Yoga Exercises for Beginners
After exercising, I feel happier, more positive, my sleep deepens, I wake up easier.
Getting yourself healthy doesn't have to be a big, uphill battle against yourself, full of pain, doubt, and hating your body .
- If you've already begun changing the way you eat by replacing chips and cookies with fruits and veggies, you are already halfway to a better body!
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Starting out with a quick, 30 minute walk around your neighborhood a few times a week is the best way to ease into exercising. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is another quick, (relatively) painless way to get in light exercise. Cleaning the yard or other physical household activities also gets your heart pumping. Really, living an active lifestyle is actually enough exercise your body needs.
Go to the park, beach, or on a light hike! Go swimming or ice skating or snowboarding. Anything physically engaging will help dramatically improve your health.
My two favorite forms of exercise are walking and yoga.
The benefits of doing yoga are endless:
- Improved flexibility
- Strengthened muscles
- Helps straighten posture
- Helps keep joints, ligaments, and tendons healthy
- Improves mood
- Increases energy
- Deepens sleep
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Helps concentration and focus
- Improves balance
- Boosts immune system
These are just a few of the benefits. I could keep going!
When I first started yoga, I started with an intense hot Bikram yoga class and it nearly killed me (okay, maybe not but it felt like it!) and was not the best introduction to yoga. However, I was immediately hooked when I left the class centered, balanced, and felt a calm, sweet peacefulness on the drive home. I was hooked!
Since then, I've played around with many forms of yoga and have narrowed down my favorite types to yin yoga and hatha yoga. Both are incredibly soothing and the emphasis is on being gentle with your body and connecting to the breath (great for people with lots of stress or anxiety). I also like that they aren't super focused on "working out" but more with the spiritual side.
If you are considering dipping your toes in the yoga pond, here are the best first poses to try out at home before you take your first class.
- By far one of my favorite poses. Easy to get into and it just feels great. Very restorative, great for nurturing and soothing a stressed, tense, or overactive mind.
- Another easy pose and great for spine health. It also feels great if you do a lot of abdominal work and need to stretch out sore muscles.
- This pose has taken me a long time to like. I had to build the arm strength to hold myself up and it took a while for the backs of my legs and my upper back to open up in this pose. It's a fundamental yoga pose so mastering this one is necessary for a great practice.
- A great pose for building arm and core strength. Tones the arms and prepares you for more difficult postures.
Standing Forward Fold
- Another favorite pose of mine. Releases tension in the back and opens up the backs of the leg and improves flexibility.
- A great pose to gather strength and energy from Mama Gaia up through the feet. I like to keep my hands in prayer in front of my chest and center myself before practice.
- The best pose of them all! After a good yoga routine, savasana is the reward for your hard work. Allows for peaceful meditation while you reap the benefits of the changes you made in your body.
When To Do Yoga
- Either at morning when you first wake up or before you go to bed, depending on the type of yoga you do.
- Lunch breaks are a great time to squeeze in a few poses, especially if you work at a computer all day.
Benefits of a Home Practice
I actually enjoy my home-practice more than going to classes.
I get to play around the poses and really listen to my body instead of worrying about what the person next to me looks like (I get a little competitive sometimes).
These online classes also gave me a better foundation (especially the Yoga with Adriene Foundation Series classes) from which to build my yoga practice as she goes into more detail and focused instructions that you may not otherwise get in a group class.
And I also like to meditate after class and by doing it at home, I'm not bothered by people gathering their bags and leaving the room.
Cultivating a strong home practice is a great way to get more familiar with your body and build strength without the worry of being judged.
The disadvantage is that you don't have a teacher to give adjustments if you are doing it wrong. I took classes for about six months before I left for India so I got a good idea of what each posture is supposed to feel and look like. I recommend taking classes and doing it on your ownthe best of both worlds!
The most important thing to remember
Is to be gentle with yourself and do what feels good whether you're at home or in a class. Don't push yourself just because the person next to you or on the video is going deeper into a posture. Give your body time to adjust and remember, the more you do it, the more your body opens up. Be gentle and don't overdo it.
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Posted in Fitness Post Date 04/07/2018