Welcome to our third post in our holiday self-care series. Getting Started in Yoga. Yoga can be intimidating. I personally enjoy yoga, but when I first started balance was not my friend. I found that the key was for me to be patient with myself and enjoy the process of learning something new. Yoga and meditation work in tandem mindfulness to help keep you centered.
Getting Started With Yoga
Yoga helps you to improve your balance, lose weight, build concentration, and release stress, all in an easy to do, relaxing routine. What’s not to love? Just what is yoga all about, and how do you get started?
What Is Yoga?
Yoga has been developed and perfected for over 5,000 years. Originally from Northern India, yoga is now enjoyed around the globe. Numerous scientific studies have probed into its many health benefits. Simply put, yoga is a series of movements which help to exercise the body, mind, and spirit. By gently stretching and strengthening various muscle groups, along with open breathing, the body counteracts the sluggish sit-at-a-desk routine that many of us fall into in modern times.
Yoga is by its very nature meant to work for everyone. It works for the young and old. For the sick and well. For those with injuries and challenges. Yoga’s intrinsic design is to help every single person reach their potential.
What Do I Need to Do Yoga?
Some sports have a high cost to even get started. Take a look at the price of modern golf clubs. But with yoga, it’s designed for every single person. You need something soft on the floor beneath you. That’s about it. An inexpensive mat can do quite fine to get started. You can wear an old t-shirt and a pair of sweats. All that matters is that you get moving. That you stretch your spine, breathe in deep, and give your body that gentle motion that it’s been craving.
Learning yoga with an in person instructor is ideal. as with any exercise routine is greatly helped – at least in the beginning – by having a hands-on person there with you. In any form of exercise, there are safety considerations involved. You want to position your hands so they are not twisting the wrists. You want to ensure your ankles are supported. For many yoga poses there are modifications available to account for a variety of body challenges.
Look around for local instructor options. Maybe there are free yoga classes offered at a local community center. Even if you just sign up for in-person classes for a few weeks, that will be enough to get you the time you need to figure out the basics. That way you get that foundation solid and can move forward on your own. If you don't think you are ready to join a class there are options. Online classes and DVD classes available.
Yoga is an activity of a lifetime. It ensures you prevent dangerous falls, keep your mind sharp, and reduce stress. Start your path in yoga now. Your body will thank you for decades to come.
Lisa Shea, in collaboration with Shelly W.