Exercise & Weight Training

Learning Yoga For Beginners Is Something You Can Do!

Learning Yoga For Beginners Is Something You Can Do!

Would you like a short learning yoga for beginners’ course? Then you have come to the right place. We will talk about yoga as an exercise, some of the poses, and an easy step-by-step guide to get you started. But first, let’s take the, ‘Do You Know Your Yoga’ Quiz!

silhouette of man learning yoga for beginners
Photo by Prasanth Inturi from Pexels

“Do You Know Your Yoga?” The Quiz

This is a short quiz to see if the ideas you have about Yoga are correct. Yoga is a very broad description that takes in a number of different types and styles so the questions and the explanations given for the answers are equally broad.

Question One: What is Yoga?

a/ An Exercise Program.

b/ A Meditation Program.

c/ A Healing Program.

d/ All of the above.

If you answered (D) then you get a tick. Well done.

Yoga can be any of these things and often is all of them at once. At its simplest level, it is an exercise program that, when practiced regularly will increase strength and flexibility in the body.

Because of the speed that positions are changed and the emphasis on static exercise many Yoga classes put an emphasis on breathing and directing energy and thought to different parts of the body.

This aspect of Yoga is where it most closely resembles a Meditation program, though exactly what meditation means in each person’s individual case is going to be different depending on him or her.

Finally, Yoga is most definitely a form of healing. It allows the increased flow of blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, greatly accelerating the healing rate.

The stretching actions are also good for healing tissue injuries providing they are done to the right depth. Overextending can lead to re-damaging an injury, so its important to know your limits.

Yoga can also be a fantastic pre-emptive healing strategy and this is why Prenatal yoga classes are so popular. They prepare a woman’s body for childbirth and because of the strengthening of the specific muscles woman who undergoes prenatal Yoga find it much easier to recover and get back into shape after birth.

Question Two: Yoga Exercises are________?

a/ Fast.

b/ Slow.

c/ Static.

d/ All of the above.

Yoga is usually a static exercise regime so (C) is your answer here.

However, an argument can be made for (B) because the movements between exercises are also part of the Yoga equation.

Often an exercise will involve a long slow stretch, gradually pushing a little further, but ultimately the stretch needs to be held for a certain amount of time to gain its full benefit.

Fast exercise programs are all about getting the heart and blood pumping, whereas Yoga is about releasing blockages and getting the blood flowing to all parts of the body.

This difference is quite important and a key element in the success and popularity of Yoga.

Question Three: Do You Have to Do Yoga In Classes?

A/ Yes.

B/ No.

The answer is no (B) – of course, you don’t.

Yoga is something that can be a fantastic group activity, but it doesn’t need to be. You are quite capable of doing Yoga sitting in your bedroom and no-one will ever know.

Other people go to the part to do Yoga in the sun with some friends. Others will do Yoga in an airport between stopovers. How and where you do Yoga is up to you.

What’s fantastic is you don’t need much room, and all it takes is a little time to work through your routine. Also, if no-one sees you doing it, nobody is going to know, unlike going for a run you won’t be panting like a dog or sweating like a big at the end of a session.

Yoga for Everyone: A Beginner’s Guide – Well Guides – The New …

These are good ones to learn as you build a regular yoga practice. … Modify: It’s a good idea for beginners to modify the pose by keeping your knees on the floor  …

Is Yoga the perfect form of exercise and relaxation?

Let’s make a list of what our ideal type of exercise would do.

Firstly it would be simple enough that anyone could do it, but have enough variations and different methods that it would maintain the interest of someone who had been practicing it for years.

It would need to be easy to learn so that people could pick up the basics quickly and start seeing the benefits as soon as possible.

To be a perfect form of exercise it would need to be capable of keeping our body in good shape all by itself. It would help with weight loss, circulation, and increasing the strength of the muscles.

It would stimulate the lymphatic system as well as the blood flow and help the body dispose of waste products, improving the overall immune response system.

It would also have benefits that went beyond health – the sharpening of the mind and an increased sense of well-being and contentment.

Ideally, it would be an exercise form that required no expensive equipment and that could be practiced practically anywhere, alone or in a group.

This is quite a demanding set of prerequisites for a perfect form of exercise. Let’s see if Yoga measures up to these standards.

Yoga is a discipline that has its roots in India.

The documents that modern Yoga is based on are hundreds of years old, and the principles behind these documents were practiced long before that.

It is a low impact form of exercise that has been tweaked and customized by literally thousands of different teachers and enthusiasts. They are numerous resulting ‘styles’ of Yoga, but they all have the same core background and beliefs.

What we refer to as Yoga in the West is usually the physical component of an entire life philosophy that has its own beliefs and code of ethics built-in.

The physical focus of Yoga is on poses and slow movements that are low impact and usually use nothing more than our own body.

Sometimes props and supports are used to assist the body in achieving and holding a particular pose. The poses can vary greatly in their degree of difficulty and even the same pose can have many different stages or levels.

The perfect example is a simple forward stretch. One person may be able to stretch out past their knees, another may be able to reach their ankles and somebody else may be able to touch the floor.

This level of progression allows us to see a physical difference in our flexibility level as we practice Yoga more regularly.

And because Yoga does not require any special equipment we are not refined to set class times and can practice Yoga anywhere and any time the fancy takes us. We can even do breathing exercises to clear the mind while sitting at a work desk.

Yoga has some incredible health benefits which stem from controlled breathing and increased blood flow. Our body’s organs simply do not operate at peak efficiency unless they are receiving the oxygen and nutrients that they need.

The waste products from our muscles and organs are carried away by the lymphatic system. Both systems can develop chokepoints and blockages that different Yoga poses will address and correct. The result is a better more regular blood pressure, a more efficient immune system, and an optimal digestive process.

Because Yoga movements are slow and simple, the focus on correct breathing has a pronounced mental effect on the body. It provides us with an enhanced ability to focus, and to un-clutter our thoughts. This is a valuable edge in modern life and its importance should not be underestimated.

Finally, many regular Yoga enthusiasts will tell you that there is a spiritual side to Yoga, how far this affects an individual will probably depend on their beliefs before they begin practicing Yoga, but it can perhaps be thought of most accurately with greater comfort and connection with your own body. The increased acceptance of yourself and comfort with your own being results directly in more happy people.

So, it looks like Yoga does indeed check all the boxes and can be thought of as a perfect exercise form.

Yoga Poses And What They Achieve

Yoga has been described as a science that seeks to achieve the harmonious and balanced development of the body, mind, and soul. It is a system that allows us to bring culture, balance, and happiness to ourselves.

It works via a need for strong mental discipline and the ancient theories, which it is based on regarding the interconnection between the mind and body, are now being regularly supported by modern scientific theory. Yoga consists of a number of different exercises or poses.

Examples of these poses are the cat and cow poses. Both are connected and begin with you on all fours on the floor. Arching the back upwards as a cornered cat places you in the cat pose and the reverse, lowering the back puts you into the cow pose.

Another common form of exercise is a forward bend that will help in the stretching of the lower back and hamstring muscles. There are a number of other advantages to forward bends: They release tension in the back neck and shoulder as well as increasing the flexibility of the spine.

Forward bends can be uncomfortable if you have any injuries in the next or back area, but regularly performing will help assist in the recovery of these injuries and even strengthen the area for the future.

The counterpart of a forward bend is a back bend. These open up the chest, hips, and rib cage area. As well as strengthening the arms, they also provide increased strength and flexibility to the shoulders.

This type of exercise is fantastic at increasing the stability of the spine but is also useful for relieving built-up tension along the front of the body and the hips. The relationship between back and forward bends is a perfect example of the importance of the body’s balance in Yoga.

Hatha Yoga poses were developed in India during the fifteenth century. They are designed as an aid to relaxation and healing and usually introduced with a concept of “the contemplation of one reality”.

The result of using these exercises properly and in conjunction with suitable breathing exercises and meditation is an increase in vitality, physical health, and stronger mental health.

Hatha Yoga exercises have become a part of numerous Yoga disciplines over the years and its quite common to see exercises such as the half-moon posture, the bow posture of the salutation posture even if it is not Hatha Yoga you are practicing. This is because the principles of Yoga and the movements and balances required are fairly consistent from one discipline to another.

Another simple Yoga exercise is doing the twist. Twists will strengthen and stretch your back or abdominal muscles and help to increase the flexibility of your spine.

They also aid in increasing your body’s circulation that brings oxygen supplies to your cells. This fresh blood and oxygen supply that is released as you twist will improve the functioning of your body’s internal organs.

A yoga session will often begin with a standing pose. This a very good low impact, low-stress starting point for a Yoga session. Standing poses benefit the legs and hips and help provide a sense of centering, balance, and of course strength to the legs themselves.

The end of a Yoga session is usually marked by a group of poses known as Relaxation and Restorative Poses. This group of exercises is designed to give the positive energies and forces released by the Yoga session to move throughout your body and benefit you completely.

woman doing yoga pose
Photo by Zen Bear Yoga on Unsplash

Learn Yoga: Step-by-Step

The benefits of Yoga are well known to everyone who has ever tried the discipline but if you are new to Yoga let me recap.

Yoga is a fantastically popular and effective way of strengthening you physically as well as mentally and spiritually.

This last ‘spiritual’ aspect may turn some people off, but it’s not something that needs to be associated with religion. Really the best alternate word for the spiritual strength of Yoga is contentment or happiness. It allows you to be a calmer person and more happy with yourself. Put like that it sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

So you’ve probably heard a little about Yoga and wondered what it’s all about. you probably have a few preconceptions and maybe an image of an old man with a long beard sitting in the lotus position springs into your head in automatic association with the word.

Let’s go through step by step what you can expect in a typical Yoga session when learning yoga for beginners.

Step One: The Introduction and Preparation.

Most Yoga classes begin in a standing position. There are both mental and physical reasons for this and they are closely connected. The standing position is the most natural Human position there is.

Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous scientific picture of the symmetry of the human body when it is in its natural standing position.

The outstretched arms and legs can have a perfect circle drawn around them and this is true of everyone regardless of their height or weight.

What this means is that a standing pose comes naturally to us – we are not worried about getting it wrong and we can concentrate on the state of the body.

Breathing exercises will be a key part of the warm-up stage for your routine. This is the only time in your life you will be ‘taught’ to breathe and its a skill which allows people to restore calm to their bodies and thoughts.

Step Two: The Main Routine

This is the art of your Yoga session which will vary the greatest depending on what forms of Yoga you are learning.

While the individual exercises you will be doing are going to be quite different, the nature of them will be very similar.

This will mean moving into certain poses and positions and holding those poses to allow the body to stretch out muscles and muscle groups that in many cases haven’t been given much attention during the week.

Some Yoga teachers will talk to you about energy points of chakras. These are important junctions in your body where congestion occurs and stretching them out allows energy to flow freely around your body.

Step Three: Ending the Session

While the main session is about releasing pent up energies, this stage of your Yoga workout is all about allowing that energy to flow around your body.

Many people have trouble with thinking about some strange mystic force that is flowing through you and driving it to certain parts of your body.

If you are one of them just mentally substitute the word ‘energy’ with the word ‘blood’. We know that the job of blood is to carry nutrients and oxygen around our body, and we know that if any part of our body is lacking in this supply that we will become ill, so it’s not a huge stretch to think of blood as the mystic energy force that brings health around our body, and exercises such as Yoga as being the method of ensuring the smooth and successful flow of that blood.

And, there you have it, in a nutshell, what it is like learning yoga for beginners 101 course. Take the time to do some more research, seek medical counsel before starting any exercise program, and be sure to do so with the help of a registered practitioner as well.

Images courtesy of Pixabay, UnSplash and Pexels. Featured Photo by Carl Barcelo on Unsplash.

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