Yoga offers a variety of benefits. In order to achieve all these you need to prepare yourself. Here are some tips to help develop your own yoga routine.
The benefits of doing yoga are endless. From calming the mind and eliminating stress to shedding off unwanted pounds and burning extra calories. A lot of people also turn to yoga to help with mental, physical and emotional health.
If you’re thinking of starting yoga, you need to prepare yourself. Meera Watts, a yoga teacher and founder of SiddhiYoga.com has put together some of the best tips to help develop your own fitness yoga routine.
Learn the different types of yoga
Before you register for any yoga classes, do your homework first and research the different types of yoga. This can give you a clearer idea of which type will work best for you.
For example, as a beginner, you want poses that are slow moving so you’re able to easily catch up and copy them. A good example of this is hatha yoga.
Vinyasa and Ashtanga, on the other hand, are more challenging. Despite that, they’re still great options for beginners.
To know which one is the best for you, check out your local yoga studios, particularly their class schedules. Once you know what types of yoga they’re offering, dig more so you can decide which one you should go for.
Be familiar with the poses
Attending a class without prior research can be confusing as there are studios and instructors that use English or Hindi for the pose names.
Take time to review the most common poses and try to familiarise yourself with both their Hindi and English names. Study their basic forms as well.
For example, downward facing dog and child’s pose are generally incorporated in every yoga class. Knowing these poses in advance can give you a good start in your lessons.
Know what you need
Lots of yoga studios encourage their students to bring their own yoga mats to class. However, you can also rent them from studios for a small fee.
When choosing the right yoga mat for you, consider the mat’s thickness. Mats that are 1/8 inch (3-4mm) thick are most commonly used as they offer just the right combination of portability and performance. They provide just the right cushion for your knees yet, are light enough to carry around.
Other factors you need to consider include stickiness, size, texture, material and price.
Don’t forget to pick the right gear as well. Your clothes should prevent unwanted exposure while you’re performing inversions. They should be comfortable enough for you to switch poses too.
Take the right spot
Generally speaking, the best spot for you as a beginner is towards the back of the class. This gives you a better view of the more experienced classmates and how they’re performing each move.
Most instructors are usually too busy helping students with their poses that they don’t necessarily demonstrate each pose. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to everyone in class so you’ll know how to perform each pose correctly.
You don’t really have to mimic every move your classmates are doing in the exact same way. If they start to add more advanced pose variations, don’t be afraid to pause and stick with the basics.
Also, there are no strict rules as to when you can take a break. So, set aside some time to stop and cool down.
Don’t be afraid to create your own adventure
Before you settle into a regular yoga routine, try out as many styles and formats first. This way, you’ll be able to find the best match for you.
If you’re going to mainly perform your yoga routine at home, learn to listen to what your body needs on that particular day. Try to move and practice at your own pace and learn to develop intuition about the kinds of yoga poses you need to do the most on any day.
If you’re feeling exhausted and fatigued, for example, try to do a restorative yoga sequence. If you’re feeling full of energy, perform a more fast-paced sequence that’ll channel that energy.
Stick with your yoga routine
Once you’re able to come up with a routine that meets your needs and preferences, stick with it. You can only experience the benefits of yoga if you’re consistently practicing it.
To motivate yourself, try to incorporate it into your morning routine. Get up a few minutes earlier than usual so you won’t have to cut into your sleeping hours.
About the author
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher and entrepreneur. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in several publications, including Elephant Journal and OMtimes. She’s also the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Her school runs intensive, residential training sessions in India and Indonesia. You can follow Meera and Siddhi Yoga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.