Are you a beginner to yoga? These 10 tips will help you get started

If you are someone who is absolutely convinced about taking up yoga, go ahead and do it! But do keep these tips in mind, especially as a beginner.
It's never too late to begin! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 3 Dec 2021, 10:00 am IST
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The practice of yoga dates back to pre-Vedic Indian times, possibly in the Indus valley civilization around 3000 BC. It has been mentioned in the Rig Veda and Upanishads, one of the oldest texts in the world. While it has its roots in the ancient times, yoga has become the talk of the town, thanks to it being popularized by celebrities. From Shilpa Shetty to Alia Bhatt, these B-town beauties have been making waves with their dedicated practice.

If you are excited about taking up yoga, here’s all that you need to keep in mind.

  1. Understand the essence of yoga:

    Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that have its origin in ancient India. There is a broad variety of yoga schools and practices propagated by many learned teachers. As yoga is a philosophy, everyone has created their own version of it. It is up to you to learn and adopt a style that suits you best.
    In the western world, the term “yoga” often denotes a modern form of hatha yoga or yoga as an exercise, meant for physical fitness and relaxation.

  2. Learn to accept:

    “Yoga teaches techniques to unify mind and body. It is a totalitarian system of activities a human being should do to achieve peace, happiness and a state of union. Hence, the first step towards learning yoga is to accept. Accept your strengths, flaws, past, present and everything around you,” says Humrahi Jain, Director and Founder, Beziva.

    When you accept, you start moving towards a state where you are at peace with everything. Objects that caused you suffering lose their identity, because you understand that everything that happened or is happening is an outcome of your own actions. Practicing acceptance will open new networks in your brain for new skills and learnings.

  3. Start to notice your breath:

    Breathing is a simple process, but when you start developing awareness in this process, you develop control. The connection between breath, human anatomy and brain is one of the most beneficial aspects of yoga.

    Mindfulness in breathing can provide you with benefits like good sleep, reduced stress and mental clarity. Whether you are a beginner or an expert in yoga asanas, start noticing your breath and the profound benefits associated with it. Every asana has a breath attached to it. When you match your body movement with the inflow or outflow of air, you will see profound changes in your flexibility, reach and practice.

  4. Learn from an experienced and qualified teacher:

    “Yoga is a philosophy, and everyone has their own style, format and technique to impart the knowledge. This being said, different people come to learn yoga for different purposes, someone may be suffering from back pain, someone may want to reduce stress and someone may want to explore the mystical dimension of yoga. So, a yoga teacher is a nurturer of life. So, spend some time finding the right guru. It is best to start learning yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher,” adds Jain.

  5. Be regular:

    Practice maketh a man perfect. Every skill needs time, patience and a dedicated routine. Yoga can be challenging and frustrating in the beginning, as you may not be able to get into all postures. But Rome was not built in a day. Regular practice and dedication to yoga will offer profound benefits, not only to your physical health but also to your mental well-being. There will be philosophies and techniques you may not resonate with, but keep an open mind and you will see a positive change in all aspects of your life.

    Eating healthy and eating light is an essential part of yoga. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  6. Eat right and stay light:

    “Yoga is most effective when done on an empty stomach, early in the morning. However, if it doesn’t work out, you could practice yoga at any time of the day. Hence, keep at least 2-3 hours gap between your practice and the meal. Along with good quality food eaten at the right time and in the right quantity, you should also consume at least 3-4 litres of water. This will help you eliminate the toxins from the body. Water also helps in multiple other ways that will keep you active and light throughout the day,” shares Jain.

  7. Warm up every time, every day:

    A good practice is only as efficient as a good warm up. A lot of people think yoga needs no preparation, and all the asanas are only stretching exercises. Unfortunately, this is a wrong notion. Yoga can be as strenuous as lifting heavy weights in a gym. Hence, it becomes extremely essential to warm up your body before starting any yoga practice. While warming up, concentrate on the parts that’ll be used or put under strain during the routine.

  8. Enjoy stillness:

    Yoga is not always about movement, it is also about holding a posture and just watching the movement of your breath. Most of us find it challenging to sit still. We would rather move our body, watch a TV screen or just browse brainless content on the internet. Just to give yourself a taste of yoga, try sitting still at any comfortable place, close your eyes and just watch the movement of your breath. See how long you can hold yourself from jumping back into action.

    Warm-up for your fitness routine and yoga sessions. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  9. Keep challenging yourself:

    “Yoga is a progressive journey. There are no shortcuts to becoming good in it, and there is no end date. If you want to be in unison with your mind and body, enjoy the blissful experience of practicing yoga, and do it daily. There would be some asanas or postures that you will be able to get into immediately. However, there will be some asanas which you will think are beyond your bodily capabilities,” explains Jain.

    This is where you have to challenge yourself, because this is yoga. As per yoga gurus, there is no asana beyond anyone’s reach. You may not be able to stretch or twist like others, but you will be able to move as per your body type.

  10. You are unique:

    Wherever you stand in your yoga practice, be happy with it. Don’t compare yourself to anybody. Remember that each body type is unique and different people are at different levels of expertise. Some might easily perform a particular asana, while others may need a little more time and practice to get there. Therefore, don’t feel pressurised and over-exert yourself. Your flexibility and efficiency in doing yoga postures will improve with regular practice.

The last word

Do not be alarmed if you experience some soreness in the muscles during the initial days of the practice. What’s important is to be regular with your yoga practice and have patience. Just like any other discipline, it will take some time for the body to get used to the yoga asanas.

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