You’ve decided to incorporate yoga into your life? We couldn’t be happier for you! This is probably the best decision you’ve ever made in your entire life. Yes, it’s even better (or in some cases obviously better) than the decision you’ve made or will make regarding choosing a life partner for yourself.
In today’s stressful times, yoga and meditation practices are such a big help. Not only these practices work on the physical aspect of you to make you feel healthier and stronger, but also, your mental wellbeing is well taken care of. But today, since the ancient science of yoga is being misrepresented in so many ways, a yoga beginner might find it difficult to maneuver his/her way effortlessly. So, let us help you out here. Below you’ll find answers to the top 3 questions every yoga apprentice asks in the beginning –
What Kind of Yoga is Best for Me?
There are so many different kinds of yoga practices which are being taught these days – Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Bikram, Hot Yoga, and whatnot. Let me tell you one thing – there is no such thing as different types of yoga. This is a huge misconception. There is only one type of yoga which is the Traditional Yoga that ancient Indian yogis and sanyasis (monks) used to practice in order to attain their highest spiritual aspirations. Now depending on who learned these practices and how he/she twisted them a little in order to teach his/her own students, these different styles have slowly emerged. What BKS Iyengar taught became Iyengar Yoga and what Bikram Choudhury taught, became Bikram Yoga.
So, our advice is – stick to the basics. Being a yoga beginner, try to establish a solid foundation for yourself before delving into more complicated styles. In that context, Hatha Yoga is a wonderful start. It involves all the basic poses and there is a lot of emphasis on staying with the breath. If you could find a teacher who teaches Vinyasa Flow gently and mindfully, you can also go for that. If you are more interested in de-stressing, go for a Restorative Yoga class. Kundalini Yoga is more of a spiritual practice and if that doesn’t resonate with you, don’t go for it. And Ashtanga Yoga is definitely not for beginners since it involves many difficult asanas like headstands and peacock pose.
Can Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?
The answer is – YES! If you practice consistently, yoga won’t just transform your body, but also your mind, emotions and even your life energies. It can be explained this way – the amount of weight you lose by doing asanas directly is not that much, but yoga makes you healthier by re-energizing your energy system.
So, even though you won’t be burning as many calories as compared to a conventional workout like running or swimming, you’d lose weight because your body will start rejecting unhealthy foods, you’ll automatically eat less, sleep better and feel more energetic throughout the day.
Many people have the tendency of eating unhealthy foods whenever they feel stressed or anxious about something. And since yoga is a wonderful way to relieve stress, it eliminates or at least reduces these tendencies to a great extent. Thus, helping you in weight loss.
What Should I Bring to Yoga Class
An open mind! And besides that these essentials –
- Yoga Mat – Though most yoga studios provide mats, it’s best to bring your own mat since it’s kind of a personal instrument. You stretch on it, you sweat on it and you do your spiritual work on it. So, we advise you to buy your own.
- Comfortable Clothes – Depending on what type of class you’ve joined, buy your clothes accordingly. If you’ve joined restorative yoga or a meditation course, go for loose fitted, comfortable clothes in fabrics like cotton or hemp. And if you’ve joined a more vigorous form, buy well-fitted yoga clothes in sturdier fabrics like cotton-synthetic blends.
- Towel – You wouldn’t want to slip and fall on the ground while attempting a difficult pose, right? That happens sometimes if your palms are sweaty. BTW it’s not a big deal, but you can definitely avoid that by bringing a towel with you.
- Water Bottle – Take small sips before and after the session. If you get really thirsty, take a few sips during the class as well.
Being a yoga beginner, it’s your job to pay a lot of attention to what your instructor is saying. Carefully notice all the forms and postures which are being taught and try to replicate them as closely as you can. Being able to get into the right postures while simultaneously concentrating on your breath might be a little difficult in the beginning. But keep practicing and after some time, it’ll become as effortless as breathing itself. Give yourself time, it usually takes somewhere between 2 weeks to 2 years to get properly familiarised with yoga and once that happens, all the magic will start unveiling itself. Have fun, my friend!