Yoga Tips that Won’t Bend You Out of Shape
Everyone has that one person in their squad who is obnoxious about fitness. Workout OOTD selfies; spin class check-ins; Instas of every hike—you know who we’re talking about. But if their Snap story is actually inspiring FOMO, not eye-rolling, maybe it’s time to join them on their quest. One of the best workouts you can get into, both for your physical and mental health, is yoga.
Yoga is more than just exercise. It’s an all-encompassing practice that helps calm the mind as it strengthens the body. But if you aren’t already plugged in at a local yoga studio, breaking into a regular practice can be intimidating. Here are a few tips for budding yogis that should make the entire process much easier.
- First things first: know your style. Before you even start Yelping yoga studios near you, familiarize yourself with the different styles of yoga. Depending on what you want to get out of your practice, you may pick a different approach. Vinyasa, for instance, is a fast-paced flow that incorporates elements of cardio and strength-training, and it’ll leave you sore. Bikram yoga adds heat, which makes the practice even more intense. For a slower, more meditative practice, opt for a Hatha class. These tend to go at a slower pace and accommodate newbies.
- Treat yourself to a new ensemble. You might not wear the same thing to yoga class that you would on a run. Yoga clothing should be relatively form fitting, even if skin-tight leggings aren’t usually your jam at the gym. This is because you’ll be moving all around, even flipping upside down, during yoga class. Baggy clothing tends to flow when you flow, which means you’ll actually end up revealing more than you would with a snug tank top. So find a form-fitting top and set of leggings that are still comfortable, breathable, and sweat-wicking for yoga class.
- Find a yoga studio that suits. Not all yoga studios are created equally. Whereas some focus exclusively on hot yoga and treat it as a workout, others trend more toward meditative yoga that builds community. Decide if you’d rather embark on a spiritual journey or fitness-oriented one, and then look for a studio near you that matches your needs. One of the best ways to ensure a good match is to ask your friends. Tweet or Facebook a request for help and see where the rest of your squad is already practicing. Yelp helps, too.
- Don’t overdo it. If you find that yoga is your jam, you might be tempted to dive into it headfirst, packing your schedule with one or two classes per day. But like any other workout, you need to rest in between workouts. Start slow, practicing two to three days a week, and once your body adjust, you can gradually build your schedule. If you’re practicing different types of yoga, try to mix and match your class load so that there’s a good balance of the various modalities throughout the week. This will help keep both your mind and your muscles engaged.
A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga [Gaiam]
A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga [SparkPeople]
Getting Started with Yoga [A-B-C- of Yoga]