Which Yoga Is Best for Beginners: An Introductory Yoga Guide

Yoga, that is one of the ancient teachings which has been practiced in India for 5000 years, consists of relaxing exercises with meditation features. Breathing techniques also take an important place in yoga sessions with physical postures and poses called “Asana”. Yoga exercises that provide stress relief and relaxation can provide a more peaceful mood, a flexible body, and a balanced posture. Many people who want to live healthily and feel happy as well as having spiritual and physical relaxation tend to do yoga. If you want to start yoga as well, there are certain types of yoga which is recommended for beginners.

Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga are generally suggested for beginners. Those two types are the most suitable ones for those who are new to yoga. Yoga is a pleasant and relaxing exercise for beginners, but it does bring some risks. In situations such as overstretching of muscles and straining of joints, various injuries may occur. For this reason, it is important for beginners to be careful and get information from a yoga expert. Care should be taken to keep the environment where yoga will be performed quiet and calm. You should start by getting yourself a good mat for yoga. Having materials like water and towels with you while doing yoga also helps you to perform your yoga sessions more efficiently.

Taking small steps every day on the road to the most challenging poses, getting stronger gradually will remind you of your effort when you can make these challenging poses, and thus your enjoyment will be completely different. Focus on your breaths at your most challenging moments and enjoy every moment of your yoga path of discovery. You pushed yourself and succeeded in getting into a difficult pose. However, if your breath is stuck at this point and it does not flow easily, then it would be best to step back. Instead, it is best to be in an area where you can breathe easy by staying connected with your breath and body and trying to expand your borders in this area.

If you feel that you are not able to do yoga because you can not do poses that require a lot of flexibility and strength, give up immediately. Because yoga is not just about the poses that look cool on Instagram and these poses are not the only way to apply it to your life. Get on your mat every day and take time to explore. The things we feel emotionally and the intensity and pressure they create are stored in our physical bodies. Especially on the hips and shoulders. When you apply the poses that open and relax these areas with awareness, you can break into tears with the effect of this intensity and the feeling of lightening. Do not be angry with yourself at such a moment, do not suppress your emotions. On the contrary, embrace them. Allow yourself to relax and let it go.

The Beginners’ Yoga: How and What to Do

Yoga is more than a trend sport, it is philosophical teaching that began in India almost two thousand years ago. Thanks to physical and spiritual training, it is aimed to reach the person’s essence. Physical workouts that are known as Asanas and practiced since the 70s are known and preferred. Since its creation, yoga has been constantly renewing itself. Thus, apart from the traditional shapes, there are many modern variations today. The common goal of all of them is that the body, soul, and mind are one and thus lead a healthier and more comfortable life.

When talking about yoga, what is often meant is Hatha yoga, one of the types related to the physical side of the training. It is aimed to balance the body and mind with the help of light physical exercises, breathing exercises, and meditations. This common yoga style is quite suitable for beginners and people of age. Beginners’ attention: Get help from a yoga teacher at first. Only in this way can you be sure to do the exercises correctly and effectively.

There are many yoga styles you can discover if you are a little more experienced or want to start a different one. You can find the type of yoga that appeals to every demand with its exciting options, from dynamic power yoga to acro yoga for two. There is a suitable type of yoga for you. Kundalini yoga comes to mind as a more spiritual yoga style. It is aimed to experience feelings of happiness in this yoga style, in which fluent movement currents are concentrated with breathing exercises. Stretching movements in Kundali yoga are performed with adaptive exercises adapted to each other. Strong exercise movements are supported by intense breathing exercises, meditation, and songs.

For example, let’s look at Asthanga yoga. Another name for ashtanga yoga is power yoga; because this dynamic yoga style is one of the most challenging types of yoga. Classical figures are made much faster and in a certain order. In each exercise, the breaths are held for five breath lengths. Exercises require good fitness and especially strengthen the mid-body part. This style is not very suitable for beginners. Acro yoga, which is an extraordinary and quite new type, is a style that combines meditative and acrobatic accents. In these exercises done by two people, one of the partners feels the lightness of the exercises by getting support from the other partner and performs them flying in the space. Only the body is not trained here. At the same time, a sense of trust and courage against the partner is strengthened.

Positive Effects of Yoga on Beginners

Yoga allows us to better understand the body and mind; so we can have a more conscious effect on our health. In addition to strengthening the inner balance, yoga has many more positive effects on our body.

  • Strengthening the body and mind

While many types of sports operate only certain body areas, yoga strengthens by covering the whole body and mind. The muscles strengthen and stretch with the steps of movement done with yoga. Joints become more flexible and organs are mobilized. Apart from this, hormones regain balance. Because some Asanas have a relaxing effect on the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for the production of the stress hormone called cortisol.

  • Better balance and coordination

Thanks to the yoga postures, tendons, muscles, and joints are strengthened. Many positions also strengthen the spine and abdominal muscles; Thus, all body elements that are important for balance are worked out. In addition, the ability to coordinate with regular exercises is trained. The positive effects experienced with yoga are not only limited to training; It provides a better body posture in daily life.

  • The meditative effect

According to the yoga style, the importance of meditation changes in exercises. The meditative effect may also come to the fore in body-weighted styles. Because certain breathing exercises and breathing deeply and regularly in general not only have a positive effect on our brain and the entire nervous system but also their meditative effect is felt. In this way, we can learn to concentrate more on breathing and purification.

  • The detox effect

In general, yoga accelerates metabolism and has a regenerating effect on the body. When some poses are done regularly, it is easier for the body to purify from toxins, especially post-twisting or bending postures called crocodile postures are extremely effective for detox.

The Right Yoga Equipment for Beginners

In order to give yourself fully to the yoga exercises, you will need a comfortable place and the right equipment. With just a few yoga accessories, you can experience body postures and meditations without being disturbed and as intensely as you need. You will definitely need a mat to lay it on the ground so that you do not slip. Your mat should be neither too thin nor too thick and a little longer than your height. You will need to perform certain practices bare feet to prevent slippage, even if you have a mat under you. Wear light clothing that can stretch and breathe without restricting your movements. Also, let me remind you that you can sweat especially during some yoga practices. You may need spare clothes. In addition to these, depending on the type of application, towels, thin blankets, pillows, foam or wooden blocks and belts may be required. Almost all such additional materials are provided in yoga studios.

It is extremely important that the correct yoga outfit is primarily comfortable and does not restrict your movements. Cotton yoga pants with elastane ratios are very convenient because you can easily perform positions even during intense movements. Relaxation exercises are generally performed at the end of yoga sessions. The body waits in the resting position for a long time. For this, it is recommended to prefer long-sleeved T-shirts next to the trousers. Thus, you do not lose your body temperature quickly. A good yoga mat should not slip during training, and it should offer you a solid foundation in balance exercises. It is an important advantage that the mat is flexible enough to support the joints. The yoga mat you prefer should have an insulating feature and a soft surface so that you do not get cold and relaxed during the rest sessions. If you are going to take your mat with you to yoga classes, it will be easy for you to have a mat carrying belt and storage bag.

The Most Important Thing for Beginners: Finding the Right Yoga Course

As a rule of thumb, yoga can be practiced anytime and anywhere. However, it is useful for those who do not have yoga experience to go to a yoga studio and attend beginner courses. Thus, the yoga teacher can help with the correct implementation of the exercises. In addition, asanas, physical exercises, different breathing, and meditation techniques, and basic rules are also learned in the starting courses. Hatha yoga is extremely suitable for beginners. Hatha yoga does not have a yoga style on its own, but rather bodily yoga, the Asanas are implied.

Hatha yoga classes are a great option for beginners as they are lighter and not challenging. Be sure to try many different yoga styles. Only in this way can you discover the yoga style you love and relax. You can also get ideas from those who practice yoga around you. Maybe someone suggesting a good yoga teacher or a yoga studio near you. If you intend to go to open courses, that is, an advanced and experienced course, for beginners, tell your teacher that you are a beginner before you begin. So you may have the chance to show you a little more attention or give you an idea that it would be more beneficial for you to take a different course. The important thing is that you feel comfortable and do not throw up the sponge after the first session!

Basic Asanas for Beginners

  • Cat

Stand on four feet. Knees under hips, hands under shoulders and shoulders wide open. As you exhale, lower your pelvis back and make your back round. Pull your chin slightly towards the breastbone.

  • Cow

With your breathing, pull your sitting bones forward, feel your waist pit, and take your chest out. Look up slightly. Repeat the cat and cow exercises 10 times (5 times cat, 5 times cow). These exercises stimulate your spinal bone and relax your neck muscles.

  • Tiger

Stand on four feet. Put the left leg back and the right arm forward. Stay in this position for 5 breaths. If you want to go one step further, join your left knee and right elbow under your body. Then stretch your arms and legs again. Return back to all fours and start the other side.

  • Downward Facing Dog

Stand on four feet. Exhale, exert pressure on hands, stretch arms and pull hips up. Shoulders are pulled forward from the ears. Initially, there is no need to stretch the legs, and the heels do not have to touch the ground either. Break the knees as much as possible. More important than the legs being tense, your back should be straight.

  • Tiger 1

Turn the gaze up and go one step further with the right foot and put your right foot between your hands. Extend your arms over your head or take your hands in front of your chest and take a prayer position (Namasté). The back heel can remain up. Let the calf and thigh create an angle of 90 °. Pull shoulders back and down, gaze forward, or head towards the ceiling.

  • Tiger 2

Raise the back heel 90 °, open the hips and stretch the arms parallel to the ground. The front knee is pulled out. Shoulders are down and gaze forward. Apply on the other side in the same way.

Recommendations for Beginners in Yoga

The number of people who are interested in yoga is increasing day by day. Children, elderly, pregnant or young mothers, women, and men, everyone can practice the proper yoga practice. Beginners may experience confusion in the face of different yoga options. Who can expect a beginner to know what’s behind the words Anusara, Jivamukti, Ashtanga, Bikram, Forrest, Iyengar, Kundalini, Power, or Yin Yoga? Meditative exercises can be done in different positions. For example, these are knee fit, squat, and lotus fit. Meditation pillow will make it easier for you to maintain an upright posture in meditation exercises. Your back will stretch and lighten the load, and you will be able to breathe more easily.

No need for too much equipment at first. In general, a non-slip yoga mat will be sufficient for exercises. Of course, it is important that your yoga clothes are comfortable and fit well. Since yoga is a practice with bare feet, you will not need shoes. Apart from the yoga mat, the other equipment used extensively is yoga belts and blocks. Exercises can be made easier with the yoga belt because in cases where you are not flexible enough, the arms and legs can be ‘extended’ with this belt. With the belt, you can intensify Asanas even more. Yoga blocks are used in exercises where you need to keep balance.

Numerous positive effects of yoga on the body and mind are an important factor for people to turn to yoga more and more. If you want to fully experience the positive effects of yoga on body, mind, and soul, you should regularly practice yoga. In the Western world, yoga is done to cope with stress more. Yoga calms down; increases concentration and energizes, while also strengthening our self-confidence. It reduces tensions, back, and headaches, and strengthens the immune system. Regular exercises make the body more flexible and feel better.

As a beginner, don’t expect too much and give yourself the time needed. Concentrate completely on yourself and do not look at what other people do while doing yoga. Do not compare yourself to other yoga practitioners. Maybe your old yoga neighbor with you was a professional athlete in his teenage years and has been doing yoga for years. It is more common for you to experience such situations when you go to open yoga classes. As a beginner, if you compare yourself with your very fit yoga neighbors, you will lose from the beginning. Look completely positive at the events and be happy that your path crosses with yoga. Most importantly, give yourself time. Here are some suggestions on the list:

  • Yoga can be difficult for yogis at the beginning with both breathing techniques, poses, and meditation stages. It’s normal.
  • Aim at reaching the extreme end of your capacity in asanas and flows. Be honest with yourself and discover your limits. However, never force yourself too hard. You will be amazed at how much your capacity will increase even after a few practices. Do not hurry and do not race with anyone.
  • Find the right type of yoga for you. It will be helpful to be informed in advance and the guidance of the experts, but it is best to choose by exploring yourself.

  • Physically, sweating and fatigue are situations that you may experience. You may also experience tremors in some areas of your body during the session. This indicates that you are actively using the muscle groups that you haven’t worked so far before and this is a normal physical reaction.
  • If possible, stop eating and drinking 1-2 hours before starting yoga. If you start practicing yoga without getting over part of your body’s digestion, you may have difficulty, especially in upside-down poses.
  • Don’t forget to stop by the toilet before you start practicing yoga again. Before yoga, the bladder and intestines must be empty and not being pressured.
  • As far as possible, or unless instructed otherwise by your instructor, try to breathe calmly, regularly. Take care to keep your breathing intervals equal.
  • Ventilate the place where you will practice yoga. There should not be any sharp odors such as incense, perfume, air freshener in the environment.
  • Be sure to drink enough water, neither too little nor too much, before and after yoga.
  • If you have any discomfort, be sure to consult your doctor before starting yoga.

A Basic Yoga Program for Beginners

To regularly practice yoga, expecting to find a good yoga teacher or a good book or DVD that you can easily reach between your precious and limited time is like keeping yourself from exploring a magical world: the world within you! Instead of doing 1 hour of yoga once a week, you can start your yoga practice regularly at your home by aiming to do yoga every day for 15-20 minutes and by following the program I recommend below. It will balance, strengthen your immune system, regulate metabolism, and help all systems work properly.

For now, I suggest you start with your body when you are ready, more will find you already. Begin wherever you are physically right now, the posture that is best for you is where you can stay comfortably and steadily. And even if the state of your body changes every day, start by accepting yourself as you are first, then research what you can do for your development. Now it’s time to drop all the tensions, all the loads you carry. Stop controlling, trying to be perfect, relax. Keep your chest and heart open, start your work by taking deep, soft, and slow breaths. As you get to know yourself and your limits and take your breaths naturally and properly even while doing postures, and as you practice yoga regularly, you will see more awareness and more positive change in yourself.

  • Sukhasana

Sit with your back straight, your shoulders loose, and a comfortable leg. Close your eyes, watch your natural breath. Be aware of the mood you are in right now, the state of your mind and heart, realize what’s happening around you, using your senses like radar. Turn your neck with normal breaths in slow and wide circles in two directions. Then, while you breathe, pull your shoulders towards your ears, relax while exhaling, perform this movement several times.

  • Spine Stretches by Sitting

Stretch to Back: While in Sukhasana posture, place your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on the ground to support the spine in the back. Turn back from the right, feel your spine and back stretching. Breathe for a while in the posture by taking normal breaths. After reversing, returning to your center and resting, apply the posture to the other side.
Stretch to the side: Place one hand on the floor next to the hip, stretch the other arm stretched to the side over the head. Feel the opening and stretching of your body on the stretched arm side. After returning to your center, apply the posture in the other direction with your other arm.
Stretch forward: Stretch your arms forward and lean forward with the head on the ground. If your head is not reaching the ground, put your two fists on top of each other or leave your forehead on a pillow.

  • Vajrasana

Sit on your knees with your hands on your thighs, your back straight, your chest open. Keep your feet under your hips. If there is discomfort in the wrists or legs, a pillow or blanket may be placed between the hips and feet or under the ankles. If it is very difficult, the following postures can be applied in the long sitting. This posture is effective for the digestive and sciatic nerve to stretch the leg muscles, wrists, and Achilles tendon.
Stretching up: While in Vajrasana posture, with your hands on the top of the head with your palms facing upward, stretch your arms towards the sky, stay for a while with normal breaths.
Flexing forward: Now, clench your hands behind your back and touch your forehead while half opening your knees a little and where your arms are stretched back, with your shoulder blades close together. The arms are stretched behind and you stretch to the head. As you breathe a few breaths in the posture, slowly rise again.

  • Gomukasana

While in the Vajrasana posture, place your left hand on the floor next to the hip and place your weight on the left hip. Place your legs in a row with your right knee over the left knee and the soles of the feet as far back as possible. Have both sitting bones on the ground. Extend your left arm to the sky, extend your right arm from below to the back, break your elbows, and grasp your fingers at the back. If the hands do not come close together, stay in a place where you are comfortable, or apply the posture by holding a scarf on either side and pulling it in opposite directions. After a few breaths remain in this posture, apply the posture in the other direction with the opposite arms and legs.

  • Marjarasana and Balasana

Stand on your hands and knees. Keep your knees just under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Hump ​​your back-spine with your chin on your chest while exhaling, pull your tail inlet, pitting your waist while breathing, your chest, and head open to the sky. Shoulders must be loose and away from your ears. Repeat this movement several times in sync with the breaths. Feel your spine, back, and lower muscles flex and warm.

For Balasana, let your hands lie on the ground, push your hips over your heels, and leave your head on the ground with all its weight. Pull your hands to your feet, place your shoulders with your palms facing the sky, your shoulder blades and your back with all the weight, close your eyes and rest in this stance with deep and slow breaths.

  • Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

You are in the cat position again. Curl your foot inward by pulling one knee forward, stretch your other leg back like a dove’s tail in the back, your back is upright, look forward, both hands on the ground. As you exhale, first place your forearms on the ground – you can also stay here – or deepen the posture and put your forehead on the floor, and close it forward. Stay up to 10 breaths in posture… Be aware of all the sensations and momentary changes in your body, let yourself flow, surrender to the universe. Slowly correct and apply the movement to the other side with the other foot.

  • Bakasana

Crouch where your feet are in the hip opening, knees are broken, and open to the ground. As the palms push each other, the elbows push out from the inside of the knees. Without hunching the back, look at a point opposite, if your toe heels don’t touch the ground, you can roll a blanket under the heels to support it. A perfect posture to provide flexibility in the ankles, legs, hips, waist, back.

  • Tadasana

As you get out of the crow’s stance when your knees are a little broken, put the full weight of your upper body forward, then straighten up by slowly overlapping the vertebrae. Arms, shoulders, and head are the last to get up and go to the mountain posture. You have equal weight on your feet, legs, arms are active, the abdomen is inside, the back is upright, the shoulders are standing upright. Let yourself feel that you are taking root in the earth from the waist down while your spine and head rise to the sky. Close your eyes, breathe naturally. Breathe like a mountain. You are strong.

  • Stretching at Foot Tip

Clamp your hands at the top of your head by looking at a point in front. Stretch your arms into the sky while breathing and rise at your toes, return to the head while breathing, bringing the soles to the ground and hands to the head. Apply the movement several times, with breaths and movements rising and falling synchronously.

  • Stretching to the Side

With your arms stretched over your head, bend to the right with each breath, and straighten again with each breath. Tilt to the left as you exhale, and straighten as you take. Repeat the movement several times.

  • Standing Spine Stretching

Wrapping your waist with your arms, first, turn to your right, turn the head and look back over your right shoulder and stay for a few seconds. Apply the posture to the other side. After performing the posture on both sides, turn freely, like kids, by relaxing your arms. Let your arms softly turn your spine and back to both sides.

Best Yoga Equipment for Beginners You Can Buy Online

Savaş Ateş

I like meditation and yoga. I read a lot of books about them. I applied them in my daily life. I want to write about my experiences.

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