How To Start Practicing Yoga!
Can you believe approximately 20 million Americans practice yoga according to Yoga Journal magazine? It’s no wonder, yoga helps you connect with yourself, focus, gain flexibility and strength, and find inner peace. So if you’ve yet to try it, you really need to give it a go!
Here are three simple steps to follow to help kickstart your yoga journey and help guide you along in the process.
Where do you start, you might ask? First off, choose the right yoga mat. A good mat is an easy, inexpensive investment and what you’ll use to practice on daily.
Second, make sure you have the right clothing. I love breathable leggings, a sports bra, and tank. For men, a pair of shorts and technical tee that stays put (not flying up in down dog) is ideal. I recently discovered Vast Terrain which I like for both men and women. Their premium technical activewear doesn’t cost a premium price, and it’s made in the USA.
Third, find a great local yoga studio or gym that offers beginner level classes. Make sure you let your teacher know you’re brand new and want to learn the right form. If you prefer to practice in your own home, check out the Peloton digital app which has a huge library of live and on-demand yoga classes for all levels.
Basic Yoga Poses
Here are some of the first basic poses you can start with:
Cat/Cow: Cat/Cow is a very gentle, basic warm-up pose, that helps to stretch the body and prepare it for more vigorous yoga postures. Cat-Cow is a gentle flow between two poses that brings flexibility to the spine. Cat-Cow stretches the back, torso and neck; and strengthens the abdominal muscles. The flexion and extension also opens the chest, encouraging the breath to become slow and deep. The spinal movement of the two poses stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands. Coordinating this movement with your breathing relieves stress and calms the mind.
Downward Dog: This pose has so many benefits! Downward Dog can work out any kink in the body and bring blood flow to the brain. This pose also strengthens, lengthens, and energizes every one of your muscles, primarily the arms, shoulders and legs . Downward dog pose also tones the waist and core. I love this posture for beginners because it truly works the entire body and is great to practice during your daily/weekly yoga routine.
Triangle Pose: The triangle pose is a deep stretch for the hamstrings, groins, and hips; it also opens the chest and shoulders. Triangle helps relieve lower back pain, stress, and sluggish digestion. Triangle is a great standing posture that helps you feel grounded and open. The pose is easy to practice and modify if you need to by placing the hand on your shin or a yoga block. I feel like cat/cow, downdog and triangle make a great little beginner’s flow.
I hope these simple tips & tricks help you begin your yoga journey, because it really is life changing for your mind, body, and soul! For more information or assistance on practicing yoga, check out my store to purchase downloads or subscribe to Peloton digital practice beside me every step of the way!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!