Yoga is one of the most rewarding workout regimes that can bring long-term transformation in your life. Aside from helping reshape your body, it is also an effective way to relax and to cultivate mindfulness. The most basic requirement for a yoga practice is a flat surface, a mat, your body and a willing mind. But of course, it will be so much better to be properly dressed, to bring some of the essential stuff and to prepare yourself for a yoga practice, especially if you are attending a class.
Below are some of the essential information you may need in case you want to give yoga a try.
Things You’ll Need
1. Yoga Outfit
The general rule for a yoga outfit is that it must be comfortable enough for you to do the different yoga poses. For the tops, while it is acceptable to wear a loose outfit, fitted ones are recommended. A fitted shirt or a sleeveless top will help you move with ease when you raise your arms or make bending movements. For the bottoms, you may go with any stretchable leggings or shorts at first, then adjust according to what feels comfortable for you. Unlike in cardio exercises, you don’t need to wear shoes while doing yoga because the poses usually require the yogis to be barefooted.
Yoga mats are usually available in yoga studios. But you may also opt to bring your own.
3. Water Bottle
Always keep yourself hydrated, especially if you are doing hot yoga.
4. Towel / Extra Clothes
Bring a towel and a change of clothes when you attend a yoga class.
1. Keep your food light
It is alright to eat before going to a yoga class but remember to keep your meals light. Avoid consuming too much food because you might upset your stomach when you start making the different yoga poses.
2. Warm yourself up
Warming up before yoga practice is important for a successful workout and avoidance of muscle strain or injury, as recommended by top rated acupuncturists. It also helps stimulate blood flow and makes you more energetic during the yoga practice. There are various warm-up poses that you can try. You can also prepare yourself by lying on your back to have some stretch or by sitting in a cross-legged position.
During the Yoga Session
1. Follow the Proper Alignment
When doing yoga, you should always make sure to follow the proper alignment of the body. Take note of how the yoga teacher executes every pose and pay special attention to the leveling of the arms, legs, shoulders and the back. Doing so will reduce the risks of body injuries and will help you get the best out of this exercise.
2. Be Attentive
Since you are still a beginner, the poses may be initially unfamiliar to you. So, it is totally fine to look at your co-yogis from time to time to check if you are doing the pose right. But make sure to pay more attention to the poses of your yoga teacher since that would be the most correct one. Also, when you are doing poses which make it hard for you to see your teacher, make sure to listen well to what your teacher is saying.
3. Be Optimistic
Getting the perfect form may not be easy at first. You may stumble on your mat or do things the wrong way. But remember that your instructor is always there to guide you along the way. You have to be open to corrections and be willing to learn. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes and don’t compare yourself to the progress of others. Take your time and focus on improving yourself. More than anything else, make sure to have fun.
4. Listen to your Body
Work at your own pace and always listen to your body. You are the best person who can assess your ability to do a certain pose. Don’t force yourself if you think that you can’t do it yet. But at the same time, do not be afraid to try. As you get used to doing yoga, you will be able to identify if it is fear that is stopping you from doing a pose or if it is just too risky for you right now. Remember that yoga is not a competition. You may take things slowly if needed. Do what feels right for you and your body.
5. Be Curious
Do not hesitate to talk to your yoga teacher if there are poses that you find hard to do or if there are things about yoga that you want to understand more. If you missed asking something during the session, you might approach your teacher afterward. Yoga teachers will most likely be glad to help you out. It will also be helpful to interact with other people in your class. You may learn more about yoga principles from them, especially from the experienced ones. You may even meet a yoga buddy or a new friend.