New to Yoga?

Welcome!  Congratulations on finding the practice for the rest of your life.  Here are a few tips to get you started like a pro.

First, take care of yourself!  Remember that although yoga may be challenging, it shouldn’t hurt.  New students frequently go overboard, wanting to get a killer workout and keep up with the person on the next mat over.  Even if you have a strong fitness or dance background, it takes time to develop the form, strength, and flexibility necessary for advanced poses.  Listen to the subtle (or not so subtle!) messages your body is sending, and err on the side of caution.

Even if your gym yoga teacher is fabulous, the atmosphere of a studio is much more conducive to yoga practice.  Studios generally provide warmer, quieter, and more relaxing environments.  The quality of instruction is typically better in studios, and the students are more serious practitioners.  The downside is that studio classes are almost always more expensive.  If you can swing it, though, even an occasional studio class led by a good teacher will make a huge difference in your practice.  The same is true if you practice with a video or book – that’s great, but receiving feedback from an experienced teacher is invaluable.

While there’s no need to spend huge sums of money on trendy yoga outfits, dressing appropriately will make you feel more comfortable and allow the teacher to see your form.  Clothes that allow you to move are essential.  Ideally, your clothing should be stretchy and at least somewhat fitted.  Baggy tee-shirts tend to end up around your face in down dog and other inversions, and can potentially hide alignment issues from your teacher.

If you happen to have some extra cash available, a high-quality mat is one of the best investments you could make.  A good mat limits distraction by providing padding and traction.

For more beginner resources, check out New Student Resources under Community.

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