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When you are a beginner in yoga, you may find it very confusing: what is yoga and its many types, and how can you start yoga easily also at home? This article is a complete guide about yoga for beginners. This is a good summary of the most asked questions and answers about yoga, and I will also give you a good short list of the best home yoga equipment you need to get started easily.
What actually is yoga? The simple definition of yoga is here!
In yoga, you move your body and make various positions. Yoga is a combination of both physical and mental exercises (like mindfulness) which help you in controlling your body and mind. Yoga is good for stress management and peaceful relaxing routines.
What is ‘asana’? And what are asanas used for?
Asanas are body postures in yoga.
Originally, ‘asana’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘sitting’ or ‘a seat’. That’s why generally nowadays, an asana is a generic term for seated postures for meditation but there are also many other asanas in yoga, than only sitting, as you may already know 🙂
The oldest asanas involve mainly sitting in a meditational pose but there are also standing asanas and everything inbetween (back- and forward bends, twists, arm-balances, inversions, etc). Each asana has a different name because each competing school of yoga prefer their own names, like you can imagine in this modern world!
You can find a good list of yoga asanas for beginners here in Amazon Associates* to support your yoga practices at home:
What is a yogi? What is a yogic lifestyle?
What it actually means to be a yogi? A yogi is just the name for a person who practices yoga.
A yogic lifestyle often has a philosophical or moral background because yoga is not only physical body movements and stretching, but involves also conscious mental exercises. When you live a yogic lifestyle, you probably are also interested in self-development, healthy habits and ethics.
Not all yogis of course, but many.
When you practice yoga daily for years and are interested in studying the values of yogic lifestyle, you are probably bringing yourself closer towards ‘sattva’, a calm state of inner peace.
That’s why also I got interested in practicing yoga. I first started my “mental yoga workouts” when I studied hypnosis and NLP for years, but then I got more and more interested in physical yoga exercises as well.
How popular is yoga in the United States and worldwide?
Although yoga has a long history and the practice of yoga has existed for thousands of years, its popularity in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world is still growing wildly. Through this Amazon associate link* you can easily read more about the history of yoga:
Over 37 million people in the United States practice yoga, about one in ten people. This number has doubled over the past decade and is continually going up all over the world.
It’s no surprise since yoga has so many health benefits (physical + mental benefits).
What are the scientific physical and mental health benefits of yoga? Also a beginner in yoga benefits immediately!
Physical benefits of yoga include increased flexibility and muscle strength, better body tone, improved breathing and cardiovascular health, injury prevention, and weight loss.
There are also mental health benefits of yoga, including better stress management, better sleep, and increased relaxation.
Yoga is beneficial (body+mind!) both for beginners and advanced athletes. Most yoga practices include modifications to make the poses more accessible or more challenging or to accommodate injuries, pregnancy, or medical conditions. Through these Amazon Affiliate links* recommended by (R)evolution for Love, you can read more detailed interesting information e.g. about the scientific benefits of yoga:
Yoga comparison is a thief of joy!
Whether you are a yoga newbie or more experience, it is important not to compare yourself to other yogis. You are on your own journey. You can use these more advanced yogis for inspiration or tips, but give yourself grace if you aren’t up to their level yet.
Can a beginner learn yoga at home? Definitely!
Yoga is not only excellent for your physical and mental health; it is an easy practice to begin at home.
Home yoga does not take up much space or require expensive equipment. There are a veritable wealth of classes available online, so you don’t have to leave home to practice yoga.
YOGA FOR BEGINNERS: How often should a beginner do yoga?
When you are a newbie to yoga workouts and prefer yoga at home, try to schedule 2-3 home yoga sessions per week. Or make it your short morning routine. That way you start learning the poses better and your body starts to stretch more easily every time you practice yoga.
Even for 15 minutes!
Just like everything in life, yoga requires consistency. When you show up for your yoga practice regularly, you will see improvement much faster than if you only practice occasionally.
So how do you get started with yoga easily at home? We have a few tips here for yoga newbies!
Which yoga is best for beginners? Different types of basic yoga classes (yoga styles) explained - Find your own yoga style!
There are several different types of yoga classes from which to choose. For you as a beginner in yoga, try these:
Hatha yoga is the slower yoga type with deep stretching (The best yoga for beginners!)
What is hatha yoga? It’s the best yoga for beginners!
Hatha yoga is slower and more controlled than many other forms of yoga. Yoga beginners looking for a deep stretch like Hatha for the longer times in each pose. You can read more about easy yoga for beginners through this Amazon Associate* book link:
“Hot Yoga” for beginners: Even if you are a beginner in yoga, you can try also Hot Bikram yoga!
Bikram yoga (=“hot” yoga) is a series of 26 set postures performed in a room set to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. You can read more about hot yoga for beginners through this Amazon Associate* link recommended by (R)evolution for Love:
Is vinyasa yoga for beginners?
Vinyasa yoga classes have more of a flow to them. It is fast-paced and moves through many poses in one class. Even though you are a beginner in yoga, you may like this. You can read more about vinyasa yoga for beginners through this Amazon Associate* link recommended by (R)evolution for Love:
Within these categories, there are subsets of yoga and different teaching styles for all yoga types. For beginners, the best idea is to try out several types of yoga classes until you find one that you enjoy.
All kinds of yoga teachers, lessons and formats (also online yoga classes for beginners!)
There are also many kinds of yoga teachers and formats you could try. Some yoga teachers record YouTube yoga videos in picturesque locations or pristine yoga studios.
Others have live yoga classes on Zoom, where you can see your fellow participants practicing yoga from their homes with you – you might spot a furry family member or toddler enter the frame 🙂
Men and women of all races and sizes teach yoga online if you want to find someone with whom you identify. Different yoga teachers focus on various aspects of the practice, whether it is strength, relaxation, or nailing the perfect backbend.
You can also find yoga classes of varying lengths, whether you need to fit a quick yoga lesson in your day or you’re looking for a longer workout. Just like you should try multiple styles of yoga, try out other yoga teachers and formats to see which ones you prefer.
Even if you are a yoga newbie, schedule your yoga practices
First, decide how often you will practice.
Be realistic – think about your current commitments and how much time you can actually commit. If you say you’re going to practice every day and can only do it twice a week, then you’ll find yourself discouraged and not want to continue.
Also, keep in mind that if you are new to working out in general, you may be dealing with some muscle soreness or fatigue at first. Allow yourself time to rest in between sessions.
Once you’ve decided how often you will practice, put it in your calendar. You are much more likely to stick to your commitment if you put it in your schedule like any other commitment.
Finally, if you fall off your plan, give yourself grace. Sometimes life gets busy, and no one perfectly sticks to their exercise regimen. Try to get back to your yoga mat as soon as possible without beating yourself up too much about the past.
The Beginner's Ultimate (+Easy!) Guide to Home Yoga Practice
When you begin yoga at home, take some time to consider where and how you want to set up your own “yoga area”. Also choose the right home yoga equipment for beginners – find my best selected tips for you here step by step:
Set up your own private, relaxing and beautiful yoga space at home!
Find a place that is calming and has access to your yoga lessons. You will want to be away from your house’s high traffic or high clutter areas. You might want to practice near a TV or use your phone or computer to access yoga videos. Consider setting up some candles or incense to increase the zen effect of your own private, beautiful and relaxing yoga space.
The best yoga equipment for beginners: Only the most essential yoga products carefully selected for you
Getting the right yoga equipment for beginners is an excellent step to starting a yoga practice at home. You don’t need to be fancy, but certain things can make the beginner’s practice easier. Here’s a useful list of the most essential yoga equipment for beginners:
You need a good yoga mat, but how to choose the best yoga mat for your needs?
Of course, a good yoga mat is essential. You need padding (cushioning) and a non-slip surface to safely & effectively carry out many of the poses. Your choice of a good yoga mat depends on how much padding you need, how you want it to look like and what’s your budget.
There are plenty of variations in the material, thickness, quality and prices of different yoga mats, so I have made it easy for you and give my top recommendations here for you for different use (always good quality & price in mind).
YOGA FOR BEGINNERS: A good-quality foam yoga mat is always a durable and budget-friendly choice.
Check this best quality yoga mat (all happy colors and with a useful carrying strap!) from the associate* partner of (R)evolution for Love is:
Is a cork yoga mat a good investment?
Good cork yoga mats are better (and more expensive) than traditional foam yoga mats because good-quality cork yoga mats are naturally anti-microbial (anti-bacterial) and odor-resistant (resistant to bacterial growth). Quality cork yoga mats do not smell (ever!) and they are self-cleaning, which makes them easy to maintain. Cork yoga mats are also eco-friendly.
However, cork yoga mats are not as long-lasting as natural rubber yoga mats: the estimated lifetime of a cork yoga mat is less than a year.
But when you like the style of cork yoga mats and want to invest in yourself, choose this best cork yoga mat from the associate* partner of (R)evolution for Love:
The best non-slip hot yoga mat: What is the best mat for hot yoga?
When it’s getting hot & humid, avoid sliding with this good non-slip hot yoga mat from the associate* partner of (R)evolution for Love:
When you prefer a nice bikram yoga mat + towel combo, choose this hot yoga mat+towel combination from the associate* partner of (R)evolution for Love:
Select a good yoga mat carrier or a nice yoga mat bag to carry, protect and store your yoga mat
When you go to yoga classes and back home, how do you transport a yoga mat?
You get to and from the yoga studio easily with your yoga mat and other stuff, when you carry your yoga mat in a beautiful yoga mat bag like this colorful one from the associate* partner of (R)evolution for Love. A yoga mat bag or carrier makes it also easier to store your joga mat at home:
What are yoga blocks (or yoga bricks / yoga props) used for? What can I use instead of a yoga brick?
Good yoga blocks can be helpful to modify poses for beginners, prop you up, or help you find a supportive position when the soil gets closer more easily!
In more difficult asanas, don’t risk yourself but grab a good yoga block or two. They help you deepen your stretches and support you in deeper poses which increase your strength, flexibility and range of motion.
For example, if your hands don’t reach the floor in some standing poses that easily (or probably not at all!), use yoga blocks to help you out. It’s better to use some help than get annoyed totally and stop your practice, right?
And yes: yoga blocks, bricks and props mean the same thing.
Good yoga bricks are made of cork, foam or wood, and that’s why they are naturally softer than normal building bricks 🙂 In my opinion, the best yoga blocks give you both stability and balance, but they can also make even your own home look like a beautiful yoga studio! (Just select your favorite colors here below)
So, which yoga bricks are the best for yoga newbies?
I recommend these Gaiam yoga blocks for beginners because they are lightweight and durable foam blocks with a non-slip surface. And many different Gaiam yoga blocks are available also in beautiful colors, so you may want to find the best suitable for you through this associate partner link* recommended by (R)evolution for Love.
Instead of yoga bricks, you can use books, pillows, folded blankest or any other firm cushions you have at home, or perhaps preferably you would like to have a good yoga bolster.
What is a yoga bolster used for?
A supportive body pillow for yoga is named a yoga bolster. It gives you both support and comfort during and after your yoga practice. It is naturally softer than yoga bricks/props, like a meditation cushion, but still better for yoga than normal pillows. Try this yoga bolster from the associate partner of (R)evolution for Love:
YOGA FOR BEGINNERS: Avoid slipping - Choose some beautiful yoga socks!
Adding yoga socks on top of a good yoga mat will add additional protection from slipping, which is particularly good for yoga newbies when you are gaining strength and learning the poses. I like especially these beautiful yoga socks (associate link*) which are ideal for yoga and pilates:
Good yoga mat spray to deodorize your mat and your lovely home yoga studio!
Finally, if you’re practicing at home, you want to make sure your yoga space stays fresh and clean. Try this mat spray (associate link*) to disinfect and deodorize your mat and home:
While practising yoga, listen to your body and soul
The main point in life is to enjoy it. And the same principle applies to practising yoga.
But just like in life, the tricky thing with yoga is that every person is different, and every day is different. Sometimes you’re kicking butt in each pose, feeling strong and powerful. Other days you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and can’t seem to manage anything but savasana (“the dead corpse pose”, the final resting pose in which one lies on one’s back).
The key is to listen to your body and soul. Be kind to yourself on the days that seem tough and push yourself more on the days where you have more to give.
Easy & affordable yoga for beginners at home
Yoga can be extremely rewarding and does not require much initial investment. With a few pieces of equipment and some free YouTube videos, you will be well on your way to feeling like a true yogi.
YOGA FOR BEGINNERS: Read more about the history and the scientific benefits of yoga
Benefits of yoga. American Osteopathic Association. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/.
Google. (n.d.). Explore the ancient roots of Yoga . Google Arts and Culture. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://artsandculture.google.com/story/explore-the-ancient-roots-of-yoga/rAKCRDl92CPuJg.
Hrubenja, A. (2021, April 21). Yoga statistics and facts: 2021 edition. Modern Gentlemen. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://moderngentlemen.net/yoga-statistics/.
Hunsberger, M. (2021, July 15). These are the most popular yoga styles in the world. DoYou. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://www.doyou.com/these-are-the-most-popular-yoga-styles-in-the-world-55277/.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2019, September 27). How to find more time for physical activity. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20044531#:~:text=To%20keep%20exercise%20a%20priority,every%20interruption%20that%20comes%20along.
McGee, K. (2020, October 11). Types of yoga – breakdown of 11 major types. mindbodygreen. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-11-major-types-of-yoga-explained-simply.
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