My article “Yoga For Beginners” is drafted to people like yourself who are interested in yoga, but not sure as to how to get started. I will take you by the hand and guide you through: 1) How yoga is defined, 2) Identifying the most best style for you, 3) Initial “tools” you might want, and 4) Getting Started. Navigating the world of yoga is actually not as hard as it might seem, if you have a map!
According to Wikipedia, Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The practice is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Yoga for beginners is much simpler. Yoga is a sequence of positions and postures, coordinated with your breathing, designed to elevate your mind, body and soul. ultimately, as you go through the various stages, the result will be a sharper mind, improved fitness and, if you are a spiritual person, a stronger connection with the universe!
Yoga has 10 “popular” styles. However, the differences among the styles reside in the individual emphasis of the styles versus the poses or postures:
1) Hatha (Ananda): This style is characterized by a slower pace, personal affirmations, and self-control, versus an true workout. This is the best style of yoga for beginners.
2) Ashtanga (Power Yoga): As the nickname “Power Yoga” suggests, this is a more intense, faster pace form of yoga. This is not for beginners.
3) Anusara: This style is describes as “heart-oriented” and makes good use of yoga equipment. These classes are somewhat intense but still appropriate for all skill levels.
4) Iyengar: This style is characterized by a great attention to detail and a concentration on bodily alignment. Much more stamina is required for this style, as poses are often maintained for an extended period…not the smartest place for you to begin.
5) Integral: An appropriate style of yoga for beginners. This style focuses equally on meditation, poses and breathing, Integral is a more general style, like Hatha, that will expose you to the areas of concentration of the remaining styles.
6) Bikram (Hot Yoga): Are you ready to sweat? It’s called Hot Yoga because it’s performed in a room temperature of around 100 degree! This allows cleansing sweat to flow and muscles to loosen. Beginners pass for now.
7) Kundalini: Focuses on the release of energy through breath control and breathe/movement coordination. Sure why not.
8 ) Kripalu: This style concentrates on breathing and progressing at your own individual pace… a perfect style of yoga for beginners.
9) Sivananda: Among the larger schools of yoga, this style uses a more holistic approach, inclusive of diet, relaxation and thinking. Great option for those of you looking for guidance in areas beyond just fitness.
10) Svaroopa: You won’t break a sweat here. This style is more about raising your consciousness. This is absolutely appropriate for beginners, but not if your focus is improved fitness.
Equipment of Yoga
Here are a you might want to pick up for your journey:
1) Mats: You’ll want the extra cushion and support, even if your practicing yoga on carpet! Most classes are taught on hard floors, mats are a must for yoga, for beginners or experts!
2) Blocks and Straps: Are you lacking the flexibility to do the poses and stretches the same as the instructor? These help you to compensate.
3) Proper clothing: relatively loose clothes to allow greater range of motion. Long pants are help to prevent carpet/mat burns.
4) Training Videos; These may be in the form of DVDs or direct downloads from the internet, but they are essential, if you’d prefer to begin your journey at home. I’ve always practiced yoga in the comfort of my own home!
No surprises here… get started! This is what you need to learn yoga for beginners. Now go find a local class, or a good video. Final piece of advice… start with at home workouts and save yourself some embarrassment!
If you truly wish to succeed at being in the best shape of your life, here’s the best at home resource I’ve found. Go to Next Level Yoga immediately, to see how easily it can be done with at home workouts!
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