So, you’ve finally decided to give yoga a try, but don’t know where to begin? Looking at yogis bending their bodies in unusual ways can be intimidating. You might even draw the wrong conclusion that yoga is not for you because it requires such a flexible body. The truth is you don’t need to be flexible to start doing yoga, on the contrary, practicing yoga will make you more flexible. Not only that, yoga can help with any fitness goal that you might have, from getting stronger to building balance and coordination, all you need is a tailored set of asanas. But we are getting ahead of ourselves…
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient Indian spiritual discipline, which was designed to enhance mind, body, and consciousness. Modern yoga is a repurposed version of Yoga, which only takes a few components of the original yoga, with the main aim to make you healthier. Modern yoga has two main components: Asanas and Pranayama
An asana is a body posture, which is performed for a very specific purpose. Some asanas improve flexibility, others make you stronger and more balanced. They can help you relieve stress and anxiety, help you gain weight or lose weight (depending upon which asanas you perform), and the list goes on. That is why it's very important to select which asanas you choose to include in your fitness regime.
Pranayama are breathing exercises that consist of breath control and synchronizing the breath with movements between asanas. Pranayama connects your body and mind, it also supplies your body with oxygen removing toxins, and provides physiological benefits such as decreasing stress, improving sleep quality, reducing high blood pressure. We have talked about the pranayama techniques you can start practicing in a previous blog post.
3 Tips for Beginners
Einstein once said “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world”, that is true for yoga as it is for anything else. You need to practice yoga regularly to achieve significant improvements in your health.
2.Practice with an empty stomach
It is advisable to practice on an empty stomach or at least 2-3 hours after your last meal.
3.Every Asana is Unique
The first tip that will fast-track your way towards your fitness goal is to acknowledge that each asana is unique and has a very specific purpose. That is why you will need to select your asanas wisely. As a beginner, it is better to start with easy-to-do asanas that will prep you for more advanced asanas. Here is a list of Yoga Asanas for beginners.
Yoga Asanas (Poses) for Beginners
1.Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
Sukhasana is the most basic yoga pose and will prepare you for difficult meditative poses. “Sukha” means easy or relaxing, that is why sukhasana should put you at ease. It is a comfortable, cross-legged seated position. Sukhasana is ideal for meditation and pranayama.
Practicing sukhasana will gradually strengthen the muscles of the back and improve body posture. It also helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
2.Balasana (Child’s pose)
Balasana or Child’s Pose is a resting pose. It is very relaxing because it opens your hips and elongates your back, relieving the tension caused by daily movements. It allows you to breathe deeply, restoring your energy and increasing your blood pressure, and helps you relieve stress and fatigue.
3.Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose is very helpful to keep your back healthy. It is also a part of Surya Namaskar which is a synchronized set of 12 asanas performed together. It makes your spinal region strong and very agile. It improves digestion, liver and kidney functions as well.
Practicing Bhujangasana daily can also help you reduce belly fat and cure digestive ailments like constipation. It is a great asana for those suffering from respiratory disorders and back pain.
4.Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana or Mountain pose is usually a starting position for all the standing asanas although it can be performed as an individual pose as well. It helps in correcting your posture and improves your balance by making your spine more agile.