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So You Wanna Be a Yogi? Yoga Tips For Beginners

yoga-tips-for-beginnersSo you decided you want to become a yogi. Great. But what next? Not to worry, I got you covered.

Read on these yoga tips for beginners.

What To Wear?

  • Whatever you do, don’t ever do yoga in jeans or super tight pants where you can’t move. You need yoga pants which allow for breathability, flexibility, and make you feel comfortable.
  • A great pair of yoga pants to start with are with the brand 90 Degree by Reflex with either the Power Flex Yoga Pants or their High Waist Tummy Control Power Flex Capris. They are budget-friendly, super comfortable, durable and a dupe for Lululemon yoga pants. I still have my original pair of Power Flex yoga pants that I got a few years ago and I treasure them dearly.
  • If you want some really trendy yoga wear then I recommend you check out my post about Fabletics.
  • As for tops, the same rule applies as for the pants: don’t wear anything constricting. However don’t wear a t-shirt that’s too loose as it will get in the way of your face when doing Downward Dog.
  • You’ll be practicing barefoot in all your yoga classes. Sometimes if I’m cold I will wear a pair of  Toesox to keep them warm. What’s cool about these socks is that the soles are covered with nubs so if you have sweaty feet wearing these will also stop you from slipping on your yoga mat. However since getting a Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel I hardly ever reach out for them (except when I’m cold) and use them instead for workouts.

What To Bring To Class?

  1. Water
  2. A hand towel (to assess whether you’re a heavy sweater)
  3. Props like yoga blocks and straps. Sometimes they are provided by the studio so check in with them.
  4. A yoga mat! And do invest in a good quality mat! Yes you can rent one from some studios but it really doesn’t pay off.

As much as a cheap mat seems appealing because of the price, I can guarantee you it will not last you long and it won’t perform. You’ll be slipping and sliding and pieces of the mat will start to break off.

What’s worse is that if you keep on replacing these cheap mats, it will end costing you more in the long run than if you were to have gotten a good quality mat from the get-go.

When you see your mat as an investment, you’ll not only be more comfortable practicing yoga and become better at it, but you’ll reduce the amount of yoga mats entering landfills which contributes to more waste.

Watch a Video Or Attend a Beginner’s Workshop

  • If you see a studio that offers beginner’s workshops I highly recommend you attend one. There you will learn about proper alignment and the names of the most common practiced poses.

Now I wish I actually did this when I first started yoga. I just showed up at my local gym and of course I was all lost. Teachers were correcting my alignment for most of the poses and it me quite a few classes to figure out what a “flow” and “vinyasa” meant.

  • If no studio offers any workshops of this sort, you can do your prepping by going online and watching some demonstrations of the poses. The online platform YogaDownload.com has some detailed instructional videos of poses as well thousands of yoga classes in various styles so you know what to expect if you go to a Power Yoga class.

Get a Discounted Trial Pass

Find out which studios offer discounted trial classes and try them (tip: Get the MindBody app to get a list of participating yoga studios in your area). You might get lucky and find one that offers free classes for like a week.

From personal experience each studio has it’s own unique ambiance with the teachers they hire, specialty classes and even the type of crowd it attracts.

There’s no doubt that you will enjoy some studios and classes more than others and the only way to find out is by attending them.

Take Beginner ClassesObviously!

You don’t want to end up in an advanced class feeling discouraged and comparing yourself to others. Or worse yet injuring yourself because you want to keep up with others.

While I mentioned in my previous post to experiment with classes, it’s not a good idea to do advanced classes like Ashtanga and Power Yoga a few weeks into your practice.

As a general rule, Hatha Yoga is your best bet for starters. After that you can try classes like Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga if you aren’t into heated types of yoga.

Go With a Friendyoga-tips-beginners

When we want to instill a new habit it can be tough. Just like having a workout buddy to keep you accountable, how about you go with a yogi friend to yoga? Not only will this ensure you don’t miss any classes but your friendship will deepen and you’ll be enjoying your classes more.

Bonus: You might also end up finding out your favourite yoga classes much sooner.

Create A Plan and Commit

Make a plan and decide how much you want to practice. Then schedule it.  

As you know, the more you do something the better you get at it. That being said it’s not advisable to practice yoga for hours on end. If you want a daily practice aim for practicing 1 hour at most each day.

If you want to commit to a daily practice but find that studio classes are getting too expensive, you can sign up for online yoga classes.

Acknowledge Your Progress

Don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t keeping up with the other beginners. Each body is different and it takes time to become more flexible and get more stamina.

If you stick to practicing at least 3 times a week you will see further progress I promise. In the meantime acknowledge yourself each time for staying committed to your practice and in choosing to pursue your journey towards health and overall well-being.

manduka-prolite-indulge
The Manduka PROlite

=>If you’re looking for a good quality yoga mat that will last you a lifetime learn more about the Manduka X mat and Manduka PRO and PROlite series<=

Do you know of other yoga tips for beginners? Please share. I would love to hear from you!

Leave a comment or question below.

PS: I respond to all comments.

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18 Comments

  1. Kelli S. Kelli S.

    I like your recommendation on the socks! My feet get sweaty so I wear my socks but I slip all over the place! I will definitely be getting some of to fix that problem! I am just starting to do yoga, what’s the best way to track my progress? I’d like to be more flexible and have better posture but I’m not sure how to measure that.

    • Well the best way to track your progress is to practice consistently at least 3 times a week, and become aware of the poses which you struggle with and pay attention to them each time you do them. You will also feel that it’s easier to do these poses as you improve.

      If there is a pose a teacher keeps correcting you on each class and then one day they don’t that’s also a way to tell you are doing better (I would also ask them after class to double-check though to be sure).

      Check out my other post “8 Tips on How to Get More Flexible for Yoga” for more tips and let me know if you still have any more questions. 🙂

  2. Sade Sade

    Great article 🙂 I’ve been thinking about starting yoga for awhile now but I didn’t even know where to begin to find yoga classes on top of what I actually needed. I’ll definitely be downloading that app so I can find classes near by! I’ll probably look into Victoria Secret’s yoga pants just because I already have their card but Fabletics clothing are absolutely gorgeous as well.

    • I’m so happy this post was helpful. The Mind Body app is awesome but keep in mind that not all studios will be on it. I recommend you still hit up Google if not enough results nearby you show up.

  3. Kathy Arriola Kathy Arriola

    I will definitely follow you! It has been a while since I did yoga and I’m trying to get back into it and I know I will need some new clothes! I used to be a dancer back in high school so I still have a fair amount of flexibility but there is always room to improve!

    Kathy 🙂

    • Yup. There’s always room for improvement in yoga as to what your body can do physically but also spiritually as well. Thanks for stopping by Kathy.

  4. GiuliaB GiuliaB

    What you are describing, about the beginner experience of yoga, is all much inviting – not too expensive and all too inviting from a holistic point of view. But, do you think there may be age restriction to some of the movement, given a basic level of muscle flexibility may be required?

  5. Heather Heather

    I have been wanting to start doing yoga for some time. I am generally already pretty fit, as I go hiking regularly. It is a little intimidating trying something new like that. Thank you for your article and your suggestions, I think I am going to just jump in there and try it. I have some back pain, and I think improving my flexibility will increase my overall well-being. Good information!

    • Vanessa Vanessa

      That’s great to hear! Yes, anything that requites mastering a skill is so intimidating at first, but once you just do it you get over the hardest part which is just doing it! Let me know how your first class goes! 🙂

  6. David Donahue David Donahue

    Great post and I have to say well written! I bought a yoga mat and tried some yoga and it was not bad. I still prefer water aerobics but I’m learning a lot about mindfulness techniques along with yoga to ease the mind from traumatic episodes or injury, etc.

    Yoga is a great way to relax your body as well as learn some breathing techniques that help you live in the moment. I’m not too hip on the stretchy spandex pants for men but the ones you have for women look cool. Great resource here for newbie and intermediate yoga participants.

    • Thank you David! I’m glad to hear that yoga is helping you ease your mind in your challenges. Water aerobics sounds like fun. Have you been doing this for a while?

      I know some people aren’t into the mindfulness part of yoga so they do athletic types of yoga (like Power Yoga) or Hybrid Yoga classes which take some aspects of yoga and fuse it with other activities. So since you’re into water aerobics, aqua yoga is something you might consider looking into.

  7. Victoria Victoria

    Great post ! It can be so intimidating to start doing yoga for the first time. It is such a good idea to go with a friend as a beginner and not try to be a yogi and to listen to your body. After doing yoga classes, I decided to sign up for yoga classes online because I could not find enough the time to go to class anymore. It is a good way to keep an everyday practice. I would say committing is the hardest…

    • Thanks for your comment Victoria. I’m glad you brought this point up. I will definitely write a post with tips how to commit to a yoga practice so thank you for the inspiration.

      In the meantime, since you’re doing online classes at home you might find my post “Start Your Day on the Right Foot with a Yoga Morning Routine” to be helpful. A yoga morning routine might just be the key to keep you committed.

  8. B B

    Thank you for all this important info, I have a little question, what do you think about wearing tummy tuck pants when doing yoga? Will it stop my blood circulation? Is it dangerous?

    It’s just that I’m embarrassed going without it…

    Thank you for your help

    • As I recommended the 90 Degree by Reflex Tummy Control Yoga Pants in this post, you’re ok with wearing your tummy tuck pants to yoga. Just make sure they aren’t too tight that you have a hard time moving in and out of poses.

      Because of the compression with tummy tuck pants, they will raise your body awareness so you’ll hold your poses better. Tummy tuck pants don’t stop blood circulation, they stimulate it.

  9. Manika- Nia Dixon Manika- Nia Dixon

    I love this list! I have been doing yoga for three years now but still learned a great deal from this list and think that it is really helpful for those just starting out. My favorite tip is about the mat because a quality mat makes a world of difference! Great tips, and thanks so much 🙂

    • You’re welcome. You know how they say that you spend 1/3 of your life in bed and that a mattress can make or break your quality of sleep? The way I see it is that a yoga mat is like your mattress for sleeping: it can make or break your practice too. Thanks for commenting Manika!

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