practices challenging and interesting as you advance and progress, adopting new yoga asanas. Don’t ever feel pressured to over-exert yourself. Flexibility and efficiency come with regular practice. And don’t get too alarmed if you feel a bit achy in the early stages of your practicing because just like all other disciplines, your body needs time to get used to yoga asanas.
Why Morning yoga for a beginner?
Yoga gurus will advise beginners to do their yoga on empty stomachs because with food in the body, you could interrupt the natural rhythms of the body. While you are doing your yoga, you are using your energy to focus on the different transitions and poses. With a clean and empty stomach, all your energies are centralized to the different poses. Then you maximize the results and benefits of the yoga session. Also, a light stomach with no food allows you to follow the asanas easily. Consider doing your yoga 3-4 hours after heavy meals, 1-2 hours after light meals, 45 minutes after tea or juices and 15 minutes after you’re drunken water.
… And weight loss?
Yoga can certainly be a fabulous way to get the body you want and love. Scientific research shows there are links between yoga and weight loss – certainly with styles such as Ashtanga and Bikram. Research in the US showed that out of 15,000 men and women aged between 53-57, those who were overweight when they started yoga and did one session of yoga in a week lost 5 pounds over 10 years while those who didn’t do any yoga gained about a stone! Check it out for yourself, here!
Yoga is known to be a wonderful stress-buster, but it has proven itself to offer effective workouts for those wanting to fight stubborn fat. And the reasons for this is that studies also show that practicing yoga lowers the levels of the stress hormones in your body, increasing your insulin sensitivity—which is a signal to your body to start burning food as fuel over storing it as fat. There are beginners poses that are capable of firming your legs, your arms, your abs and your butt, and it can happen in a matter of weeks. Weight loss yoga for beginners – if exercises are done in a 3-4 week period, whilst at the same time drinking plenty of water and eating well, you will
- be able to connect with your breath
- build strength for your body
- start toning the belly fat
- burning calories
- improve digestion
- make your back nice and strong. (get the app) – You will find it so useful!
Do men do yoga? Beginner’s yoga?
Lots of guys find yoga exercises and classes intimidating. There’s always that cultural thing – men are ‘supposed’ to work-out hard, they compete, they do exercises that tighten them up and not loosen them up. But more men are beginning to embrace yoga as they realize what transformations it can bring about in their bodies and minds. For beginner men, there are 4 yoga p
oses that are quite simple, but they nevertheless build strength and are therapeutic, working miracles in the flexibility department. And men can accomplish these in a mere 10 minutes a day! We’ve given you the names of the four and the benefits, but look them up to see how you perform them to get the most out of the exercises!
This pose will do wonders for the lower back – a hunch-reducer, improving posture for men. This exercise assists with relieving lower back pain; it stretches the knees and lengthens the spine.
This pose is ideal for runners and for those who like to sit in front of the TV. It’s wonderful because it gives strength to the legs and flexibility, fine-tuning your balance and core strength and balance. It stretches the muscles of the toes and feet.
This pose provides strength and balance to the entire body, particularly the legs and in the core. Its movements go deep into the flexors of the hips for that added strength and flexibility. It stretches and strengthens the front of the legs too.
This squatting pose offers huge benefits for the legs and knees, also relieving constipation!
Beginner men can start with these 4 postures, only necessary for about 10 minutes a day – remember your breathing as you hold each pose. You will not believe how these poses can start leading to changes and transforming your body in really significant ways.
Yoga has definite health benefits
This article will go on and on if we were to describe all the health benefits that yoga offers. One of the top benefits is the significant reduction in depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideas. You will have to read up in more detail about the health benefits. But apart from being a top stress reliever, just look at 10 other medical problems that yoga helps with:
- Cancer survivors and the fatigue associated with it
- Chronic neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Sleeping disorders
In your beginner’s mind
A lot is written about yoga for the beginner – the idea that most want to get onto the more complicated stuff, the real poses – to the point that many lose the whole essence of what yoga really is all about. Shoshin (the beginner’s mind) in Zen Buddhism means to ‘approach something with eagerness, openness and without any preconceptions’. This applies even when you study something at advanced levels.
No one is ‘bad’ at yoga – there will always be stronger and more flexible people than you. The key is to have the right approach. Patience, openness, and commitment, to respect your body’s boundaries as you learn to connect your breath and sensations – to have the willingness to be in the moment. These are important things – better than knowing that you can balance in the tree pose for 5 minutes. Keep practicing.
Yoga is a journey you will love to experience because it produces relaxation and joy to the soul and body.
According to Amit Ray (Indian author and spiritual master) – “Yoga means addition – the addition of energy, strength, and beauty to body, mind and soul.” That’s worth it for the mind, body, and soul, don’t you think?Tags: Yoga for Beginners