Yoga for Total Beginners
If you’re new to yoga, please know that yoga welcomes anyone and everyone to the mat! Yoga does not discriminate against gender, age, physical ability, ethnicity, etc. That’s the beauty of the practice.
Sometimes the hardest part about trying something new is having the courage to show up. So it’s important to release any self doubt or stereotypes you may have and show up with an open mind and heart, willing to experience something new.
New yoga students often ask: Why do we practice yoga and how does it benefit us? We practice yoga for various different reasons, some of which include relaxation, flexibility, improved circulation, body awareness, confidence, alignment, pain relief, stress relief, detoxification, balance, concentration and inner peace. Yoga can also build strength and stamina and become a form of cardiovascular conditioning. As a result, we have improved body image and self esteem.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve enlightenment. We expand our consciousness and find freedom or liberation. “Yoga” means to yoke or to join together. Ultimately, each practitioner experiences union and harmony of the mind, body and spirit.
A Brief Yoga History
Yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago. You might hear yoga instructors speak Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language used to name each posture. Typically, one might hear the instructor say the posture in Sanskrit and then hear the English translation as well. This is important knowledge to have, because it allows each student the opportunity to respect yoga’s lineage and origin.
Yoga has been modernized in the Western world so there are numerous forms to choose from. It’s key to find the right style of yoga for you! Yoga can be a simple meditation practice or it can be a form of intense exercise, with a broad spectrum in between. It’s important to research and/or try out the various class offerings and choose something that suits your needs.
Outlined below and shown in this video, is a very brief sequence for a new practitioner that spotlights some of the most common postures one might see in a class. Don’t be afraid to try it and as always, have fun!
Yoga Sequence for Total Beginners
- Easy Pose – Sukhasana
- Table Top – Ardha Purvottanasana
- Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Forward Fold – Uttanasana
- Mountain Pose – Tadasana
- Half Sun Salutations – Surya Namaskar
- Warrior 2 – Virabhadrasana II
- Extended Side Angle – Utthita Parsvakonasana
- Reverse Warrior – Viparita Virabhadrasana
- Tree Pose – Vrksasana
- Butterfly Pose – Baddha Konasana
- Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
- Supine Spinal Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana
- Corpse Pose – Savasana
This Aya Wellness tip is brought to you by Kathryn McCann of Hang Zen Yogis.