Category - Yoga Tips

Short articles on all things yoga.

Yoga Tips

7 Important Tips for Yoga Beginners

Here are key yoga tips to helping you sustain your practice. I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for nearly 10 years. I still consider myself to be a beginner and sometimes I struggle with poses but I keep on practicing with the belief that all is coming. I have used yoga to relieve stress, anxiety to tone my muscles and for greater all around fitness. If you are thinking to try yoga or are still very new to the practice, I’ve outlined seven tips that will start you on the road to a more balanced life.

  1. If you have any health problems first talk to your doctor and explain what type of yoga you plan to practice. Depending on where you live and your doctor, you might have to show him/her photos of the poses you intend to practice. If you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, a history of retinal detachment, or heart disease your doctor might rule out some poses or types of yoga. Make sure you follow whatever medical advice your healthcare provider gives.
  2. Find a yoga class that fits your abilities. I’ve struggled through more advanced classes before and it is not fun or inspiring! Talk to prospective teachers and sample a few classes before signing up. Remember, its important to take small steps every day! Try a few beginner classes before you attempt more advanced or vigorous classes. Don’t move too quickly and allow your body to adjust. Your body will thank you for this.
  3. Listen to your body and be aware. Although yoga is low impact you can still hurt yourself, if you force poses. Make sure the instructor understands your level of experience, any injuries or limitations that you may have. Don’t feel pressured to push ahead too quickly — in fact if your instructor is pushing you too hard this might be a sign that this is not the class for you. Remember, yoga can be relaxing and extremely rewarding if you take your time.
  4. If you can’t find a class that meets your needs, you can always practice at home. Right now I am using Daily Yoga to take me through a full yoga routine in the mornings. There are various classes led by a real person who talks you through each pose. I also suggest reading reviews in the app store and talking to others recommendations.
  5. Why not try private lessons? If you can book some one-on-one sessions with an instructor in your area, you can get a yoga class tailored to your needs and abilities. This is a good way to get started and you can always join group lessons or practice at home after you’ve had some private sessions to become more comfortable and learn the basics.
  6. Find a yoga partner. Sometimes I practice with my husband its nice motivation and is a great way to keep up your enthusiasm and interest.
  7. This goes with saying, eat lightly before practice. Wait at least two hours after meals before yoga practice. An empty stomach is best, but don’t get too hungry or you won’t be able to focus or enjoy yourself during the relaxation or meditation exercises.

Now it’s time to grab your mat and get thee to the yoga studio!

Check out other tutorials – How to Use YogaJellies to protect wrist and knees; and How to Wheel Pose for all levels.

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Yoga Tips

How Yoga Benefits Mind and Body

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I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for many years. I intuitively return to the practice when I’m dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety. Rewind to the beginning of this year’s PhD drama, I rummaged through our storage closet, unrolled my dusty mat and started downward-dogging. I immediately felt better. My husband felt better too 🙂 Its true what they say: Yoga is magic! Well actually, the feeling is rooted in science and backed by pretty solid evidence.

Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit and it is a popular mind-body therapy in the East and in the West. Yoga is unique because it incorporates physical activity, deep breathing and meditation. These elements together work remarkably well to accomplish harmony and helps our minds work in synchrony with the body. I could write a dissertation on the benefits of yoga but I’ll spare you! Instead, I’ve listed five benefits of yoga below. I hope you are tempted to try a form of yoga and are open to receive the physical and emotional benefits this ancient practice has to offer.

  1. Yoga will make you more flexible. The practice of yoga boosts the range of motion in your muscles and ligaments, while reducing your risk of injury. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture. The emphasis on stretching has been before or after exercise but yoga is stretching – with an emphasis on holding asanas or postures [1].
  2. Yoga is much more than stretching. Its benefits extends to the heart and cardiovascular system. Yoga has been found to significantly improve the risk factors for cardiovascular disease including: high plasma triglycerides (TG) and low HDL “good cholesterol”, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate waist circumference, HbA1c levels (which can indicate people with prediabetes or diabetes) and insulin resistance [2].
  3. Yoga massages all organs of the body. Yoga is perhaps the only exercise that can work on through your internal organs in thorough manner, including those that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. Some poses in particular are twist poses. Trikonasana, or triangle pose, is an example of a twisting pose that strengthens the obliques, pelvis and internal organs. This stimulation and massage of the organs benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning of a likely onset of disease or disorder.
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    Elle Schnurr practicing Extended Triangle Pose, Utthita Trikonasana

     

  4. Yoga offers a safe way to detox the body. Inevitably in yoga class you will hear you’re going to “rinse the spine”, “cleanse the liver” “massage your organs.” Sounds more painful than it is!Through stretching and twisting, pull and pushing yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body. This leads to benefits such as delayed aging, increased energy and a zest for life.
  5. Yoga is an excellent way to tone your muscles. Muscles which have been flaccid and weak are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess fat and flaccidity. Many asanas in yoga are essentially weight lifting with your own body weight.  Don’t believe me, try holding warrior II for one minute.

These enormous physical benefits are just one of this powerful practice. It is now an open secret that the will of the mind has enabled people to achieve extraordinary physical feats, which proves beyond doubt the mind and body connection. In fact yoga = meditation, because both work together in achieving the common goal of unity of mind, body and spirit which can lead to a type of bliss that can only be felt through the practice of yoga.

Practice makes perfect. But with yoga, perfection is not possible nor is it the goal. What I’ve noticed through my daily practice is that I am healthier, and calmer under pressure.

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NEXT Steps to Boost your Health & Yoga Practice

See What Type of Yoga is Best for Me and 7 Important Tips for Yoga Beginners

Watch Yoga tutorials – How to Use YogaJellies to protect wrist and knees; and How to Wheel Pose for all levels.

Read posts on yogic foods Five Myths about Diet & Weight Loss that You Should Ignore and the The Ultimate Vitamin C Cheatsheet

Shop the Hottest Health Trends 2018 on my Amazon page

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for exclusive content here.

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