Before we dive in with how to start, let’s get familiar with what yoga actually is and what you can expect.
Yoga is an ancient practice rooted in Indian philosophy which began over 5,000 years ago, with its aim being to unite the body and mind through the use of breath. Today it has become one of the most popular workout styles bringing with it a whole host of emotional, physical and mental benefits.
With our fast paced modern lives, practising yoga provides the perfect solution to helping us slow down, stay present along with numerous other health benefits. Let’s take a quick look at what you can look forward to when starting yoga:
1. Improved mobility
With its series of static stretches and dynamic flows, adding in yoga can improve your flexibility and mobility making it the perfect addition to your EvolveYou HIIT or strength workouts. The various poses also help to aid recovery by promoting blood flow and lengthening your muscle fibres.
3. Reduced stress
Through the use of breath, yoga has been proven to be an excellent way of reducing stress and anxiety as it helps to clear the mind and relax the body. Research has shown that it even helps to calm the nervous system, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, while boosting serotonin levels.
4. Increased strength
Not only is yoga great for lengthening and mobilising your muscles, but it’s also an effective way to strengthen your body as you have to hold and support your own body weight through various different poses.
Now you know the benefits, let’s help you get started!
1. Choose your style
There are many different styles of yoga and while underneath they share the same value of unifying the body and mind through breath, some may be more intense than others. If you’re looking to flow into different poses then Vinyasa is what you’re after. Styles like Ashtanga are great to build strength as the focus is to hold various poses for a period of time. If you’re looking to unleash your spiritual side, Kundalini yoga offers a more restorative practice whereby your focus is on your breath, chants and meditation.
Still confused about where to start? Don’t worry sis, we have you covered! Our lovely trainer Jen has created the perfect program for you to get started. Designed for beginners and for those who want to strengthen their practice, Balance with Jen aims to make yoga accessible, fun and desirable for all. Combining a range of yoga philosophies and styles, Jen is keen to show you that yoga is not just for a select few, but that it can be a consistent, sustainable and empowering part of any fitness routine. So, if you’re looking for a place to start then this is definitely it!
2. Wear comfy clothes
To make the most out of your chosen yoga class, opt for comfy clothing that is non restrictive. Chances are you’re going to be bending, twisting and downward dogging, so you need clothes that flow with you. It’s also a good idea to wear light, breathable fabrics to help your body cool down and soak up that sweat. When it comes to shoes, barefoot is best, this not only helps ground you to the floor, but it also aids stability helping to target the right muscles.
3. Choose your space
Whether you choose to go to a class or work out from the comfort of your own home with Jen, it’s important that you have enough space so that you can move freely without restriction. If you’re choosing to enjoy a yoga class from home and are on the Balance program, aim to make your space as quiet and distraction free as possible, so that you can benefit mentally and physically from your practice.
4. Bring a mat
Most studios will provide their own mats, but if you’re working out from home, having your own workout mat is advisable. This helps to support and cushion your muscles as well as prevent any slipping when you’re flowing through your sequence of poses. As always it’s a good idea to have your water bottle handy, so you can stay hydrated. However, many yoga practices advise that you drink before and after your session, as the act of reaching for your bottle may interrupt your flow of breathing, poses and/or meditation.
5. Take it at your own pace
This is your time to work on you, so move to your own beat. Whether that means scaling the poses back to your level or holding them for a little less, listen to your body and do what feels right for you. If you’re going to a class, let the instructor know that you’re new, this way they can help you tailor your training to what feels good for you. If you’re starting the Balance program with Jen and are new to yoga, opt for the Foundation week first to help activate your mind and muscles as you ease into your flow.
6. Enjoy it!
Yoga is a great way to slow down, be present as you focus and unify your mind, body and soul. Switch off from the outside world as you take the time to work on you. Whatever your intentions are from your practice, the most important thing is that you enjoy it, so choose a style or teacher that vibes with you. Remember if you enjoy it you’re more likely to stick to it. Namaste familia.