Benefits Of Yoga For Beginners
Posted On April 28, 2020
Learning a new skill always has its’ benefits. But yoga is special. When you learn yoga, you open yourself up to a whole wealth of benefits from the physical benefits to the spiritual benefits.
You may start yoga to begin feeling more peace and calm throughout the day however quickly notice your body becoming stronger and more sculpted.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the benefits you will start to see when you begin practicing yoga. Some might even surprise you!
Although a lot of people begin a yoga practice for the mental and spiritual benefits, there’s no getting around the fact that yoga is a physical practice and can sometimes feel like a workout.
Depending on what type of yoga you end up doing, your practice might feel either more or less strenuous. For example, if you’re doing power yoga or bikram yoga, you’ll be feeling the burn more than you would if you choose to do some restorative yin yoga.
A regular yoga practice increases muscle tone, encourages sculpting of the muscles and builds muscles strength. The building of muscle and toning is encouraged by planks, downward dog, low plank and warrior poses.
The more you practice, the more you’ll find that in order to do a lot of the poses correctly, your body relies on core strength.
Yoga encourages greater flexibility within the body. Don’t let this put you off – I know of lots of people who say ‘I couldn’t do yoga, I’m not flexible’ – this is fine.
You do not have to flexible to practice yoga. All the poses require is that you feel a stretch – not that you have to reach a certain point within them. You won’t get kicked out of a yoga class if you can’t touch your toes!
Yoga is about encouraging the flexibility, not requiring it. And for most people, increased flexibility is a secondary gain rather than a primary gain of completing a yoga practice.
And what many peoples don’t realise is that a lack of flexibility can actually be a mental barrier as much as it is a physical barrier. By constantly saying to yourself ‘I am not physical’, when you find yourself in a pose challenging your flexibility, you’ll be less likely to go that bit further because in the back of your mind you have created the identity of ‘not being flexible’.
If increased flexibility is a main goal of your yoga practice however, there are certain forms of yoga that may help you reach this goal faster than others. For example, you might want to incorporate yin yoga into your weekly yoga routine. Yin focuses on finding your edge and gently increasing your edge, staying in poses for 3-5 minutes.
Either way, It’s time to let those limiting beliefs go and find your flow.
Starting a yoga practice requires self-discipline, as does starting any other new skill or habit.
With yoga, a bit like working out, you might need a little more self-discipline as it won’t always be enjoyable. I am a big believer in making your new skill or habit as enjoyable as possible however it’s no secret that if you’re new to yoga, you may find a lot of the poses uncomfortable at first.
The main thing is that this is completely normal and okay. It’s important to continue with the practice although this feels clunky and unnatural.
Touching on the spiritual side of things, yoga really encourages you to quiet your ego and listen to your higher power. This would be the little voice inside of you who knows that this is good for you in the long term and who wanted to start the yoga practice in the first place. The ego would be the voice telling you it’s pointless, it’s doing no good and it’s too hard.
By quieting that ego voice, you strengthen your self-discipline and may even see the benefits of your increased self-discipline in other areas of your life as well – what a bonus!
Yoga is a slow paced and (mostly) chilled and relaxed practice. Whilst in yoga poses, you’ll be encouraged to focus on your breathing and focus on the sensations you are feeling in the pose.
After a long day at work, this can be difficult to do. It can be difficult to switch off from everything that’s happened in the day and everything your mind is telling you to think about and completely be present within the practice.
This is why is can be beneficial to start with either a guided video or a yoga class itself. This is because the yoga teacher can remind you to continue focusing on your breath. You’ll be encouraged to concentrate on the breath, either counting the breath or looking out of your third eye.
Concentration is something that we could all be practicing more, and yoga makes practicing your concentration skills fun and productive.
I find that people are either really into the spiritual side of yoga or have not given it much thought at all. Either way, you’ll get the benefits. However, of course if you are more aware of the spiritual benefits you might receive, you will receive more of them.
One reason why people start a yoga practice is to feel greater peace and calm in their lives. With the busy and fast paced world that we live in, it’s no wonder that people are crying out for some calm.
And I think it’s quite humbling that the busy Western world is looking to the ancient practices of the Eastern world to find this calm.
Yoga focuses on the idea that all of the peace and calm you need is already inside of you. Quite often we are looking to external sources for the peace and calm we desire. We don’t realise that it’s been inside of us all along. All we need to do is increase our introspective time and spend more time actually with ourselves in order to let it reveal itself again.
Yoga gives us this space to do so and actively encourages this.
So many benefits!
So as you’ll have seen from this post, the benefits of starting your yoga practice today are huge. And whatever you’re here for – the mental, the physical or the spiritual, you’ll find something you need within a yoga practice today.