One of our favourite things about yoga – and it was hard to pick just one – is how inclusive this practice is.
Yoga is for anyone, and it welcomes everyone. It can be practiced anywhere, at any time and doesn’t require a stash of fancy equipment – simply roll out your mat, take your first breath and you’re off.
We have put together ten helpful tips to guide you as you begin your yoga practice.
1. Nourish your body
It is best to eat two hours before you do yoga, and we recommend that you drink plenty of water throughout the day before your practice.
2. Take a digital detox
The time you spend practicing yoga is special; one of the rare occasions that you can devote totally to yourself. A buzzing phone, the ping of an email, that message you meant to reply to: all of these distractions will interrupt your flow and make it hard to switch off. Put all of your digital devices away before you even think about stepping onto that mat!
3. Dress for comfort, not for show
Sadly, designer leggings won’t make a long plank easier. A sports bra, comfortable, stretchy leggings and a simple t-shirt are ideal wear for yoga. Keep a warm sweatshirt to hand and slip it on for the final pose (Savasana).
4. Choose the right yoga for you
Deciding what yoga suits you best is about where you practice, as well as the style you choose. Classes offer a great sense of community but many new Yogis prefer to start their practice in the comfort of their own home. Yogi2Me provides experienced instructors to your door to guide you safely through each session. From Yin to Vinyasa, you can explore the different styles depending if you need to relax or get moving.
5. Be mindful of your neighbours
This is just good advice and particularly important for yoga. Whether you are sharing your private session with a friend or joining a studio class, start by placing your mat and props out quietly. Sit on a block, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Try to reset your brain before getting started.
6. Remember to breathe
Sure, it sounds obvious, but a yoga class should not resemble a keep-fit class. Your yoga practice should be a moving meditation that aligns breathing (Pranyama) and movement.
7. Look inwards, not out
There is no need to look beyond the four corners of your own mat; there is no need to check other Yogis in the room. Focus on your drishti or focal points, and let the world fall apart….Yoga requires concentration of the mind and for this you need only concentrate on yourself (Dharana).
8. Don’t fall for the competition
Yoga is not a competitive sport. Your practice will develop beautifully at the right pace for you. Comparing yourself to others can make you feel overwhelmed, so it is best to withdraw yourself from competition and let go of those feelings (Pratyahara). You are unique and perfect just as you are.
9. Aim beyond the physical
A common misconception about yoga is that it is all about contorting your limbs into weird and wonderful shapes. Yoga is not about how far you can reach and whether you can touch your toes. The physical practice is a tiny component of yoga – that’s where we start our journey to understanding the self. Standing on your head for one hour won’t make you a good Yogi. Your thoughts and actions, your purpose in life and how you live it off the mat will define what kind of Yogi you are. Yoga is about strength, in both body and mind. Brain flexibility wins out over body flexibility every time.
10. Commit to the mat
Practicing yoga regularly is the best way to enjoy all of the amazing benefits that it can bring into your life. Committing to a regular practice, and honouring this decision will ensure that you continue to progress in every way – physically, spiritually and emotionally!