Modern life is busy and leaves many people feeling like they need a break. It's not uncommon for young business owners, college students and entrepreneurs to be stuck behind a desk or on their phones for hours every day. You might want to jump on the bandwagon where people are getting in shape, relaxing their minds, and improving their overall sense of well-being through yoga. As a beginner, you'll want to keep several helpful tips in mind.

Listening to Your Body Helps You Avoid Injury As a Yoga Novice

As a yoga student practicing at a beginner level, many of the stretches, positions, and poses will be new to you. Some may even feel uncomfortable. Yoga is about getting to know your body better and learning how to achieve your full potential. It's important, however, especially when you're first starting out, to know what to do if something doesn't feel right or is causing you pain. The following list provides several options to implement as you learning to listen to your body to avoid injury:

  • Transition into a resting pose.
  • Modify your pose.
  • Perform a different pose from the rest of the class for the time being.
  • Consult with your instructor about the issue you're experiencing.

If you don't listen to your body, you might overextend a muscle or tendon or wind up suffering an injury that could impede your ability to progress to higher levels of yoga.

Try Various Styles of Yoga to Find One That Works Best for You

When you learn a new skill, it can be overwhelming at first, especially if there's a lot of information to absorb or things to remember in order to implement what you're learning. There are many different styles of yoga. While a friend of yours might tell you that a specific type is "the best," it's always best to explore the options and choose a style based on how it makes you feel and whether or not it's helping you achieve your goals for fitness and well-being. The style of yoga you're likely to find in most gyms is Hatha. It's a basic overall yoga style to increase self-awareness, breathing, and meditation. Other styles of yoga are more spiritually-based. There are also yoga styles that are much more mentally and physically demanding on your body than the basic Hatha style. When you're a beginner student, it's helpful to learn about the various options available and find one that best meets your needs and fitness goals.

No Two Yoga Instructors Are Exactly the Same

You might find a yoga style that you like but struggle with a particular instructor's demeanor or teaching style. This is another thing to keep in mind when you're just starting out. Meet with several instructors in your area. Take a few classes with each and decide which instructor resonates most with your own personality and learning needs.

Enjoy Your Final Resting Pose As a Beginning Yogi

As you carry out the typical duties in an average day of your daily life, you no doubt often rush from one task to another. You might even have a habit of multi-tasking. As you strive to achieve your full potential as a beginning yogi, resist any temptation that arises to rush. This is especially important when it comes to "savasana," otherwise known as your final resting pose. It's important to experience the full benefit of the moments that come at the end of a session. Rather than being in constant motion, it's an opportunity to be still, to let your mind relax and to breathe, and let your body soften after the strenuous tasks it just performed.

Do Not Compare Yourself to Other Yogis

This is probably one of the most helpful tips you can remember as a beginner-level yogi. It's not about anyone else's mat. It's about you. One of the benefits of yoga is that you can "come as you are" and build upon what you bring to the mat your first day. It doesn't matter what the person next to you or across the room is able to do or not do. What matters most is that you take one step (or pose) at a time to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Give Yourself Time to Progress

The five tips mentioned in this post can help you make the most of your beginning yoga journey. It's not uncommon to struggle here and there, but don't give up. It's always nice if you have a friend or family member who also practices yoga because you can encourage and support each other. You can also meet privately with your instructor to discuss a specific problem if needed. In addition to listening to your body, finding an instructor you like, choosing a yoga style that best fits your needs and the other issues discussed earlier, it's important to wear comfortable clothing and avoid eating heavy meals before each yoga class. If you take it one lesson at a time, you'll be surprised at how swiftly you progress!