Intro to Yoga

A few years ago, I decided to make meditation a part of my daily life, whether it be for 5 minutes or 5 hours. The results have been amazing so, I’ve decided to try my hand at yoga. Why? To improve my posture, strength and flexibility and most important, to keep my mental space clear. Follow along as I begin my journey with tips from sites and yogis I hope to meet and learn from.

Yoga Basics is the main site I’ve been using to learn so far. Their Yoga for Beginners section has loads of valuable information and tips including but not limited to general practice guidelines, breathing techniques, and useful tools to have. The main tips I want to share are:

*Safety First

To avoid injuries, be aware of your physical condition and how certain poses or conditions will affect you. Understand that your body may not be able to go into certain positions (yet!) and that’s okay. Practice. Knowing what poses are for what level of yoga expertise can save time and pain. Also, try not to eat or drink at the minimum an hour before you practice.

*Play the Part

Making sure you’re wearing the proper attire makes a world of a difference, especially depending on the type of yoga you’re practicing. Loose and/or stretchable clothing will always be a good idea. Also, having access to a yoga mat, even if the most basic, provides a non-slip surface and padding. As time and expert level goes on, you can upgrade.

*Learn to Breathe!

Period. Everyone should learn how to properly breathe at rest and for any physical activity they are about to take place in. For yoga or meditation, one of the widest used breathing techniques is the three part breath or Dirga Pranayama. This technique allows you to breathe using the low belly, the low chest and the low throat. Inhalation begins with the belly, to the chest then throat and exhalation is the reverse.

*Start with a brief Meditation

This step is important because this is where the centering and grounding happens. Clearing your mind of clutter helps to focus and relax your mind and body.

*Warm up, Pose, Relax 

Be sure to warm up before posing and end with the relaxation pose, Shavasana.

Happy posing!

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