So you are interested in starting yoga practice, great! You have come to a right place. In my post I will cover topics such as:
How do you go about starting yoga practice?
How to choose the perfect yoga style?
What do you need to get started?
Yoga practice is not only an exercise, but has a rich back ground and deeper meaning. Regular practice has wonderful benefits for the body, mind and soul. Read more in my own article:
How to Experience Yoga For The First Time?
This is a very personal choice. There is no right or wrong way of starting your yoga practice! Some people like to do yoga in the privacy of their home and others like to attend regular classes! A third one might want to participate in a yoga retreat to get going.
You should examine the pros and cons of each method before making your decision. All the methods bear similar costs, membership versus retreat versus setting up your yoga room at home, spread over different amount of time.
How to learn yoga at home?
This is typical choice for people who short of time, having irregular schedules due to for instance shift work or travel a lot. It will be difficult for these people to fit regular yoga classes to their chaotic schedules.
People who live in remote areas also rarely have access to a great yoga studio on the their front door. Yoga is also not equally popular in all parts of the world.
Besides this, there are also people who are struggling with extra weigh or just don’t feel comfortable with their own bodies or feel intimidated about the clumsiness of their initial attempts for yoga poses.
So how does one get started with learning yoga at home? It’s important to have the necessary instructions, equipment and space for the yoga practice.
Setting Up Your Own Yoga Retreat
You can do yoga anywhere, bedroom, living room, garage, garden set or outside on the deck or the lawn. I recommend you will always do yoga at the same place as it helps to establish a habit.
You also need to set aside a quiet place, where are will be able to concentrate.
- You should take time for yourself
- Make sure you are not distracted by pets or children.
- Switch off the sound on all your devices. Calm environment is the key here.
Besides from minimizing the distractions you can do other things to increase your concentration levels in your chosen environment.
- Lighting is important, if you do your workout outside, great, but for inside practice I suggest softer and more natural light.
- Aromatherapy, with scented candles, insences, or my personal favourite Ayurveda aroma oils are good aid for creating a pleasant scent which will help you to focus.
- Plants are often overlooked, but having living things in your yoga room is going to improve the quality of air and ease your breathing.
Choosing Your Yoga Equipment
Since you will be practicing yoga home, you’ll be needing some yoga equipment. The bare essentials are:
- Non slip surface aka Yoga mat. The come in all colors and materials. Take your pick, but it’s best to choose and antibacterial surface to help to keep your mat clean.
- Meditation pillow. This is really a must as a beginner is unlike to be able to sit a lotus positions for long time.
- Yoga belt. This is an other important piece of yoga equipment if you are stiff and not so flexible.
- Meditation timer. I suggest to get a timer, not only for meditation, but for beginners it is often beneficial to increase their flexibility or relaxation by staying in certain position for extended time.
- Meditation and relaxation blanket will come in handy as in the state of deep relaxation, our body temperature tends to lower down. Right blanket can also be taken to the beach or the mountain if you decide to take your yoga practice outside.
So that’s it really, you can use as much or as little money on the above articles, according your budget and personal preference.
Forget about the expensive yoga clothing that every sport brand has to offer, what you need is comfortable and none restrictive clothing.
If you are woman, depending on your cup size, you might need to wear a well fitting sports bra.
You might also consider a bag to transport and store your yoga mat, it will probably pay off later on, when you want to take your mat with you on holidays or yoga studio if you decide to join one.
Choosing Your Yoga Program
Since you are going to do yoga home, you will need good guidance in getting started. Yes, there are plenty of videos out there on Youtube, but honestly most of them are rubbish.
Nowadays anyone can upload a video online and claim to be a yoga guru, so you really aught to be careful. For an expert this is easy, I would never trust an instructor who’s own alignment is wrong? But for a beginner this can be a daunting task.
Since you are a beginner, you need to ensure that you learn the correct poses and techniques, to keep you both safe and allowing you to receive the maximum benefits from your yoga practice.
This is why I actually recommend you get started with a good program with qualified and certified instructors, which you can either download or view online.
I have reviewed many programs in my yoga career, but only one, has gained my full approval. You can read my review of their whole program here:
The great thing about this program is that once you gain little bit more experience, you can continue with the same program and advance your practice. It will also help you to select the perfect yoga style for you.
How To Learn Yoga at a Retreat
You will have a holiday at some beautiful destination and you get to meet other people who have the same goal! You get someone to teach you the correct alignment and you’ll be on your way to perfect yoga practice!
Sound perfect, right? But before you pack your suitcase, please read the cons of this approach.
You need to have considerable amount of cash available right away, since most of these retreat costs thousands of euros. You particularly have to be careful in reading the small text to ensure you know what is included. Questions to ask are:
Are flights included? Most of the time the answer is no! This means you have to reserve and pay your own ticket and ground transportation to the destination.
What type of room does the price include? A lot of the time people notice last minute they have to share a room with someone else, or pay a large sum to upgrade to a private room.
Are meals included? Most of the time they are, but not always!
What kind of food does the retreat offer? If you are someone with a paleo diet, you might not want to go to a retreat that only offers Ayurvedic vegan meals.
Are he excursion included? Most of these retreats promise wonderful excursion, but take an extra payment for them.
How many hour of yoga are included per day and are any private sessions included? This is important as you might not get any private time with the teacher except if you are willing to pay for his or her private tuition fee.
Are you religious? Often the yoga retreats spend some time exploring the Hindu traditions of the yoga practice in terms of chanting and rituals. You can read more about the traditional side of yoga in my article about yoga sutras.
Will the instructor be available for any questions after the retreat? It is not often that the yoga teachers will be willing to continue a customer relationship with after the retreat is over, so you might end up with lots of guidance and no answers to your questions.
I would suggest you do your research properly! Please take a look at the large selection of Yoga retreats available at BookYogaRetreat website.
They are a great booking site that have gathered an amazing collection of all sorts of yoga retreats, different style, places and price classes.
How To Learn Yoga at Yoga Studio
You need to make sure you know that not every yoga studio is the same even if it has a good reputation and is led by qualified instructors.
Memberships to quality studios are often very expensive, you save large amounts if you buy a yearly subscription. How ever please consider the following before you purchase one:
Consider your goals! How old are you? How flexible and fit are you? Are you pregnant? Do you want to loose weight? These are all important question deciding what type of yoga will suite you.
Select one that teaches one type of yoga! There are plenty of studios out there teaching everything possible from Pilates to Ashtanga Yoga. In my opinion, the once that concentrate on one style have a better quality.
Make sure their ideology fits yours! Many Yoga centers are spiritual, which is great, that is if you are to and are looking for spiritual inspiration. If not, seek out one that only considers yoga a type of sport.
Don’t make your decision lightly! There are plenty of studios out there, most of them offer some sort of test attendance, use it to evaluate the place and the teachers.
How To Learn Yoga at Private Yoga Sessions
From my personal advice the best way to get going is by first having few private hours with a qualified yoga teacher. This way you are sure you will not get hurt and you will start your yoga practice off the correct way.
It also allows you to examine if yoga really is something you want to start practicing. There are few who cannot get into the flow so to speak and feel afterwards the money they spend to setup their practice was wasted.
This might sound like an expensive approach, but often only few hours are needed to get a good foundation and a yoga routine started, after which you can continue the practice at the comfort of your home.
My Loving Advice
Which ever way you choose, I hope you will take my advice into account. My mission is to help you improve and at the same time keep you safe and happy.
ॐ Love and Light,