Article by Darvin J. Hooey
My article “Yoga For Beginners” is written to help those of you interested in beginning the practice of yoga, but uncertain as to how to get started. I will take you by the hand and guide you through: 1) How yoga is defined, 2) Identifying the most best style for you, 3) Initial “tools” you might need, and 4) Getting Started. Navigating the world of yoga is actually not as hard as it might first appear, if you have a map!
<span style=”font-size: medium;”>Yoga Defined</span>
According to Wikipedia, Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Yoga for beginners is much plainer. Yoga is a sequence of positions and postures, coordinated with your breathing, designed to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. ultimately, as you go through the various stages, the result will be a stronger more focused mind, improved fitness and, if you are a spiritual person, a stronger connection with the universe!
<span style=”font-size: medium;”>The Styles of Yoga</span>
There are about 10 main styles of Yoga. However, the differences among the styles reside in the individual emphasis of the styles versus the poses or postures:1) Hatha (Ananda): This is a slower paced style emphasizing personal affirmations, and self-control, versus an true workout. This is the best style of yoga for beginners.
2) Ashtanga (Power Yoga): As the nickname “Power Yoga” implies, this is a more athletic, upbeat form of yoga. This is not for newbies.
3) Anusara: This style is describes as “heart-oriented” and makes good use of the “tools of yoga”. These classes are somewhat intense but still accessible by all skill levels.
4) Iyengar: This style is characterized by a great attention to detail and a focus on bodily alignment. Much more stamina is required for this style, as poses are often held for an extended period…not the best place for you to start.
5) Integral: An appropriate style of yoga for beginners. Characterized by an equal attention to meditation, poses and breathing, Integral is a more general style, like Hatha, that will allow you to “sample” the areas of concentration of the remaining styles.
6) Bikram (Hot Yoga): Sweat time! It’s called Hot Yoga because it’s performed in a very hot room (around 100 degrees)! This allows cleansing sweat to flow and muscles to loosen. Beginners skip this one for now.
7) Kundalini: Concentrates on the release of energy through breath control and breathe/movement timing. Sure why not.
8 ) Kripalu: This style concentrates on breathing and progressing at your own individual pace… a perfect style of yoga for beginners.
9) Sivananda: Among the larger schools of yoga, this style uses a more holistic approach, inclusive of diet, relaxation and thinking. Great option for those of you looking for improvement in more than just fitness.
10) Svaroopa: You won’t break a sweat here. This style is more about raising your consciousness. This is absolutely appropriate for beginners, but not if your focus is improved fitness.
<span style=”font-size: medium;”>Yoga Tools</span>
Here are a you might want to pick up for your journey:
1) Mats: You’ll need the extra cushion and support, even if your practing yoga on carpet! Most classes are taught on hard floors, mats are a must for yoga, for beginners or experts!
2) Blocks and Straps: Are you lacking the flexibility to do the poses and stretches the same as the instructor? These help you to close the gaps.
3) Proper clothing: relatively loose fitting clothes to allow greater range of motion. Longer pants are help to prevent carpet/mat burns.
4) Training Videos; These may be in the form of DVDs or direct downloads from the web, but they are essential, if you’d prefer to at least start at home. I’ve always practiced yoga in the comfort of my own home!
<span style=”font-size: medium;”>Get Started!</span>
No surprises here… just do it! This is what you need to learn yoga for beginners. Now go find a local instructor, or a good video. Final piece of advice… start with at home workouts and save yourself some embarrassment!
About the Author
If you truly wish to succeed at being in the best shape of your life, here’s the best at home resource I’ve found. Go to Next Level Yoga immediately, to see how easily it can be done with at home workouts!