Yoga For Beginners: What to Expect & How to Prepare

Every few months I feel drawn to yoga. I’ve yet to be successful at practicing but perhaps like weight loss, one day it will stick! Yoga is one of those activities that I think can be intimidating to try for the first time – so many things to know! However, there are many talanted and gifted instructors out there who are more than happy to share the yoga love. As I was cleaning out my inbox I came across this guest post on yoga for beginners and I thought it was perfet to share with you!

Yoga For Beginners

If you’re considering yoga but aren’t sure where to start, try these tips for planning your first class (and saving a little money in the process).

1. Research Studios & Classes
Learn about the opportunities for yoga in your area. In addition to studios, check out gyms, wellness centers and community recreational facilities for classes. Even if your town doesn’t have a designated yoga studio, your local fitness club or rec center likely offers a class or two.

2. Get Free or Discounted Newbie Passes
Most yoga studios offer a free introductory yoga class, week of classes or deeply-discounted rates so you can test their facility and instructors. Take advantage of this by visiting as many studios in your area as possible for free or cheap. It’s a great way to learn about the different styles and teachers without busting your budget!

3. Read Up on the Styles
People do yoga for a variety of reasons, so determine your goals and find a style that helps you achieve them. If you sit behind a desk for a living and want to sweat, consider a Power or Vinyasa class. Gentle or Yin yoga classes are great if your day job leaves you stressed and out of breath. For more information on yoga styles, check out this article from Gaiam.

4. Talk to Instructors
Let teachers know you’re a newbie and ask if they offer variations for beginners. Most do, but some classes are targeted specifically at intermediate or advanced practitioners, and instructors can point you to a more appropriate class or style of yoga for your needs. Know that teachers are the key to a yoga class — once you find one you like, you’ll feel more motivated to practice consistently.

5. Try At-Home Practices
I got my start with yoga using a “Yoga for Dummies” DVD. It may sound silly but I found it hugely helpful when I stepped onto my mat for the first time in a studio setting. The instructor calls out postures like “Mountain Pose,” “Warrior Two,” “Downward-Facing Dog” and the like, and knowing what these look like ahead of time made me feel better prepared.

6. Go Basic for Gear
As a frugal shopper, I use the Coupon Sherpa coupon app to save on yoga gear from Sports Authority, or hit up TJMaxx and Marshall’s for discounts on brands like Nike, Under Armour and New Balance.

7. Accessorize for Comfort
Most studios have props for student use, including blocks, straps and blankets. Take advantage of these items to help strengthen your practice or make challenging postures easier. For example, using a block during Half-Moon pose can help you balance better and focus on extending your lifted leg. Similarly, a strap can help you deepen the stretch in a Seated Forward Bend when you wrap it around your feet.

8. Don’t Skip the Variation
Teachers speak often about listening to your body and leaving the ego off the mat. This can be tough for competitive types, but beginners should definitely heed this advice. Variations are instrumental in creating a strong foundation for your practice, so drop that knee or use your strap as needed. Achieving the peak posture will feel all the sweeter and far more stable if you’re confident in the foundational steps.

A big thanks to Kendal Perez for sharing these yoga for beginners tips!

This Weeks Journey

Yikes! I can’t believe its almost been a week since I checked in here! Work is super busy right now and being self-employed I take work as it comes and everything else – with the exception of my gym time – takes a back seat! This week felt better than the one before, my eating was cleaner, and I always notice a change when I start eating too many quick processed meals. They may be quick and cheap but they make me feel like garbage. I’m talking about the microwave dinners that fall within my points but they are so full of sodium and other chemicals my body just feels full of sledge.  I did notice I ate a pizza and it was 11 points+ YIKES! I can make a bigger one that tastes better, has better ingredients, and fills me longer.

The workouts this week included 3 boot camps, 1 hot yoga session. Friday was a double up day that had a boot camp and hot yoga session – OUCH!

Tomorrow is marks the end of an 8 week “Inches Lost” challenge. I’m hoping to win and I’ve been drinking water like its my job for the past 2 days to try and keep away any bloating. If this was a pounds lost challenge I’m sure I’d have this secure!

I got some awesome news that my inspirational quote prints are going to be featured at my training gym – I get an entire wall to display my prints – so pumped!! If you’re interested in purchasing one for your home or office, please visit gcsdesign.ca and contact me. I can turn your favorite quote or one of the quotes we have into a print to match your decor.

Oh! And I’ve seen previews for the new program Bob Harper is launching and I can’t tell you how excited I am to try it out! Here’s the video all about it:

Bob Harper’s NEW Online Fitness Club is launching 4/3/12! It will feature exclusive, invigorating content designed to shape healthier lifestyles and fitter physiques. The site will include new daily videos of Harper leading workouts, kitchen demonstrations with recipes and other healthy lifestyle tips along with progressive circuit workouts, a fitness journal, a community section and a database of Bob’s personal recipes (with vegan and vegetarian options). (source)

 

Weigh-In Wednesday {March 7}

Oh how quickly this week crept up on me! It’s not been my best week to date and on top of that it was PMS week, so that’s usually good for bloating and usually a pound gained…BUT…NOT THIS WEEK! I was happy to see a 1lb loss this week despite everything that was against me. I worked hard, ate well, however, I didn’t track very well for 2 days, and I’m thinking that’s why the loss was only a pound!

It’s time to move on and set the goal for this coming week! Here’s what the workout schedule looks like this week:

Wednesday: 1hr Boot Camp
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 1hr Boot Camp & 90min Hot Yoga
Saturday: 1.5hrs Cardio
Sunday: 1hr Hot Yoga
Monday: 1hr Boot Camp
Tuesday: 1-2hr Treadmill while watching Biggest Loser

Weight Loss Goal: 2lbs

What are you doing this week? Are you trying anything new? What limits are you pushing past?