24 Crucial Tactics – Best Tips for Yoga to Start Your Own Journey
Starting a new fitness journey can be intimidating. Learn to practice and get the best tips for yoga.
You might have heard of this great new thing from friends, family or from someone online and told yourself why not give it a try. The list below will provide you with the right way to start your journey.
You sorta know the benefits and what it can do for you, but like anything new you wonder if you have everything to start.
If you are here, this tells me you would have heard of “Yoga”. You might have even tried a class. Maybe found a video on YouTube or searched the word Yoga on Google. Set up your mat (or whatever you have to exercise) and put on a super cute outfit or your pjs. Now What.
If you tried a video, maybe the person said a bunch of words that made no sense, asked you to put your leg somewhere it’s not supposed to go, and you gave up, this was crazy!
I am here to tell you to not give up and try again!
You don’t need any prior fitness experience or even flexibility to start, with the right teacher. You will improve over time. Like anything in life, and this is not any different, you will have to learn. Accept the fact that you are a beginner. Even if you did other physical activities before, Yoga is new. Just enjoy the ride.
The list below will give you a head start in the right way, making it approachable and providing you with peace of mind to start your journey.
Main Benefits of Yoga
- Yoga will increase flexibility
- Improve range of motion
- Reduce aches and pains from prior injuries or even your daily life
- Perfect if you are experiencing back, hip or pelvic pain
- Benefit heart health
- Helps you sleep better
- Improve energy and mood
- Reduce stress and more
To read more about the benefits of yoga, take a look at this article.
I broke the list down into a few categories to make it simpler! What to know before you begin, what kind of accessories or clothes you might need, and the mindset you should have. With these 24 best tips for yoga you will be on your way to becoming a pro!
Tips for Yoga
24 Best Tips for Yoga
Before you choose a yoga class
This first section will get you ready with some basic knowledge, so you can make a decision that feels right for you and won’t get you in a class that will make you quit.
Tip 1: YouTube Video vs Yoga Teacher
You know, and I know that there are a lot of free options. A lot of people do think, “why pay a teacher, if I can find it online?” That is a personal decision, but what I can tell you is that recorded videos are great, always there for when you need it, perfect for your budget.
Here are a few benefits to join a yoga teacher instead of a Youtube Video:
- You will be part of a community, especially in a group class setting.
- Paying for anything keeps you accountable and motivated
- The teacher can tell you when and how to modify a pose or when to push you
Tip 2: Different Style of Yoga Classes
My first class was Bikram Yoga in a 95 degree room for 90 mins. I thought I would die. I followed the teacher, but I almost passed out.
There are a lot of different styles and levels. If you are looking for a video online or want to book a class, make sure it is made for beginner yoga and is a slower pace to start. When you are reading the description, look for the word Hatha, beginner or all levels. A slower pace will include alignments and modifications.
To learn more about the different classes and style of yoga, continue reading my article about the different type of yoga classes and which one is made for you.
Tip 3: Find a Yoga teacher For Beginners
You can find a teacher pretty much anywhere. Google offers a simple solution. Make sure the teacher is specialized in what you are looking for and you like them! Finding a yoga teacher specialized in beginners will help!
The price and services they offer will make the biggest difference. It really depends on what you are looking for!
Tip 4: Private vs Group Classes
Group classes are great to build community, feel the energy from others, and share your experience. It feels pretty powerful when 20 to 30 people do all the same poses at the same time. There is just something about it.
Private classes are great for when you want focused attention and progress faster. The teacher will know when to push you and when you should rest.
Tip 5: Specialized Yoga Classes
You might have seen online some specialized classes. For example, yoga for runners, for back pain, pelvic pain, for seniors, prenatal, postnatal and more.
If you do have some injuries or something you want to learn, specialized classes are great to start, they will focus on what you need right away.
Tip 6: Learn About Yoga Workshops
Workshops usually last longer, they are great if you want in depth training. You will have time to ask questions and receive specific advice from the teacher. A yoga class will be provided and deeper knowledge is shared, you can look for a beginner workshop if you want to know all the basics right up front. Workshops will vary in time from 60 mins to 2 hours on average.
Tip 7: Chair Yoga Classes and Its Benefits
You might be injured, older or not, in the best physical shape, if this is you, I am happy you are reading this. If seating on the floor sounds hard, look for a class using the words Chair Yoga. These classes are specialized and amazing. They will show you how to create mobility in your life using a chair. In time, you will develop the right muscles and fitness to integrate both chair and maybe floor or standing postures.
Tip 8: Yin Yoga and Its Benefits
I am sad that not a lot of people know what this is. Yin Yoga doesn’t work your muscles like other styles of yoga do. They work the deeper parts of your body, like tendons, ligaments and joints. Each pose is held between 1-3 mins, for a beginner class, up to 10 mins and is perfect to reduce stress and create a meditative environment.
Yin yoga is used for anxiety and improve flexibility without being hard or putting too much pressure on your body. Sometimes you just need to relax. Not every practice needs to smash your body until you can’t stand up the next day.
What do you need before you start your first yoga classes
Now, you found the right class, you signed up or set up your computer for the recorded video. Let’s get shopping! The yoga industry is a billion-dollar company, personally, just use what you have and buy the minimum. You don’t need a cute outfit or fancy gear.
Tip 9: What to wear
You can buy pants and a sports bra made for yoga, but any fitness/activewear is fine. Yoga pants tend to be lighter and thinner. Look in your closet for something comfortable! The only thing is for a shirt, even during a beginner yoga class, your head comes down. You don’t want to have a loose shirt that keeps falling over your head. No shoes! YAY! Let your feet run wild!
Tip 10: Yoga Mat comes in a lot of sizes
The prices vary a lot from a couple of dollars to hundreds of dollars from specialized companies. They come in all sorts of material and quality, there is a pretty good market for them. Make it simple, if you have bad knees, look for something thicker, around 5 to 7 mm minimum. Most will be around 3mm and it’s just fine, the cheaper one might move more, which you would have to be careful about. Let’s not go crazy. Use what you have.
If you already have one and it hurts your knees, use a folded blanket to protect yourself and reduce pain.
Tip 11: The world of Yoga props and which one you need
You might have heard of some blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, wheels etc. To be frank, all can be replaced with household items. Even the dollar store has some. If you have books, a belt or scarf, blankets or pillows, it all works! Invest when you are ready.
During your Yoga class
Below you can find some ethicals, how to respect the class and yourself. Some tips to get you started and not going to a class and being intimidated. Learn to do yoga with a beginner’s mind.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to know or remember everything!
Tip 12: Be on time
Even if you choose to do a class online, the teacher will set the tone for the class early on. There is nothing more annoying than starting a meditation and someone sneaks in and puts down their mat and moves around and …it’s annoying. Be respectful.
Tip 13: Stay in the back
If you are deciding to do a group class, first, set the mat in the back. It’s just common practice. The most advanced students are usually at the front to provide examples for others if needed.
Tip 14: Child pose is your best friend
One of the only poses you should know before starting any classes is child pose.
This is a safe pose for everyone, to be used when you feel tired, overwhelmed or you need a minute. The teacher knows when someone goes into a child pose that just means they need a break, just come back when you are ready!
They will not be offended, trust me! See the example on the right. To find how to perform the pose safely, speak with your yoga instructor.
Tip 15: Meditation should be part of it
Every good yoga class should always start with meditation, even just closing your eyes and breathing for a few minutes. Why you may ask? Usually life is pretty chaotic. You rush everywhere and don’t think twice about anything. This will create the perfect space to discover and apply the best tips for yoga.
Meditation just lets your brain know it’s time to relax and focus. Calm the F down! If you wish to add meditation and mindfulness to your life, please see the details below. You can also check out this amazing article from Yoga Journal about some of the best meditation apps to use!
Tip 16: Every good class should end with Shavasana
You might have heard, Shavasana, Corpse, lay down on the floor, etc. All yoga classes should end with you on the mat, lying down and just relaxing for a few minutes. A good yoga class should warm you up, bring you to a more challenging pose and cool you down. It’s a lot on the mind and body, it is just nice to take a minute to yourself at the end! Stop thinking of your grocery list!
Tip 17: Don’t forget to breath
Yes, breathing is an essential part of yoga, but first learn some poses, focus on your body and the more you practice you can add details. Learn the basics first.
Tip 18: How to use your props made simple
I did mention props before, so you might have got a block/books or two to start. My advice, sit on your block for all seated poses until you get used to the movement. If you can’t reach the floor when you fold down, bring the floor to you by putting your hands on blocks.
If your knee hurts, put a blanket under your knees for all poses on the knees.
Tip 19: Raise your hand or ask questions
Fun thing, if you are in a group setting and have a question, just raise your hand. It’s middle school all over again. It’s okay not to know everything. Don’t be shy. The teacher will love to help you. If they don’t change the teacher!
Be patient, it’s called a yoga practice!
The below section is about your mind and what to expect. It’s okay to want more, but you have to give yourself a chance. One small step can make a big difference, enjoy and learn how to implement yoga for beginners to keep you safe and healthy!
Tip 20: Listen to your body
It is easy to compare yourself to others, especially in a group setting or if the teacher seems to do everything so easily. It is important to connect with your body and only push to the limit where you feel a stretch but no pain. Don’t forget that everyone has their own experience. What might be easy for you will be hard for others. Yoga is very humbling! You should never feel any pain.
Tip 21: Be consistent
Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get. Even a consistent practice of one class a week will deepen your practice. Personally, 10 or 15 mins everyday is better than 60-90 mins once in a while. You can find a large resource of yoga videos online that are quick, under 10-15 mins to be integrated into a morning or evening practice.
Tip 22: Trust the process, one day at a time
Yoga can get pretty frustrating, you see other people getting more flexible or doing poses you can only dream of. Trust me, every practice, even the slow one, you get better and stronger. It is hard sometimes to see the end game to something that has no end, but the more you do it the better it gets.
Tip 23: Leave the ego at home
Listen to the instructions and poses, don’t assume what the teacher will say even if you know. Use a prop, even if you are the only one. There is nothing sillier than someone struggling or being in the wrong alignment just to prove a point. Put yourself in the right mindset. Be patient with yourself and others! The only thing you are proving is that you are not doing it right.
Tip 24: It’s not easy, take it easy
Maybe, someone told you “Yoga is easy” “isn’t that just stretching”, some forms of yoga are easier, yes. Even if the class you chose is slower, every movement builds your muscles and strength, it doesn’t have to destroy your body while doing it.
Last things to know
I know this was a long list of information. Here is the main thing to remember:
Look for the type of classes, don’t spend a lot of money at first. What you have is fine. Leave the ego at home and listen to your body! I hope you are ready to start your yoga practice and enjoy the process. Don’t make it more complicated than it is!
If you would like to join a class made for beginners, register here for Thursday Night Slow Flow Yoga or Sunday Night Yin Yoga.
Author and Yoga Instructor Melissa