Most people are at least vaguely aware that yoga has health benefits. Unfortunately, the mental picture many people have of yoga practice involves twisting your arms and legs like a pretzel and balancing on one finger.
As impressive as that pose might be, yoga for beginners is usually a lot simpler. In fact, it’s safe to say that the only pretzels involved are found in people’s snacks, not on the yoga mat.
Yoga: Complex but Simple
Yoga is a practice that has been around for centuries. In some ways, it’s very complex, providing a spiritual practice that helps many people find inner peace and clarify their place in the world. In other ways, it’s just an organized way to do things we do every day – stretch and breathe. The beauty of yoga is that you can keep it simple or delve into the complexities depending on what you personally need.
Beginners yoga is usually kept on the simple side, focusing mostly on the practical aspects of how to move your body. You practice controlled breathing and being aware of what’s going on in your body at the moment. You learn specific moves or poses that begin the process of reminding your body how to be flexible.
How to Get Started With Yoga
If you’re wanting to try yoga, you have two options to start. You can find a class or use a video. Classes have the benefit of an instructor who can help you figure out what to do. Videos give you privacy and let you exercise on your own schedule. Whichever you choose, be patient with yourself and focus on progress rather than perfection.
You’ll start off learning some beginner poses. Yoga poses have descriptive names like “Downward-Facing Dog” and “Cobra” and “Corpse.” The names help you remember what the pose looks like. Most poses can be adapted if your body isn’t ready to do the full pose.
As you learn the poses common to beginners yoga, you’ll begin to notice that you’re able to stretch a little further or hold the pose a bit longer each time. As you get better, you’re likely to find that your yoga time is a peaceful, relaxing space in your day.
If flexibility and relaxation sound like something you need, give yoga a try. Even if you’re never able to twist into a pretzel, you’ll still appreciate the benefits to your body and mind that yoga can bring.