HOW TO BEGIN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE
Starting a yoga practice can be overwhelming. There are thousands of teachers, dozens of class styles and countless poses to learn. How can you know if what you are learning is safe and sustainable? As a beginner, I spent my first few years finding my own way without much guidance and made some significant mistakes. I created this page to help you avoid those mistakes and go from complete beginner - to having a yoga practice that is safe, sustainable and makes you feel confident on your yoga mat.
WHAT YOU NEED
Have a Beginner’s Mind - This is the most important thing. Learning any new skill takes time. Yoga is a discipline that I continue to learn from every day I practice. But as soon as I think i’ve got it figured out. Bam. I am humbled again. When my practice wanes, my tensions, worries, anxieties increase. So I think of yoga more as a mind / body / breath check in and alignment rather than an exercise or workout. I know some days I will be less flexible, less strong and less present, and that’s okay. The goal is not to get anywhere or become anything, but growth is an inevitable and natural side effect of this daily self maintenance / check in practice. A good instructor will guide you to be aware of your own body, mind and breath and help you build a relationship with your practice that continues to evolve and serve you over the years ahead.
Choose Your Yoga Mat - Yoga mats are actually a fairly recent invention, so you can get by without one at first, but it is highly recommended for grip, cushioning, and the mental and emotional ritual of having a place of your own to come back to and practice mindfulness.
Choose Your Yoga Clothes - Any flexible, comfortable clothes will do, but you will eventually want to invest in flexible clothes designed for yoga that don’t limit your range of motion. And, yoga clothes are typically very comfortable and stylish. If you’re like many people who start a regular practice, you may end up wearing your yoga clothes all the time!
Join a Yoga Beginners Series - a yoga series for beginners is best, so I will begin offering one right here on this website in February. Signup at the link below to be the first to know. Until then, check out my podcast and try a gentle class. These are designed for people with limited mobility and who are new to yoga.
Have a Beginner’s Mind
2. Choose Your Yoga Mat
My first yoga mat was $9 from Target. It held up for 9 months before falling apart. I figured any mat was fine, but i’ve since learned that most mats will fall apart with repeated use. Not Manduka mats. Mine is like new after 5 years of daily use. Its strong, durable and gives the perfect balance of grip and support. The only caveat is they have a breaking in period of 3-8 uses where the mat is slightly slippery. After that it’s perfect. I use and recommend the Manduka Pro - it will last a long time - but if cost is an issue their other mats (eKo, ProLite) are of similar quality. You can buy one at Amazon below. Purchasing from this link earns me a commission that pays the costs of running this website.
3. Choose Your Yoga Clothes
For Men: Go-Dry Performance Flex Pants
I cannot recommend any women’s yoga clothes, as I haven’t worn any, but I have definitely spent a lot of time looking for the best men’s yoga clothes. The main thing you want is full range of motion, and to not be limited by your clothes. If you already have something like that, use that! A tank top and shorts will do. If not, the only pants I wear anymore are these Go-Dry pants by Gap. They can pass for dress pants if needed, so you can wear them all day, but they’re very flexible. I bought several pairs and have worn them for the past year with the only sign of wear being a slight fade in color. I’ve tried and liked Vuori, Lululemon and Prana clothes but, surprisingly, these are the lowest cost by $20-$60 of the brands and equally high quality, which makes these my favorite. You can purchase them at this link below. The Gap has frequent sales, so check their site and retailmenot to save 20-40%. As for tops, I recommend any tank top you like that feels comfortable. That’s a lot easier. Finding the right pants was a lot trickier for me, so hopefully this saves you some work!
4. Join a Beginners Series
5 Week Beginners Series
You’re ready to learn. You’ve got a mat to practice on and some clothes to move in. Now you’re ready to start your yoga practice.
What are all the postures to learn?
How do you avoid injuries?
What if you’re not flexible?
Which style of yoga should you do?
How often should you practice?
Starting a yoga practice can be overwhelming without any guidance. This 5 week course walks you step by step from rolling out your first mat to feeling confident with the 20 most common yoga poses. By the end of the 5 weeks you’ll know what you’re doing in yoga postures, why you’re doing it and how to make yoga a habit that keeps you feeling flexible, strong, calm and focused in your day-to-day.
CLASS COMING FEB 6th, 2019
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