Ultimate Guide to Yoga for Beginners
Ultimate Guide to Yoga for Beginners

When it comes to yoga, there’s a lot of decisions to be made such as what style you should practice, which teacher jives best with your unique needs, and how the heck do you master a handstand? If you’re new to this whole ‘yoga’ thing, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know. From what style is right for you to the essential postures and online resources you can’t miss out on – We’ve left no stone unturned!

What Are The Different Styles Of Yoga?

What Are The Different Styles Of Yoga
What Are The Different Styles Of Yoga

Vinyasa

Teachers link movement and breath in a dynamic, fluid-like style that’s usually accompanied by music. Vinyasa classes move somewhat quickly through postures in a dance-like fashion that elevates heart rates and moods.

Kundalini

Unlike many other styles, Kundalini classes are typically all seated or reclined positions with various exercises designed to influence the body, mind, and spirit. You can expect meditations and breathing exercises to carry you on your path to enlightenment in a Kundalini class.

Ashtanga

Ashtanga is an advanced practice that follows a strict sequence. The postures are designed to ignite heat in the body for a more profound physical transformation. The postures are always performed in the exact same order, and the series gradually become more advanced.

Yin/Restorative

Yin and Restorative have some differences, but they both use props and extended holding times to provoke deep relaxation. These meditative practices aim to restore length and elasticity in deep connective tissues while tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system.

Hatha

Hatha reins it back in with the fundamentals of yoga postures. These slower-paced classes hold each posture for several breaths to give students the opportunity for adjustments. The Sanskrit term “Hatha” actually applies to any style of yoga that teaches physical poses.

Bikram

Bikram classes really bring the heat with twenty-six specifically-sequences postures and two breathing exercises. Each class in 90 minutes and always entails the same sequence, so you know what you’re in for!

Iyengar

Iyengar uses props and assists to guide students toward the best possible alignment in each posture. Teachers emphasize a slow and steady approach to helping students find a safe and effective way to navigate each shape.

How To Start A Home Practice

How To Start A Home Practice
How To Start A Home Practice

Find a quiet, uncluttered space in your home for practice.

Create a set time for your yoga and make it a priority.

Require a minimum practice time each day.

Prepare your schedule ahead of time.

Choose a practice platform online for variety or stick with a set sequence.

Take time to sit and be still.

Start small with realistic goals and beginner sequences.

Essential Yoga Poses For Beginners

Trikonasana — Triangle Pose

Benefits:

Decreases symptoms of menopause

Strengthens legs and core

Enhances balance and stability

Stretches groin, hamstrings, hips, shoulders, calves, spine and chest

Relieves stress and tension

Promotes healthy digestion

Stimulates abdominal organs

How To:

Stand tall at the front of your mat and take a wide step back with the right foot.

Turn your right toes out slightly and keep your left toes pointing forward.

Lift both arms out to your sides in a T-shape.

Exhale and reach your left fingertips straight ahead.

Place your left hand on your shin, ankle, or a block inside your front foot.

Extend your right arm towards the ceiling.

Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Balasana — Child’s Pose

Balasana — Child’s Pose
Balasana — Child’s Pose

Benefits:

Stretches back, hips, thighs, and ankles

Eases back pain

Relieves stress and fatigue

Soothes headaches

How To:

Start on all fours.

Open your knees a little wider than hip-width while bringing the big toes together.

Stretch your arms forward as you melt your forehead into the mat or a block.

Let the belly release between the thighs.

Breathe here as long as you need.

Virabhadrasana II — Warrior II Pose

Virabhadrasana II — Warrior II Pose
Virabhadrasana II — Warrior II Pose

Benefits:

Strengthens the arms, ankles, and legs

Tones the abdominal muscles

Stretches the chest, groins, and shoulders

Eases backaches

How To:

Stand tall at the head of your mat and take a big step back with your left foot.

Turn your left foot out and right toes straight ahead.

Line your front heel up with your back arch.

Inhale your arms out in a T-shape and gaze out beyond your right hand.

Exhale as you bend into the right knee, stacking it directly over the ankle.

Keep your spine straight and arms reaching equally in both directions.

Take 5 breaths on both sides.

Vrksasana — Tree Pose

Vrksasana — Tree Pose
Vrksasana — Tree Pose

Benefits:

Develops balance

Strengthens core, spine, thighs, calves, and ankles

Stretches chest, shoulders, groins, and inner thighs

Decreases flat feet

How To:

Stand at the front of your mat.

Begin to shift weight into your right foot as you kickstand your left foot.

Slowly lift your left foot off the ground and place the foot on your right ankle, calf, or inner thigh.

Let the left knee open to loosen any tension in the hips.

Keep your right leg straight without locking the knee.

Press your hands together at your heart or lift them overhead.

Stay here for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Pose

Benefits:

Promotes healthy digestion

Stretches hamstrings, shoulders, hands and calves

Reduces back pain and headaches

Improves blood flow to the brain

Strengthens legs, back, core, and arms

Decreases stress and fatigue

Prevents osteoporosis

Soothes symptoms associated with menopause and menstruation

How To:

Starting in a tabletop position, tuck your toes and root down through both hands.

Inhale and lift your knees off the mat.

Exhale and send your hips up and back, making a V shape with your body.

Straighten the legs to any degree and spread your fingers wide.

Roll the forearms in and the biceps away from your ears.

Let your head and neck unwind as you draw the shoulder blades down the back.

Engage your legs by pulling the kneecaps up to take weight away from the arms.

Release your heels toward the mat and tip your tailbone towards the ceiling.

Rotate your thigh bones inward.

Take 5-10 deep breaths here.

Bhujangasana — Cobra Pose

Bhujangasana — Cobra Pose
Bhujangasana — Cobra Pose

Benefits:

Strengthens back muscles

Improves spinal mobility

Stimulates abdominal organs

Reduces back pain

Opens the front side of the body

Stretches chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen

Decreases stress and fatigue

Therapeutic for asthma symptoms

Soothes sciatica

How To:

Begin lying on your belly with both palms planted under the shoulders and fingers spread wide.

Press the tops of the feet down.

Point your elbows straight back and hug your arm bones in towards your body.

Root your pubic bone down to the mat.

Inhale and roll your shoulders back to lift your upper body from the floor.

Keep your neck neutral and low ribs down.

Hold for one full breath before slowly exhaling back to the floor.

How To Work Your Way Up To Inversions

How To Work Your Way Up To Inversions
How To Work Your Way Up To Inversions

Strengthen your upper body.

Develop core stability.

Stretch your hamstrings daily.

Start small with simple inversions.

Seek advice and assistance from instructors.

Have patience with yourself and stay dedicated to progress.

Different Yoga Props

Mat, Blocks, Blanket, Bolster, Wheel, Strap

Best Online Resources For Yoga

My Virtual Yoga

My Virtual Yoga
My Virtual Yoga. Credits myvirtualyoga.com

My Virtual Yoga is an excellent platform for anyone interested in taking their practice to the next level. They use colorful cues to make choosing a class easier than ever! With a variety of lengths, styles, themes, levels, and teachers – There’s really something for everyone! Plus, there’s an added bonus for any French-speaking yogis – The website navigation and videos can all be set to French!

Website: myvirtualyoga.com

Trial: 7 days free.

Monthly Fee: $19/month or $199/year.

Instagram: @MyVirtualYoga

YogaGlo

YogaGlo
YogaGlo. Credits glo.com

YogaGlo boasts a wide range of renowned instructors met by an organized database of classes to choose from. Explore the different styles of some popular teachers from around the world and find what works best for you!

Website: yogaglo.com

Trial: 15 days free.

Monthly Fee: $18/month unlimited.

Instagram: @yogaglo

Gaia

Gaia
Gaia. Credits gaia.com

Formerly known as Gaiam, Gaia hosts an extensive collection of videos about yoga pilates, fitness, spirituality, wellness, and contemplative topics. You have the power to choose yoga classes based on teacher, style, level, focus, and duration. It’s also a highly-accessible platform, making an appearance on Roku, Apple TV, IOS, and Chromecast!

Website: gaia.com

Trial: $0.99 for first month.

Monthly Fee: $9.95/month, $20 for 3 months.

Yearly Fee: $95.40.

Instagram: @wearegaia

Grokker

Grokker
Grokker. Credits grokker.com

If you’re looking for an abundance of different classes with personalized tips and trick, Grokker is the place for you! This platform is rich in advice and wisdom from reliable yoga teachers and offers much more than just your average run-of-the-mill yoga classes. They also feature cooking classes, fitness courses, and sleep videos.

Website: grokker.com

Trial: 14 days free.

Monthly Fee: $14.99/month unlimited.

Instagram: @grokkerinc

Alo Moves

Alo Moves
Alo Moves. Credits alomoves.com

Formerly known by CodyApp, AloMoves is a fantastic place to grow your practice and learn from the most popular yoga celebrities around the globe.  The videos are visually beautiful and offer programs to keep your training on track. Choose classes individually or as part of a bundled series on different areas of focus such as flexibility, strength, functional fitness, yoga, and weight loss.

Website: alomoves.com

Trial: 14 days free.

Monthly Fee: $20/month

Yearly Fee: $17/month

Instagram: @alo.moves

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