Beginner’s Guide To Yoga
Beginner’s Guide To Yoga
A practice derived from Ancient India, Yoga is thousands of years old and has been bringing health benefits to millions of people around the world ever since.
And if you haven’t already tried it, there are so many different reasons to tap into this amazing resource. As well as improving your strength and flexibility, doing Yoga is a great way of helping you to energise your body and relieve stress. An all-encompassing activity, for many, it’s even a way of life.
And the best thing about it is, whether you’re male, female, beginner or a fitness fanatic, there’s a Yoga class (and pair of amazing leggings) for you.
WHY DO YOGA?
Today, Yoga is extremely popular and there are lots of us who do it on a regular basis. Turning up to a class for the first time however can still be pretty daunting. If you’re trying to touch your toes next to someone who’s already turned themselves into a knotted shoelace, it can feel pretty intimidating to say the least!
Luckily, most Yoga poses can be split up into stages so you can choose how far you go depending on your level and experience.
And even though Yoga is largely associated with Buddhism, you don’t need to start swatting up on your ancient texts either. The variety of influences in fact just enriches your experience and allows you to incorporate even more benefits into the practice.
Some people will agree Yoga is all you need to stay fit and healthy, others say it’s all about balance and that Yoga is a great way of complementing your current fitness regime.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THE MIRAFIT TEAM LOVES ABOUT YOGA:
• It’s great for flexibility – not just your muscles but your joints too. We spend far too much time sat still in front of screens and it’s not doing our bodies any good staying hunched over a desk all day. Also, being more flexible allows you to work your muscles more which is great for strengthening too.
• It’s great for strength – anyone who says Yoga is easy, hasn’t done Yoga. Holding some of the more advanced poses takes your whole body and if you’re used to isolating muscles at the machines, then be prepared for a bit of a shock.
• It’s great for your mind – meditation is really beneficial for helping to reduce anxiety as well as for concentration. It can be tricky to stop your mind from wandering though. Holding poses and stretching your muscles is a great way of giving your mind enough to think about so it doesn’t get distracted, but also has a calming and soothing effect – ideal for clearing your head after a busy day.
• It’s great for injury prevention and healing – injuries can cause all sorts of ongoing problems, which can leave you imbalanced and at risk of further problems. By focusing on your alignment, you can see where your weaknesses lie and bring them back into balance with the rest of your body.
• It complements other types of training – as much as we love sports like running and tennis, over-working one particular area or side of your body can lead to problems with posture and weakness in other parts of the body. There’s not one part of the body Yoga neglects and giving each muscle your full attention helps to develop a more well-rounded level of fitness and mobility.
• Breathing – we all have times when we come across things like anxiety, depression, anger and frustration; breathing can have a huge impact on how we deal with these emotions. Not only is it a way of bringing an element of control into something we may not feel in control of, but slow, calm breathing is a way of telling the body to relax and let go.
Embrace your spiritual side with some Jivamukti Yoga, get your sweat on with a course of Bikram Yoga and learn to be still and calm with Yin Yoga.
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED WITH YOGA?
Yoga classes are a great way to get you started as adopting the different poses or ‘asanas’ can be tricky for a beginner, and will usually take some correction from an experienced teacher before being able to get them right.
This isn’t to say you can’t practise what you have learnt at home - it will in fact encourage your progress, as well as enabling you to incorporate more strength and flexibility training to your usual fitness routine.
Yoga Mat – Yoga certainly gets you into some uncompromising positions and when trying to pull the perfect Chakrasana, you don’t want to slip! Our Cork Mats are designed to give you the proper grip you need, so that you feel confident in your own space while you concentrate on your Yoga workout. Cork also carries antibacterial properties, helping you to keep your kit clean and fresh.
Yoga Blocks – Whether you need a little extra support, height or stability, Yoga Blocks are brilliant pieces of equipment. Sit on them to help relax your joints, rest your head on them when stretching so you can hold your pose for longer or lean on them when you can’t quite reach the floor. Turn them on their side or double them up for extra height depending on your needs.
Yoga Wheel – Great for support while you work on the flexibility, our Cork Yoga Wheels will ensure you maintain your alignment as you curve your back doing positions such as Chakrasana, Matsyasana and Kapotasana. It can also be used to challenge your balance and strength as well as used for extra grip when you stretch. Opening up the front of your body can be particularly difficult, to do so the Yoga wheel can really help you do this while you achieve a much deeper backbend.
Explore our full Yoga and Pilates range!