While winter is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy snow sports, it can also leave some people feeling cooped up inside as they wait out the season’s deep freeze. One of our favorite ways to stay active while keeping warm is by practicing yoga. A natural stress reliever and great way to enhance overall health, yoga delivers many benefits to those who incorporate it into their everyday lives. And as the snow falls outside on a cold winter day, it feels absolutely terrific to stretch it out in a warm room.
While there are dozens of types of yoga, most sessions typically consist of breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures (sometimes called asana or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups. Because there are so many types of yoga classes and practices, getting started may seem a bit overwhelming. But regardless of age or fitness level, it is possible for just about anyone to start. Don’t let yourself feel intimidated; just remember the tips we share with you below, and you’ll be well on your way to loving yoga!
Do some research and decide which type of class is best for you.
There are many types of yoga classes out there, and you may be turned off if you pick one that does not suit your personality and state of physical fitness. We recommend starting with a hatha or vinyasa class, depending on whether you want a slow or fast-paced class. These are basic styles, and you can always try something new at a later time.
What you’ll need to get started: Comfortable, breathable clothing that allows you to move freely, a non-slip yoga mat, and a bottle of water. If you’re planning on practicing at home (versus taking a class), you will probably also want to invest in a yoga DVD.
Other tips for getting started:
- -Familiarize yourself with some basic yoga poses before taking your first class
- -Avoid eating, or eat lightly 1-2 hours before practicing
- -Try to drink water before and after the class, but not during if you can help it
- -Tell the teacher it’s your first class (you probably won’t be the only one), and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it
- -Take Child’s Pose if at any point in the class you need to take a rest
- -Know your limits by listening to your body. If you are in pain or struggling with breath, modify your pose or take a break in Child’s Pose
- -Have fun! Yoga is not a competition, so just focus on your own body and enjoy yourself.
If you love yoga, and would like to learn from some of the best instructors in the world, join Natura Wines at a Yoga Journal Live event! We are the proud Official Wine Sponsor, and will be pouring our organic wines at the upcoming Yoga Journal Live events in San Francisco, New York City and Estes Park, Colorado. See the full schedule here.