Yoga is a life-changing practice. There are some myths and false beliefs that surround it and if you are going to start in this wonderful practice, it is necessary that you know some basic things. This is a small beginner’s yoga manual, with helpful tips to get you started.
First of all, it must be said that yoga is not a religion. Some (incredible as it may seem) think it is; yoga is a lifestyle, a comprehensive way to exercise your body and mind. It is a way of being aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Although yoga is a way to exercise, it is not like other routines where you exercise until you can no longer hold or where you have to do series and repetitions, this is different. Each pose or asana has a purpose and even if at first you think that you are not exercising because you are not constantly moving or sweating, it is an effective way to exercise not only your muscles, but your internal organs.
Another very important thing is breathing; it is common for people to hold their breath when doing sit-ups or any other exercise. It is a bad practice, however in yoga, breathing is a fundamental part.
There are different techniques, one of the most powerful breaths there is the breath of fire. Conscious breathing helps you to be present in the here and now; essential part of yoga.
Yoga for beginners, tips to get started
I have been 1 month and I have not lost weight: The reason this happens is that in the first 2 months you will be building muscle and it is well known that muscle weighs more than fat. Do not be discouraged, having more muscle is good, since they help burn fat because they consume more energy. Progress may not be visible, but trust me, you are progressing.
Then you will see how your weight is regulated and the percentage of body fat decreases.
Invest in a good yoga mat: You may believe that there is no difference between one and the other, but there is. If you see a partner not being able to do one of the poses well because his mat is slipping, good; that’s an inexpensive mat. It is a common thing and that is why investing in a good quality one is important.
Not to mention that a good rug will last you for several years with hardly any color and texture altering.
Don’t be sad, no one is looking at you: Well, yes, when starting in the world of yoga, sometimes we feel sorry to do the poses because we cannot, because we are not flexible, etc. But the others are just like you, struggling to get it right and with their own insecurities reverberating in their minds.
My advice; come to class, greet your classmates, and focus on yourself. Breathe consciously and forget about the rest, nobody comes there with the intention of making fun of it, be sure.
Everything hurts and you want to quit: If it hurts, go anyway. It’s normal for it to hurt, that means you did your job well. For the pain to go away you have to continue, but don’t worry, the pain disappears quickly.
Always do yoga on an empty stomach: It is good to eat a snack before doing cardio or any other exercise, but it is not a good idea if you are going to practice yoga. In yoga your center (abdomen) is exercised a lot and it needs to be empty. Eat after your class, otherwise your snack could end up on your mat …
Just bring natural water, just in case you need it.
Control your mind: At the beginning, there will be asanas in which you will have to stretch and it will hurt. They will make you want to give up, but you must not fall. Control your mind, keep the rhythm of the breath and try to hold. Unless the pain is really unbearable or out of the ordinary, stop. But if it is only due to lack of flexibility, you must continue. You must recognize what kind of pain it is; And giving up just because it hurts a little is something you should avoid.
When you start practicing any exercise it hurts, it is normal since the muscle is receiving a new stimulus; and the same happens in yoga. Everything is in your mind, your strength and endurance comes from there.
Have fun: There is nothing more fun than learning and discovering new things. With yoga you will discover that you can do things with your body that you never imagined, you will feel very good and your body will change. It will be fun while you learn to master the asanas, while your companions achieve it, you will make new friends, anyway. Enjoy the new experience and move on. Just the beginning is difficult, but the payoff is fabulous.