Yoga has been one of those exercises that I wanted to start and yet, never did. I’m not sure why I kept putting this off… unless it was just my inner procrastinator speaking up, but for whatever reasons or another, I could never get going with it. I’ve bought several DVDs, I got up early to watch Yoga on the fitness on demand channel, I admired (and sometimes wondered) about the videos on YouTube. But I could never motivate myself enough to make it a part of my fitness routine. Until now. So, that’s why I’m starting this yoga for beginners like me series on my blog. I’ll be honest with my attempts, successes, and failures. And, hopefully, prove to myself that yoga is really beneficial and that it’s more than just the awesome pants.
I am not a health professional, please consult your physician before beginning any fitness routine.
Years ago, I did pilates at home and loved it. My abs (and other muscle groups that I had no idea existed) didn’t quite appreciate it at first, but once I got into a regular routine, pilates was my thing. And then I stopped. I can’t remember why I stopped but I just stopped. After I stopped doing pilates, I briefly debated trying yoga because it seemed similar enough for me to pick up. I started looking at magazines, books, anything that I could get my hands on that was yoga for beginners.
But it never went beyond that.
I never purchased a yoga mat, or a yoga ball, or yoga clothes. My ambitions of starting yoga were purely in my head. Or at least until 2015 when I told myself that I was going to incorporate yoga into my health and wellness goals.
I finally resolved to myself that yoga was going to be one of my yearly goals. I knew I could start at home and with the proper motivation, it was something that I could commit to. And after a fabulous sale at Target (combined with a $50 gift card from my aunt), I had my yoga clothes ready to go. Add that in with another gift card to Amazon and I had my yoga mat and a beginners kit.
And it sat in the corner, collecting dust, still in it’s packaging. I would pass by it all the time but didn’t give it a second thought. That was until we were tidying up the living room and I realized- oh yeah! I have these cool yoga pants and a yoga robe.
So the first thing I had to ask myself was: Is yoga really for me? (…. or did I just want an excuse to purchase those comfy pants and yoga robe).
Yoga is the most popular and fast growing exercise trend of all. Over the last few years this form has really taken off and more and more people are choosing it among all other forms of exercise. Yoga is healthy and it is fun. Your entire body will get a total workout and a great stretch when you use yoga each day.
If you are ready to take your life in a whole new direction, one that is healthy and well balanced then yoga is probably for you.
There is an idea floating around among the populace that yoga is a painful experience. This is simply not the case. Yoga, if done correctly, can stretch your muscles but not hurt them. There are different forms so that everyone can find just the right kind of yoga for them. The best way to get involved in this fabulous exercise regime is to try a few different kinds. Start slow and do not push yourself too hard. That is how so many people get hurt.
Yoga helps to exercise not only your body but your mind as well. This is a spiritual exercise that will do wonders for your state of mind. You will find yourself much less stressed and more and more relaxed the more you do yoga. Everyone deserves to feel good and strong and that is exactly what yoga is going to do for you. It is like a natural fountain of youth. In no time people will be asking you if you got some work done, because you look so great!
If you are ready to finally get on track as far as your health is concerned then give yoga a shot and see what a difference it can make to your life.
So is yoga really for me?
Yes. Yoga, I believe, is an ideal exercise for me.
So that’s all well and good. But what exactly is yoga?
Yoga, which means discipline, was developed in the year 300 by an Indian Hindu named Patanjali. Its purpose is to stretch the muscles, strengthen the body and increase concentration. It can also help you relax, if you have trouble doing that.
No wonder this ancient discipline has become popular among modern entertainers and athletes. Depending on who practices it, yoga can be simply a set of exercises or a total way of life.
Some who practice yoga, called yogis, try to use the discipline to reach a high level of consciousness. They respect certain abstentions (things not to do), such as not lying, stealing, being greedy or harming other people. They also practice certain observances (things to do), such as being clean, content, self-controlled, studious and devoted.
Physical control is also important in yoga. Yogis train themselves to take full, deep breaths. They consider breathing a life force, counting a lifespan not in years but in the number of breaths taken.
Unlike exercises that work only on strength, yoga also helps the body become flexible. As a result, some yoga exercises (called asanas) look a little strange, and you may think you need to be a human pretzel to do them. Not so. You just have to relax.
In yoga, you ease into stretches, never forcing yourself. The saying no pain–no gain simply does not apply. You do only the best you can at the moment, and at some later moment you will do more.
All yoga poses demand balance. And since you can’t balance if you’re thinking about last night’s TV show, yoga also demands concentration. Learn to concentrate in yoga, and you will be better able to concentrate in baseball, tennis or even school.
Yoga exercises copy nature. Many yoga poses can be traced to the shapes of creatures, such as the cobra, cat, dog, tortoise, crab and eagle.
In the cobra pose, for example, you ask yourself, What would it feel like to be a cobra. You lie on your stomach with your forehead to the floor. As you inhale, you slowly roll your head back, supporting yourself with your hands. You hold that pose, then come down slowly, trying to move as a snake would move.
All yoga exercises promote strength and calmness. Each move’s effects on a muscle, a gland or a nerve center are carefully thought out.
You can choose certain exercises to rid yourself of particular pains, such as back pain from back-packing or leg pain from jogging. Yoga can help condition you for skiing or help you control feelings of depression or fear.
I’ll be sure to share a few more tips soon as I continue to refine my own routine at home.