ask a yogi: how to begin yoga
posted: April 6, 2010
Danielle answering your questions on how to get started with yoga
Remember when we asked you for your yoga questions for our inaugural Ask a Yogi series? Well, we’re back, with answers! Read on for part 1 of Danielle’s responses: How to Begin.
Do you have any recommendations for people who are interested in getting into yoga? – Caroline
I want to start taking yoga but do not know where to begin. Is there a type of yoga that is recommended for beginners? – lara
I have taken yoga- very easy poses. I don’t know a lot about the different types. I am looking for a type of yoga that burns calories and builds strength and flexibility. – Tasha
I am very interested in yoga but don’t know where to begin. How should I start? – Emma
a yogi answers
Hi Caroline, Lara, Tasha & Emma,
I recommend that you jump in, give it a go and keep a regular schedule of yoga classes (e.g., two to four per week) for at least three or four months, which I believe is enough time for you to begin to appreciate all the wonderful physical and mental benefits of yoga.
I think it is easiest to stay motivated and have fun in a class setting, as opposed to learning from a DVD or video. Once you locate a convenient studio, gym or community centre where yoga classes are offered, start asking questions regarding what types of classes are offered and which ones are best for beginners. [Editor's note - complimentary yoga classes are offered at all lululemon locations and are a good way to sample different styles of yoga and instructors.]
Regarding the types of yoga: Iyengar yoga will provide you with a solid foundation since certified Iyengar teachers will emphasize precise and strict form in the poses but with many variations depending on the yogi’s level of flexibility and strength and will utilize straps and blocks to assist the yogis in getting into the postures. Ashtanga, power and other vinyasa flow classes are also very popular but can be overwhelming for some newer yogis since there is constant and challenging movement from one posture to the next. If you are looking for more of a sweat and detox practice then you could try hot yoga, which incorporates a slower-paced sequence with minimal variations from class to class.
In summary, find a studio or place to do it, find a style or styles you feel comfortable with, set a regular schedule, stick to it for at least three months and perhaps most importantly just have fun as you enjoy the benefits of a healthy body and a balanced, peaceful mind.
Do you have any thoughts on how to get started with yoga? We’d love to hear your comments and tips on being a beginner. Also check out My First Time, a blog post about your very first class.
Stay tuned for more Ask a Yogi answers, coming soon!