Seity Collective Wellbeing made simple

15th march 2023

A Beginners Guide to Yoga


Yoga is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, originating in ancient India. It is a holistic practice that incorporates physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and ethical principles. The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means to unite or join, and it is often interpreted as the union of the individual self with the universal self.

The earliest written records of yoga date back to the 5th century BCE, in the form of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. These texts outline the eight limbs of yoga, which include ethical principles, self-discipline, physical postures, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and ultimately, the attainment of enlightenment.

Over the centuries, yoga has evolved and spread to different parts of the world, with various schools and styles emerging. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, yoga began to gain popularity in the West, with many practitioners and teachers bringing different styles and interpretations of yoga to the Western world. Today, yoga is a popular form of exercise and relaxation, with many different styles and traditions available for people to explore.

For beginners, starting a yoga practice can seem daunting. However, it is important to remember that yoga is for everyone and there are many different styles and levels of yoga to choose from. It is important to find a style and teacher that resonates with you and to start with a beginner's class or series to learn the basics.

First, it's important to find the right type of yoga for you. There are many different styles of yoga, each with their own unique focus and level of intensity. Some popular styles include Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga. Hatha is a gentle style of yoga that focuses on breathing and movement. Vinyasa is a more dynamic style that links movement with breath. Ashtanga is a more intense style that follows a set series of poses.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when practicing yoga is proper alignment. This means making sure that your body is in the correct position during each posture. Proper alignment helps to prevent injury and ensures that you are getting the most out of each posture. Your teacher will be able to help you with alignment, but it's also helpful to take pictures of yourself in each posture to check your alignment.
Another important aspect of yoga is the use of props. Props such as blocks, straps, and blankets can help to make the postures more accessible for beginners. They can also help to deepen the stretch and increase the benefits of the postures.
In addition to physical benefits, yoga also has many mental and emotional benefits. Yoga helps to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase feelings of well-being. It's also a great way to improve focus and concentration.
When starting out, it's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If a posture is too difficult or causes pain, it's okay to come out of the posture or use a prop to modify it. Remember that yoga is not a competition and that everyone's practice is different.

Here are some key tips for beginners:
Start with a beginner's class or series to learn the basics
Find a style and teacher that resonates with you
Wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement
Don't compare yourself to others, focus on your own practice
Remember to breathe and move with your breath
Listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard
Be patient and consistent with your practice
By starting with these tips and being open to learning and growing, you can begin to develop a strong and sustainable yoga practice that can bring physical and mental benefits. Remember, yoga is not about being perfect, it's about showing up and being present.

Is Yoga Right for You?
Yoga is in no way exclusive—being able to practice yoga does not matter how old you are, how much you weigh, what you do for a living, where you live, or what religion you practice. Yoga is accessible for just about everyone.

If you have a medical condition or a recent injury, it can be challenging or dangerous to do certain types of yoga, specific poses, or breathing techniques. Usually, there are alternatives or modifications that can allow you to practice safely, and many common complaints have specific yoga therapy remedies.

If you are recovering from an injury or are in poor health, we recommended consulting with a physician or other qualified health care professional before beginning yoga.

What Is the Best Yoga for Beginners?

If you are out of shape or extremely inflexible, we recommend you begin with a gentle practice until you have built up the strength and flexibility for more challenging sequences.

If you are a relatively fit and flexible person, you should be able to jump right into a regular hatha yoga class.

Once you are familiar with the basic postures, you can explore a vinyasa or flow class. We recommend you avoid Ashtanga, Bikram, or hot yoga until you have built up some physical strength and endurance.

It is always best to error on the side of caution and safety and approach yoga slowly and carefully. The best way to know if yoga is for you is to give it a try!

How to Practice Yoga
Yoga is typically performed in bare feet on a sticky yoga mat with optional yoga props.

The yoga movements and poses require clothes that can stretch and move freely with your body.

Yoga classes may use additional props, the most common being straps, blocks, blankets, and bolsters.

You don’t need to purchase these right away as you can easily substitute these items with scarves or neckties, a stack of books, and pillows.

If you take classes at a yoga studio, they will provide everything that you need.

Your First Yoga Practice
We recommend that you start with a short and straightforward yoga session and slowly build up from there.
Once you feel comfortable with a few basic beginner yoga postures, you can incorporate them into a sequence and continue to add more challenging poses.
Make sure you learn and follow the essential components of a yoga practice: breathing, meditation, intention, asanas, and relaxation.
How Often Should I Do Yoga?
If you can practice yoga 3 or more times per week, you will see significant improvements in your flexibility, range of motion, strength, balance, inner peace, and overall well being.

Ideally, we recommend shorter and more frequent sessions, 20-45 minutes long, and for a total of 3-4

In conclusion, yoga is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is a holistic approach to health that emphasizes the connection between the body, mind, and spirit. As a beginner, it is important to start with basic poses and gradually build up to more advanced ones. It is also important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. With regular practice, you will notice improvements in flexibility, strength, balance, and overall well-being. Additionally, the practice of yoga can help to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, and promote a sense of inner peace. Remember to be patient with yourself and to enjoy the journey. Yoga is not about perfection, it is about progress and self-discovery. So, whether you are looking to improve your physical health, manage stress, or simply find a sense of inner peace, yoga is a practice that can be tailored to meet your needs. With the right mindset and dedication, you can reap the many benefits of this ancient practice.