Yoga for Beginners
If you’re looking for ways to change up your fitness routine, yoga is a great option.
Let’s face it. We all get bored over time, and while change can be stressful, it can also be exciting and stimulating, particularly when it means better results at the gym.
In fact, variety and change are key components of any successful, long-term fitness program. Over time, your body gets bored with the same exercises and workout schedule. It gets used to what you’re doing, and you quickly stop seeing improvements. Finding yourself in this kind of maintenance stage is common, but if you’re like me, you probably want to keep pushing the bar.
Yoga offers a fantastic option for changing things up and challenging your current level of fitness. But in addition to being a source of variety, yoga offers a number of other benefits:
- Flexibility – The stretches in yoga offer great improvements in flexibility, and better flexibility means better workouts and better fitness results. If you’re more flexible, you’re also less likely to get injured at the gym.
- Strength – Yoga isn’t just for the mild-mannered. No matter how simple a pose may seem, yoga helps to strengthen your muscles and can even contribute to lean muscle mass. You’re not going to bulk up with yoga, but it definitely helps keep your muscles in shape.
- Energy – One of the biggest effects of yoga is improved energy. This is due to a number of reasons, including the benefits I’ve already mentioned.
- Peace of Mind – A benefit of yoga that’s often overlooked is its stress-reducing properties. Much of yoga involves relaxation exercises and focused breathing, both of which improve your mental functioning and overall sense of wellbeing.
- Body Awareness – This one’s often overlooked too, but yoga is one of the best ways to improve your body awareness. Increased awareness of things like muscle function, posture, balance, and discreet changes in your body will lead to better workouts all around.
Yoga for Beginners
If you’re a beginner to yoga, there are a number of resources available to you. First and foremost, check out yoga classes at your gym or see if there are classes in your neighborhood. Sometimes a group setting is just what you need to stay motivated.
But if you don’t have the time or the money to join a class, or if the group thing is a little intimidating, there are some great options for yoga at home. All you need is the right video and a yoga mat.
For the complete package, I recommend this Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit. It comes with everything you need, including 2 instructional yoga videos on DVD, a bonus meditation video for completely de-stressing, a yoga mat, a yoga brick to help with your posture, and a yoga strap to help you enter the stretches more deeply.
If you’re looking for some of these yoga aids on their own, this PowerBlock SportBlock and these Latex Stretch Bands can help you get more out of your yoga experience.
Yoga Positions for Beginners
While I think an instructional video or class is best suited for describing how to enter and exit various yoga stretches, there are a few positions that are particularly suitable for beginners:
- Child Pose
- Half Moon Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Tree Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Downward Dog
- Cat / Table / Cow Poses
- Warrior I / II Poses
- Bow Pose
- Corpse Pose
Yoga for Beginners – Some Final Tips
Most people don’t realize that yoga originally developed in order to withstand long meditations. For all around health and wellness support, it’s a good idea to remember this and include meditation in your own yoga routine. Either way, make sure you always focus on your breathing.
It’s also recommended that you stay hydrated throughout any prolonged yoga practice. This VPX Coco Fit Coconut Water may be the perfect intra-yoga drink, as it’s packed full of health nutrients and energizing electrolytes!
Have any questions or feedback about Yoga for Beginners? Please leave a comment below…