3 YOGA TIPS FOR BEGINNERS


By Gaia Staff

The joy of online yoga classes is no one can see you. Who’s to say as you move into bridge pose you’re not looking like Seane Corn on her best day? You, my friend, are alone in your living room with your favorite Yoga on Gaia practice playing on the screen, your pristine yoga mat unrolled and your pajama pants rockin’ your fourty-year-old thighs. This is no time to be a realist. As you stretch from one pose to another, never think about how you accidentally swung your hand into your face during a twist. Ignore the gas that escaped during cat pose. Pay no attention to the fact your side bend looks more like a slightly leaning mountain pose.

Stay focused

In your mind, you are on the cover of Yoga Journal. You and your mat are like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – or for a younger reference, like Justin Timberlake and his microphone. You’re smooth. You’re hot. You’re bringing sexy back. You follow your teacher’s yoga flow with the grace of a gazelle. You move from Downward Dog to Plank Pose to Cobra like a swan glides on the water. Your bends are poetic. Your poses hypnotic.

When your imagination falters and you can’t help but notice that your legs are shaking in Chair Pose and you’re pretty sure you look like a turkey in Eagle Pose. Here’s a secret, there’s always Warrior Pose.  It’s a magical pose. Well, that and Corpse Pose. You will always master Corpse Pose.

Keep your ego in check

As I mentioned earlier, no one can see you through that screen. There is no reason to compete with your yoga teachers and the yogis they invite to practice in the video. You’re not impressing anyone when you click on an intermediate class. Keep your ego in check. Be true to yourself and the process. It’s okay that you’re not familiar with the lingo yet. No one is born with this knowledge, it’s learned.

The best thing for you to do is accept your beginner status, be gentle with your body, and have patience. Every body is different, so every practice evolves at a different rate. There are, however, a few signposts that will indicate when you are ready to move to more advanced poses. When you trust your body and your own strength. When you can tell the difference between a pose that is painful and a pose that is uncomfortable.

Have fun

This is the final and most important point to remember. You’re starting something new. Be easy on yourself. Whether you keep moving forward or continuously come back to square one, mastery isn’t achieved in a day. Like most endeavors in life, you’re likely going to struggle when you first attempt it. If this isn’t the case and yoga comes to you like music to Mozart, there’s still a lot to be gained in the working in the most basic of poses. Let out a little groan or lose your balance once during your practice. It’s about gaining a new perspective.

The rest of you beginners, listen to your teachers. They will say things like, “Every day is different. Listen to your body. You may not be as limber as you were yesterday. That’s an opportunity for acceptance.” It’s true they don’t know that your limbs were just as uncooperative yesterday as they were today, the wisdom is still sound. Embrace your limitations. Love your body. No matter what condition it is in, it doesn’t define you. And when your yoga teacher ends the class with a Namaste, connect with what they are really saying. They are bowing to the Divine spark that dwells within you. You are neither rookie nor guru. You just simply are and it is magnificent.

The joy of online yoga classes is no one can see you. Who’s to say as you move into bridge pose you’re not looking like Seane Corn on her best day? You, my friend, are alone in your living room with your favorite Yoga on Gaia practice playing on the screen, your pristine yoga mat unrolled and your pajama pants rockin’ your fourty-year-old thighs. This is no time to be a realist. As you stretch from one pose to another, never think about how you accidentally swung your hand into your face during a twist. Ignore the gas that escaped during cat pose. Pay no attention to the fact your side bend looks more like a slightly leaning mountain pose.

Stay focused

In your mind, you are on the cover of Yoga Journal. You and your mat are like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – or for a younger reference, like Justin Timberlake and his microphone. You’re smooth. You’re hot. You’re bringing sexy back. You follow your teacher’s yoga flow with the grace of a gazelle. You move from Downward Dog to Plank Pose to Cobra like a swan glides on the water. Your bends are poetic. Your poses hypnotic.

When your imagination falters and you can’t help but notice that your legs are shaking in Chair Pose and you’re pretty sure you look like a turkey in Eagle Pose. Here’s a secret, there’s always Warrior Pose.  It’s a magical pose. Well, that and Corpse Pose. You will always master Corpse Pose.

Keep your ego in check

As I mentioned earlier, no one can see you through that screen. There is no reason to compete with your yoga teachers and the yogis they invite to practice in the video. You’re not impressing anyone when you click on an intermediate class. Keep your ego in check. Be true to yourself and the process. It’s okay that you’re not familiar with the lingo yet. No one is born with this knowledge, it’s learned.

The best thing for you to do is accept your beginner status, be gentle with your body, and have patience. Every body is different, so every practice evolves at a different rate. There are, however, a few signposts that will indicate when you are ready to move to more advanced poses. When you trust your body and your own strength. When you can tell the difference between a pose that is painful and a pose that is uncomfortable.

Have fun

This is the final and most important point to remember. You’re starting something new. Be easy on yourself. Whether you keep moving forward or continuously come back to square one, mastery isn’t achieved in a day. Like most endeavors in life, you’re likely going to struggle when you first attempt it. If this isn’t the case and yoga comes to you like music to Mozart, there’s still a lot to be gained in the working in the most basic of poses. Let out a little groan or lose your balance once during your practice. It’s about gaining a new perspective.

The rest of you beginners, listen to your teachers. They will say things like, “Every day is different. Listen to your body. You may not be as limber as you were yesterday. That’s an opportunity for acceptance.” It’s true they don’t know that your limbs were just as uncooperative yesterday as they were today, the wisdom is still sound. Embrace your limitations. Love your body. No matter what condition it is in, it doesn’t define you. And when your yoga teacher ends the class with a Namaste, connect with what they are really saying. They are bowing to the Divine spark that dwells within you. You are neither rookie nor guru. You just simply are and it is magnificent.

Playlist These Practices

YOUR AT-HOME PRACTICE STARTS HERE

The Beginner Yoga Series
Yoga Every Day

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