You may be looking to strengthen and tone muscles, reduce stress, improve balance, concentration, or flexibility – these are all benefits that you can expect from practising yoga. There may be no reason – you are just following a hunch? Or you may be you are simply curious to find out what the fuss is all about. It could be a means to explore; what, only you will know.
There are different types of yoga that developed over the years. However, for a beginner, the key is to learn the basics first, before settling into practising the type of yoga that resonates with you. So, joining a beginners’ course is a good idea to lay some solid foundations for your practice. Do a little research and if you are still unsure, have a chat with the teacher. A well-qualified teacher will be able to advise on the suitability of the course for you.
What to expect?
A typical yoga session will start with settling into a comfortable breathing rhythm, warming up, working through different postures, asanas, and prepare the body for the main posture (peak posture), a winding down phase, with relaxation. That would be sufficient for a beginners’ yoga course. If you continue to practice, you may expect – especially for classes longer than 1 hour - a 10-15 breathing practice to be factored in or a short meditation practice.
What will I learn?
The aim of a beginners’ yoga course is to learn the basic yoga postures. In a course of 4 to 6 weeks, you are likely to learn postures like forward bends, downward facing dog, chair pose, cobra, warrior I and II, triangle. You will also learn how to synch breath and movement, so important in yoga and it is this that sets yoga apart from other form of exercises.
What do I need to bring?
Invest in a mat; it is more hygienic. If you can, also buy a couple of yoga blocks and perhaps a belt. You can buy a yoga starter kit that includes all these at reasonable prices. There is no need to overspend.
Show up! That is the most important step you can take as a beginner.
Have no expectations; be open minded as you approach your first class.
Introduce yourself to the teacher and the people settling their mat next to you.
Let the body be; do not force it into postures that your body is not ready for.
Be patient; as babies, we all learnt to walk before we could run.
Bring a smile! It is so important to step into your first class with a positive mindset.
If you continue to practice yoga after the beginners course and sign up for a general class, choose a type of yoga and a class that resonates with you.
Next beginners Yoga course will start in January 2021.