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7 helpful tips for yoga beginners

Yoga is a form of low-impact exercise associated with endless health benefits.

Updated: December 6, 2020
Women on yoga
By MBL Featured Blogger: Karen Eisenbraun
Originally Posted: August 13, 2020

Yoga Beginners | Yoga helps improve your endurance, strength, flexibility, and posture, protects your spine and bone health, increases your blood flow and heart rate, improves your mood and relieves stress.

If you’re thinking about enrolling in a yoga class, you may feel intimidated by the concept of joining up with more experienced yoga goers, but at the end of the day, you really have nothing to worry about! Here are seven tips for yoga beginners that will help you become more familiar with this highly beneficial form of exercise.

1. Don’t do yoga on a full stomach

Since yoga requires you to twist, turn, and hop into various poses, avoid eating a heavy meal just before yoga class. Eat at least an hour before class, and stick to eating a piece of fruit such as a banana 20 minutes before class if you absolutely need to eat something. Otherwise, you may have difficulty doing certain movements.

2. Arrive to class early

If you’re new to yoga, arrive to class at least 10 minutes early to fill out any necessary paperwork and to familiarize yourself with the studio. Take time to set up your yoga mat, and inform your teacher that you’re new to yoga so they can be aware that you may not be completely familiar with all movements and exercises.

3. Bring your own equipment

Show up to class with your own yoga mat, straps, blankets, and blocks if necessary. Some studios have mats you can use for free or for a small fee if you don’t have your own. Straps, blankets, and blocks can help your body achieve poses that are still new to you and can enhance your beginning yoga experience.

4. Focus on relaxing

Many yoga beginners tend to clench their fingers, toes, and jaws as they’re going through certain movements; however, focus on relaxing all your muscles to release tension and stress from your body. Over time, you’ll notice that certain yoga poses will feel easier the more you’re able to relax.

5. Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing is essential to yoga and helps your mind and body calm down and release tension. Pay attention to your breathing throughout the class to make sure you’re taking deep breaths, and that you’re not practicing shallow breathing.

6. Embrace Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a yoga pose that allows you to relax, rest, and refocus in between certain yoga movements. If you encounter a pose you don’t think you’re ready to try or that you don’t understand, go into Child’s Pose to refocus and regroup. Child’s Pose is also helpful if you find that your breathing patterns are off, and you need to transition from shallow breathing back into deep breathing.

7. Enjoy being a beginner

Some yoga beginners may feel shy or even embarrassed about doing yoga if they’re new to yoga or to the concept of exercise as a whole. If this sounds like you, push aside your insecurities and embrace yoga without limiting yourself to the types of exercises you can and can’t do. As long as you maintain a positive outlook about yoga and exercise in general, your experience will be much more positive and successful.

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Karen Eisenbraun is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and writer with a background in digital marketing. She has written extensively on the topics of nutrition and holistic health for many leading websites.

Karen received her nutrition certification from the American College of Healthcare Sciences in 2012. She follows a ketogenic diet and practices intermittent fasting. Karen advocates a whole foods approach to nutrition and believes in empowering yourself with information that allows you to make smarter decisions about your health.

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