Yoga is a sport that combines balancing the body and mind by performing a number of different poses ranging from simple to extremely difficult. If you're new to the art of yoga, it may seem intimidating at first. For the novice yoga enthusiast who is just starting out, there are a few tips to follow that will help you learn to become more centered and enable you to progressively move up in your yoga class.
Keep A Journal
When you start out on your yoga journey, keep a written diary or journal of the things you learn. Make a checklist of the poses you've mastered as well as a "to-do" list of new poses you would like to try. This will help you track your accomplishments and give you a sense of self-confidence as you learn. It's also a good way to look back and see how far you've come. You should also write down any thoughts you have about the class or the feelings you're experiencing as you're practicing your yoga moves.
Create Your Own Space with the Right Equipment
Yoga doesn't just have to happen in the studio. Make yourself a special place in your home where you can practice in peace outside of class. Designate a room or even just a part of a room where you can take some time to work on your poses. Get all the gear you will need to set up your own yoga corner. You will want to get the following:
- A yoga mat: a yoga mat is imperative because it provides support for your joints. If you are doing chaturanga for instance, the mat can help provide cushion for your wrists. Mats are also great so that you don't slip on a hard surface.
- A foam brick: the bricks can help you keep your balance in 1-legged poses or side poses, like triangle. And if you aren't very flexible, the foam brick is a must.
- A yoga strap or rope: a yoga strap is beneficial because it can help you improve your flexibility without tensing up. If you try to pull on your legs with your hands for instance, you may tense up--but with a yoga strap, you can let your leg's weight sink into the rope.
- A yoga bolster: If you have any old injuries--like lower back problems--the bolster can help support you in difficult poses.
By having a sacred space to work on your yoga moves on your own, you'll look forward to each new class because you will have had time to work on your poses to allow for improvement on your own.
Read And Research
Yoga involves more than just physical movement, it is also a challenge for the mind and spirit. Buy a few books about yoga and learn about the history of it and the different moves involved. Get a yoga book that has photos of all the different poses so you can see what they look like in perfect form. Do some research to learn more about breathing techniques and what each separate pose does for the body and the mind. The more comfortable you feel about yoga and understand how it works, the faster you'll progress. Also, make sure you talk to your teacher or to professionals at a place like North Valley Medical and Yoga Center. Teachers can help you progress and adjust your technique. Remember that everyone is different when it comes to yoga, so pace yourself, relax, and enjoy every moment.