Saturday, December 1, 2012

TOP 5 YOGA TIPS FOR BEGINNERS



Hello everyone! Hope you all had a great November (World Vegan Month); it's time to move on to the pleasures December brings us....

As you may or may not know, I have been practicing yoga for the last five years; and within that time, I have learned many ways to improve my skills. I am not a professional, but I would like to think of myself as a guide for beginners. Consequently, I have compiled a list of my BEST YOGA TIPS that will enable you to master your practice.
Here are my top FIVE Yoga Tips:

1. Breathing is the MOST important aspect of yoga because you're providing your body with extra oxygen (which gives us that "high" feeling after yoga.) Remember to breathe in, deeply, as you return to "center", lift up, or are holding a pose; and slowly exhale as you're moving into a new pose. *Breathe in, deeply, till you cannot expand your stomach any further, hold the breath for about 5 seconds, and breathe out slowly, trying to exhale all of the air in the body so you can move into a stretch easier and tighten your stomach. So, expand the stomach as your breathe in, and suck in your stomach as your breathe out.

2. When practicing yoga, look up at the ceiling or sky for balance. If you're in a tough balancing pose, like tree pose, Eagle pose, or Lord of the Dance, focus on something in front of you (either on the wall or a tree outside. Focusing on an object while holding a pose will help you maintain your balance and form. FORM IS CRUCIAL. In time, you may be able to CLOSE YOUR EYES while doing a pose...which means you have EXCELLENT coordination. Being able to close the eyes in balancing poses represents "seeing outside of one's self".

3. As I just mentioned, form is very important. This means, it's better to maintain balance and master ONE pose rather than practicing several sloppy yoga poses, in one session. Practice one pose over-and-over until you're ready to move onto another pose.
Along with this idea of maintaining form, you must keep your back STRAIGHT. When you're sitting in Lotus pose, are you unsure if you're back is straight?? As you're sitting in Lotus, bring your right or left arm directly in front of your spine (placing your hand flat on the ground and FIRMLY up against your butt). Your arm will align the spine and will allow you to focus on the position your body needs to stay in as you sit up.

4. When you're practicing poses with your back on the floor, be sure you're not putting strain on your neck or head. So, when you want to come up, roll to your right or left side, pushing your hand against the floor to pull yourself up (let your arm muscles do the lifting, not your neck!) We often use our neck to pull us out of bed; but our neck already supports a 10 lb HEAD, so take the strain off your neck, even when you're getting out of bed. 

5. Women that are menstruating should avoid yoga poses that require their legs and pelvis over their head, like Plough pose, headstand poses, shoulderstand, locust postures, and ear-press posture.


These are just a few of my best tips; if you have some yoga tips you would like to share, please comment below!

5 comments:

  1. I learned a lot from Rodney Yee, particularly his DVD "AM Yoga" (beginner to intermediate skill level.) He's voice is very soothing!! I have recently found a Yogi on Youtube titled "YogaYak": http://www.youtube.com/user/yogayak

    At this channel, they upload many many full Yoga episodes for FREE. So check them out!

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  2. I love these tips! I did my first yoga workout of the new year yesterday and I realize I'm pretty bad at breathing, which you would think would be easier to focus on. haha

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    1. Actually, breathing is VERY hard to focus on, with all the visual stimulation and (mental) chatter around us, it makes this process more difficult.

      The best way to focus on your breath is to begin by laying on your back (legs and arms relaxing on the floor) for 5 minutes. You can extend the time by up to 10 minutes to feel the full effects of calmness.
      Once you come up from lying down, you'll feel the weight-of-the-world off of your shoulders ;)

      After your yoga routine, lay on your back for 2-3 minutes to "end" the yoga session and to relax the mind once again...


      Hope this helps!!

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  3. Very grateful for providing this beginner yoga dvd, it is very useful for those who want to learn yoga. It gives them opportunity to learn and it is actually convenient to them.

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