Ways to Teach Yourself Yoga

Written by Cassie Brewer.

Practicing yoga is an ever-growing trend in the U.S. and worldwide. The 2016 Yoga in America Study found that 36 million Americans practice yoga, and 34 percent of Americans said that they would be interested in trying yoga in the next year.

downward dog

Individuals of all ages may practice yoga, and in many cases, children of practitioners are practicing yoga, too. Almost all practitioners—regardless of age—said that yoga helped improve mental clarity. While practitioners reported beginning a yoga regimen for various reasons, the study found that the most common reasons included flexibility and stress relief as well as improving overall fitness.

Yoga is a relatively simple form of exercise that spans across all age groups. Whether done in the home or in a studio, yoga requires no bulky equipment and can be relatively easy on the wallet. Novices may learn independently or may be guided by a professional instructor.

Most practitioners need the following basic items to begin yoga practice at home: a mat, comfortable clothes, lots of space to move and quiet.

For those who are completely new to yoga, beginning a regimen at home means learning about the principles of yoga. Breathing is an essential part of yoga; without proper breathing, the mind can become distracted.

Learning to breathe properly controls the mind. The mind must focus on inhaling and exhaling; this helps the body to relax and allows the body to overcome the objections of the ever-running mind. Breathe in from the nose and exhale through the mouth. Deep cleansing breaths.

Try to sit and focus on cleansing breaths before moving on to postures. Sit in the Easy Pose, which means the back should be straight, legs crossed and hands in front with palms facing upward. Close your eyes and focus on calming imagery while breathing.

This also is an easy way to meditate.

When you feel ready to move on to learning postures, there are many options for instruction. Many online video sites like YouTube offer videos on basic yoga instruction. The local library also offers free videos to rent.

However, professional yoga sites remain the best resource for novices to learn proper postures and watch poses being demonstrated by professionals. The site Yoga.com offers video demonstrations of poses ranging from beginner to advanced.

There are also many sites online that offer yoga sequences created for those new to yoga. Sequences are a series of poses that flow together naturally. Be aware of the body, however, when moving between poses to avoid injury.

Never try intermediate or advanced poses until the beginning poses have been mastered. Yoga should be an exhilarating and calming exercise; the body should not be stretched or hurt in the process.

When practicing yoga at home, always be sure to remove socks and shoes. The feet should be free to grip the mat when forming postures. Socks could easily cause slipping and injury. Keep distractions away while practicing; clear away clutter to ensure a calm and serene area.

Individuals with health concerns or injuries should consult a doctor before beginning any exercise routine or instruction. Some poses might strain an injury or may be unsafe for those with certain medical conditions.

Yoga practice has become an incredibly popular form of physical fitness for many Americans. While building the body’s strength and flexibility, yoga also helps provide stress relief and gives the mind a comforting solace from mental clutter. Enrich the body and the mind by introducing yoga practice into the daily routine.

Cassie Brewer is a make up professional in Southern California. In her free time, she enjoys writing about her passion healthy living and everything beauty related. Nothing makes her happier than helping other be the best version of themselves they can be. You can read more at cassiebrewer.weebly.com and follow her on twitter @Cassiembrewer.

Related Links