YOGA FOR BEGINNERS
Yoga is for everyone! If you’re looking to dive into the practice, here’s everything that you need (and don’t need!) to get started. We’ll also be discussing what yoga is and the many benefits of a regular practice.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is an ancient practice that incorporates mental, spiritual, and physical practices. What we know in the modern world as ‘yoga’ is simply movement and only makes up one of the ‘8 limbs of yoga’.
The 8 limbs of yoga:
- Yama – abstinence
- Niyama – observance
- Asana – yoga postures
- Pranayama – breath control
- Pratyahara – withdrawal of senses
- Dharana – concentration
- Dhyana – meditation
- Samadhi – absorption/the divine
For the purpose of this article, we’ll be exploring ‘yoga’ as related to the practice of postures.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF YOGA?
Here are some of the benefits that you can gain from a regular yoga practice.
- Improved sleep
- Increase in flexibility
- Increase in strength
- A strong connection with and understanding of your body
- Improved energy and vitality
- Cardio health and improved respiration
- A balance in metabolism
- Weight loss – mostly when practising faster-paced styles of yoga
WHICH STYLES OF YOGA ARE BEST?
Each style of yoga comes with its own benefits and is suited to different levels of experience.
Generally, hatha yoga classes are one of the best options for beginners. Classes work through the primary yoga poses – seated, standing, and balancing – in a way that focuses on strength over speed. This means that you’ll have the time to spend correcting each pose and ensure that you’re practising it safely. Hatha yoga is a great way to learn the pose names before moving into faster-paced styles of yoga such as vinyasa and power – if you choose to!
Restorative yoga and yin yoga classes are also great for beginners as they are floor-based and slow-paced.
Restorative yoga is ideal for those turning to yoga to improve conditions such as anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and stress. Poses are held for anywhere between 5-20 minutes and the body is completely supported with props – the idea is to feel soft as opposed to stretched.
Yin yoga is great for those looking to improve their flexibility as well as being a wonderful way to relieve stress and tension. Poses are held for 2-3 minutes – sometimes all the way up to 15! – with a focus on lengthening the muscles and deepening the pose.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO START YOGA?
The great news is that all you need to practice yoga is yourself! Local studios will have yoga mats that you can borrow and use during your class. Investing in your own mat, however, is one of the best ways to feel excited and motivated about your new yoga practice.
Studios will also have all of the props that you need during your practice. If you prefer to use your own props or will be practising at home, you might want to get yourself 2 yoga blocks and a yoga strap. You don’t need quality yoga clothes to practise yoga – anything comfortable with lots of give will work. If you prefer to wear ‘yoga clothes’ you’ll need leggings, a sports bra, and a vest/t-shirt.
Why not start your practice by attending one of our holistic yoga retreats in Koh Samui? Find out all about the different packages we offer here.