Are you interested in trying yoga? Anxious? Well don’t worry. Many people feel a little intimidated or apprehensive to start practicing yoga but there is really nothing to fear. Here are some tools and tips that will help you start your yoga for beginners practice immediately.

What Is It?

In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, Yoga translates to “union”. It refers to the union of body, mind, and spirit. The physical poses or postures that a lot of people in the west think of when they contemplate yoga are called asanas. These physical postures or asanas are just one part of the eight-limbed system of yoga. Much of this system deals with spiritual and mental aspects of the self not the physical.

What Style to Choose?

There are many different styles of yoga to choose from. Gyms and studios usually provide hatha and vinyasa yoga for beginners classes. The word hatha actually refers to yoga in general as all yoga styles are hatha yoga. However, classes referred to as hatha are usually slower paced, gentle, and focused on the basics of stretching and breathing in different poses. Vinyasa classes involve more movement and are more vigorous. Both types are usually fine for beginners. Just remember to find classes labeled as yoga for beginners.

There are many styles of yoga to choose from and choosing the right style for you will have an impact on whether you stick with it or not. Try different styles and teachers until you find one that resonates with you. Research the different styles, which include hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, power, iyengar, kundalini, bikram, hot yoga, anusara, jivamukti, forrest, kripalu, integral, moksha, sivananda, laughter, and others.

Where to Start… Home, Gym, or Studio?

Learning from an actual, live teacher can't be beat, so taking a yoga for beginners class at a local gym or studio is best. Classes at gyms typically focus more on the physical workout that yoga provides while classes at yoga studios involve more mind, body, spirit aspects like meditation, breathing, and chanting in addition to asanas.

If you don’t have the resources or desire to start with a class, the best thing to do is get a yoga for beginners DVD for use at home. Yoga books and yoga card decks are great resources as well for learning more about technique and specifics of poses, but starting with a yoga for beginners DVD will be easier as it requires less effort on your part. In addition, there are many great yoga for beginners resources online like virtual classes and step by step guides.

What Do You Need?

You will need a yoga mat and comfortable clothes that fit correctly and are not too big. That’s it! Those are the bare necessities. In addition, you might want to have a couple of blocks, a strap, and a towel or yoga rug depending on what type of class or style you choose, but a yoga mat and comfortable clothes are all you really need to get going.

Things To Do and Know When Taking Classes

o Shoes off: You should take your shoes off when entering a yoga studio. This helps keep the space clean. Yoga is done barefoot, without shoes or socks.

o Cell phones off: Turn your cell phone off before entering the facility.

o Arrive on time: Arrive at least ten minutes before class so that you have time to check in, put your things away, talk to the teacher, and set out your mat.

o Tell the instructor you are a beginner/new: Tell the instructor know that you are new or a beginner and if you would like help.

o Stay for the whole class: Refrain from leaving in the middle of class as it is rude to the teacher and disruptive to the class. If you decide you don’t like the class or the teacher it is proper etiquette to stay until the class is over.

o Don’t skip savasana: This is the final resting pose and is one of the most important and most enjoyable. Many people realize that it is on of their favorite poses.

Put the above tips and tools to work for you and you’ll be comfortable with your yoga practice very soon! To find out more about yoga for beginners, follow the link: Yoga For Beginners.

Author's Bio: 

Melissa Wheeler is a long time yogi, holds a BS in Kinesiology, a certification in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, a certification in Ayurveda, and is pursuing a MA in Integrated Health Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is also an administrator for TheYogiShop.com your yoga supplies and accessories store. Check out our selection of the perfect supplies and tools!