The ultimate beginners’ guide to yoga: All you need to know before you start

When you are about to start yoga, you are probably riddled with many questions about this mind-body technique. These beginners' tips will answer all your queries.

Enrolling in a yoga class may not be as simple as it sounds. It takes quite a bit of research and preparation before you actually strike those poses. A fair idea of the right yoga trainer or class, picking up the appropriate attire for your asanas in advance, along with a few other crucial aspects will keep you ahead in the game for sure. Here are our top tips to set you up for success.

Choose Your Class Or Trainer Judiciously

Do your research well and look for a class that is in line with your goals. For example, if your aim is weight loss, search for classes or trainers specialising in power yoga. Stress alleviation, on the other hand, will require training on restorative yoga. Initially, it will be good to experiment with different classes and teachers to find the one appropriate for you. Consider taking opinions from your friends and relatives: Word of mouth can be an effective tool to get insider information about a training institute or a yoga teacher.

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Dress The Part

Putting on an apparel that does not restrict your range of movement and makes you feel comfortable in your own skin is a must. You need to choose stretchable, form-fitting fabric so that you can move with ease even during inverted poses or while performing asanas that require you to bend forward. Start with pants or shorts that you already have. After a few classes, you will be in a better position to decide whether you need a longer or shorter trouser, a more loose-fitting or a slightly lighter one. Avoid non-stretchy materials. When it comes to tops, do not go for ones that are loose-fitting because they slide up and down easily. Sleeveless tops are the best options because they allow freedom of movement to your arms, elbows and shoulders.

Pick Up The Right Props

Pack your bag with the basics: Sipper, towel to wipe away sweat, and a yoga mat. A mat makes a difference in your performance for sure. Though your institute may provide it, it's always good to have your own for hygiene purposes. Invest in a yoga mat that is slide-proof, soft and biodegradable. If you are headed towards your first yoga class, don't bother to get other props like blocks, blankets and straps. Let your teacher tell you if you'll need these.

Watch What You Eat

A heavy meal before a yoga session is a no-no. You may feel sick while moving if your tummy is full. Having a light snack an hour before the class should work fine. A bowl of berries or apple with yoghurt could be a good option. A handful of nuts could also be the ideal choice. Avoid anything greasy.

Come With The Right Frame Of Mind

The key is to go easy on yourself and be patient. Also, do not expect results early. Give your body some time to attune itself to the new routine that you have exposed it to. Make sure that you don't push yourself beyond your current abilities. There is no rush. Watch the cues your body sends and respect them. If you feel pained or strained to strike a particular posture on a given day, have this faith that it'll happen some other day. Don't label yourself as 'incapable'. Be open to your instructor's feedback and take it constructively instead of thinking that he or she is picking on you. Remember, hands-on instruction will only help you learn fast.

Be An Early bird

If you have joined a yoga class, instead of having a trainer at home, reach at least 30 minutes before the session starts. This will give you the time to choose a comfortable spot in the class, introduce yourself to the teacher and complete the paperwork as well. Also, arriving a little early will allow you to go through a few warm-up poses like leg stretches, easy twists and pelvic lifts. These will prep up your body and mind for the following class.

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