What Is The Best Yoga For Beginners? – Start Here
So, you’ve heard about all the amazing benefits of yoga, but have no idea how or where to get started? This article is for you.
Hatha yoga is a great way to kick start your yoga journey. Hatha incorporates the use of poses (also called asanas) and represented a system of physical techniques. Experts describe hatha yoga as being a gentle, basic styles of yoga, focusing on your alignment, helping you reap the physical and mental benefits as you go. This is why I think hatha is a perfect style for a beginner – it can help you build you foundation with yoga – helping you build up some strength, flexibility and balance, before you move into more challenging poses and styles.
The use of breath work and meditation is also at the center of hatha yoga practices – both of which are core to so many other yoga practices. A beginner using hatha to develop skills in breath work (yes, it is a skill!) will have a solid foundation to take to other practices, as well as being able to utilize this calming technique throughout their day.
Vinyasa flow also focuses on gently moving through poses, whilst utilizing the breath to create a sense of peace of grounding, however you may find a vinyasa flow more fast-paced than traditional hatha yoga. When in a class focusing on your vinyasa flow, every pose you move in to will be anchored onto the breath – the breath is treated as the only thing guiding your movement and poses. What this does are syncs your breath to your body, allowing the entire body and mind to move and act as one. This is extremely calming and grounding. It also helps you actually find peace and stillness within the poses. An experienced
vinyasa flow teacher will know in which poses you should be focusing on your inhale, and exhale, and you’ll find that when you find your flow, the poses become easier with the use of the breath.
When in a class, you may here the phrase ‘go through your vinyasa at your own pace’. A vinyasa is typically a sequence of plank, low plank, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, and depending on your experience, this will look different for everyone.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what these are yet or have no idea how to do them – your teacher should take you through these before asking you to go through them by yourself.
And the best thing about yoga is, it really is your practice, and yogis understand this. Your teacher is there to help you with alignment, so that you don’t injure yourself, and help you get the most out of the poses. But, they are not there to judge or change the way you’re doing your yoga – so don’t be scared to do your own thing!
An easy way to start incorporating a yoga practice into your daily routine is a 10-minute sun salutation practice each morning! This is one of the most commonly practiced yoga sequences, and you’ve probably heard of it already!
There are a huge amounts of sun salutation videos on YouTube to choose from, and these are all perfectly doable for beginners. My first piece of advise for anyone wanting to get into yoga would be – buy a yoga mat and begin a 10-minute sun salutation practice first thing every morning.
This is exactly how I got started on my yoga journey – and my love for it really grew from there. I saw the immediate benefit practicing each morning had on both my mental and physical health, and now I can’t get enough!
Now, I love leaving an early morning sun salutation class, and watching the sunrise as I drive away. It really helps me feel like I’m in sync with the universe, and gives me a glimpse of the connectedness we share with everything around us.
I would recommend power yoga to anyone who has been going to the gym, but wants a way to incorporate some yoga into their practice. Power yoga is perfect for people who already have a good baseline level of strength and stamina. In fact, I have an entire post dedicated to power yoga – you can find that here.
Power yoga is not so ‘woo woo’ that the spirituality aspect would put you off, and it is not too fitness-based that you won’t find any calm and peace from it. I like to think of it as a perfect middle ground. I would however say that if you are completely new to any form of physical exercise, power yoga may not be the way to go. You may find it easier to start off with more gentle and grounding yoga practices, like the ones listed above. Power yoga may run the risk of putting you off completely.
This is a fast-paced, strength based yoga practice, that’s even used for athletes to help them tighten up on their balance and flexibility. It is not for the faint-hearted, and can be described as a rigorous workout. I suppose it also depends on what you are looking for from a class, and who you are as a person.
Some people may prefer the fast-paced style that power yoga offers, whilst others may be using yoga to find more peace in their day. If you are the former, power yoga is absolutely for you, just make sure you spend some time at the gym before you get started!
So where will you start?
I believe it doesn’t really matter where you start! The main thing to remember is that yoga is all about letting go of judgment and expectations. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect when you start, because you won’t be. Be kind to yourself, and whichever style you choose, try to enjoy it, and look at each practice as a journey of learning more about yourself, your mind and your body, rather than a skill to master or perfect.
All the best!