Everyone has to start somewhere, so if you are completely new to yoga and feel apprehensive about getting started, then there really is no need. Beginners yoga classes are welcoming and as it is a very personal practice, you can start off slow and work to improve or deepen your practice and style at your own pace.
Certain types of yoga are better for beginners than others and it helps to know a little about what to expect from your first yoga class. It may also help to know a few of the typical yoga poses for beginners in advance. Other than that, don’t delay on getting booked onto your first class!
Anyone can begin, at any time of life, and feel the many benefits of yoga.
Most yoga studios will cater for beginners and will be able to help you select the best type of yoga to meet your goals and to suit your current level of fitness. It is worth understanding a little about each of the types of yoga in advance, so you can try to determine which fits your personality.
Are you an energy junkie? In which case, perhaps Bikram yoga or Vinyasa yoga may appeal to you?
Or, are you looking for something a little more relaxing to help de-stress and reconnect. Hatha or Kundalini may be just the class for you. Anyone who has had an injury recently, would be encouraged to try Iyengar yoga, for more personal attention.
So, as you can see, there is a wide choice already – and those are just some of the more mainstream yoga styles.
The best thing to do is to select a few yoga centres in your area, pick up the phone and speak to one of the yoga teachers or the receptionist – they are typically very knowledgable about yoga, and keen to help.
Once you have determined the yoga class that is most suitable for you, it is good to go prepared.
Preparation for beginners yoga
Before going along to your first yoga class, consider the following:
- Wear appropriate clothing – you don’t need to rush out and buy anything specific for yoga. However, it is recommended to wear clothes that are comfortable and loose, to enable free movement.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day before your class and take water along as it is important to keep hydrated when practicing yoga.
- Avoid eating anything heavy for a couple of hours before your class, as this will slow you down, and could make you feel nauseous.
- Learn some of the lingo – your teacher may start the class with doing “Om“.
- Learn some of the basic yoga poses – even if you can’t do them yet, at least you will recognise the names.
- Find out the facilities at the yoga centre so you know what to expect when you arrive.
Yoga classes versus yoga at home?
Whilst yoga is certainly something that can be practiced alone and at home, for complete beginners it does help to have some one-to-one professional guidance.
A yoga class is superior to watching videos online or dvd’s, because not only will the personal connection with your yoga teacher keep you motivated in the initial phase of learning. They will be able to correct your poses, keep an eye on your breathing technique and give you advice to help meet your personal goals.
Whether you choose a yoga class or private lessons with a yoga teacher, will depend on your preference, but either option will give you a solid start to learning yoga, which can then be the foundation for practicing at home as well, or instead of.
Yoga poses for beginners
If you want to learn some basic yoga in advance of joining a class, there are plenty of resources available for research.
Some basic yoga poses you can look up are:
- Bridge pose – Dwi Pada Pitham or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
- Boat pose – Navasana
- Chair pose – Utkatasana
- Childs pose – Balasana
- Cobra pose – Bhujangasana
- Corpse Pose – Savasana
- Cow pose – Bitilasana
- Downward dog pose – Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Happy baby pose – Ananda Balasana Pose
- Sphinx pose
- Triangle pose – Trikonasana
- Warrior pose – Virabhadrasana
- Yoga plank pose – Plank
Read more – Yoga Poses for Beginners
Don’t worry if you can’t remember the Sanskrit words. Most yoga teachers just use the English versions so these are more likely to be the ones you will come to remember. However, keen students do frequently want to learn the Sanskrit for a deeper understanding and to connect with the roots of yoga, especially as some people love yoga so much that they go on to do their yoga teacher training.
Yoga in London for beginners
The capital city has plenty of beginners yoga classes to choose from. It is highly likely there will be one in your area.