The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Yoga
Popular women’s workout clothes aren’t just worn to the gym or yoga studio — comfortable yoga clothes are perfect for running errands, heading to the airport, or lounging around the house. Most women love wearing clothes for yoga, but have you ever experienced the benefits of practicing yoga? Yoga makes a positive impact on the mind, body, and soul. If you feel called to start your yoga journey, we have everything you need to know to get started on the right foot (don’t worry, we’ll get into some beginner poses later):
The History of Yoga
While you may recognize yoga as a popular workout method today, it originated several thousand years ago someplace in India. The purpose of yoga was to align the mind and body, self-observe, and reach higher consciousness.
When practicing yoga, the mind and body are meant to become one. It began as a religious practice before evolving into a physical and spiritual practice that people from all over the world enjoy today.
The Physical Benefits of Yoga
While you’ve probably experienced the benefit of feeling comfortable and looking cute when wearing your best yoga attire, the benefits of yoga are widespread and science-backed. There’s a reason that people who practice yoga say they feel better than ever! John Hopkins Medicine notes that yoga improves strength, flexibility, and balance. You should certainly expect to build strong, lean muscle if you begin practicing regularly. Yoga also boosts metabolism, increases circulation, and reduces blood pressure.
Workout studios worldwide offer yoga classes because the practice sculpts and tones the body. Instead of taking another spin or HIIT class the next time you head to the gym, try a yoga class (offered in most gyms). You’ll be surprised by how you can still get in a great workout without elevating your heart rate with cardio. Please be sure to wear appropriate yoga attire, so you can comfortably move around with ease!
Yoga Benefits More Than the Body
Nowadays, people associate yoga’s benefits with the physical differences that others can see. Here’s a little secret: the mental benefits of yoga are typically a huge driving factor for why people practice. Harvard Health found that yoga can improve mental health: “When you do yoga, your brain cells develop new connections, and changes occur in brain structure as well as function, resulting in improved cognitive skills, such as learning and memory. Yoga strengthens parts of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, awareness, thought, and language. Think of it as weightlifting for the brain.”
That’s right. You can wear comfortable yoga clothes, improve your strength, and boost your mental health all in one swoop. There are remarkable outcomes for people with the ability to look inward and improve themselves through an intentional, regular yoga practice. Elise Joan says, “Yoga is the ultimate practice. It simultaneously stimulates our inner light and quiets our overactive minds. It is both energy and rest. Yin and Yang. We feel the burn and find our bliss.”
The Best Beginner Yoga Poses
If you’re reading this blog post at home, we want you to take a moment to try these three beginner yoga poses. Grab some appropriate yoga attire and find a quiet room where you have room for some movement. Here are three of the best beginner yoga poses that will kickstart your yoga journey:
- Sukhasana: start by sitting on the floor. Cross your legs. Close your eyes. Rest your hands on your knees. Face your palms toward the sky. Keep your spine straight and aligned with your neck. Take a deep breath. Continue deeply breathing and sit in this pose for a full minute.
Questions to ask yourself during or after the pose: how does my body feel? How does my mind feel? Am I tired? Relaxed? Stressed? Are my muscles tight? Right now, the main objective of this pose is to understand the state of your mind and body at the beginning of your yoga practice. (Pro tip: do this pose whenever you need to relieve some stress.)
- Cat-cow: carefully move from your crossed leg position and onto all fours. Your knees should be aligned with your hips, and your palms should be placed on the floor and aligned with your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide. Take a deep breath, round your back upward, and bring your chin to your chest. Stay there for a moment. Feel the way your spine stretches in this position. Now, exhale your breath, lower your back into a neutral position, and swiftly swoop your neck to look up toward the sky. Try alternating between the cat and cow positions five to ten times. Don’t forget to listen to your body!
Questions to ask yourself during or after the pose: how does my body feel? How does my mind feel? Does my back feel stiff? Did that pose help my back? Do my hips feel more open? (Pro tip: do this pose if you’re experiencing back pain.)
- Downward-facing dog: please keep your hands on the floor. Press your fingers firmly into the ground, lift your tailbone, and send it back. Draw your hips toward the sky, straighten your legs, and press your heels firmly into the floor. Your arms should be long, your head should be placed in between your arms, and your hips should be raised toward the sky. Take five to ten deep breaths while holding the pose.
Questions to ask yourself during or after the pose: how does my body feel? How does my mind feel? Do I feel strong? What do I notice about how my back feels? Did that pose make me feel good? (Pro tip: do this pose if you’re experiencing back or hip pain).
Beginner Yoga Accessories
The three beginner poses we shared don’t require yoga accessories, but you may wonder how to better prepare for your future yoga practices. The best clothes to wear for yoga will make you feel comfortable — you should be able to move easily, the material should be breathable, and you should feel good in the clothes. You don’t need to immediately jump out of the gate to purchase yoga accessories; many poses don’t require accessories. You may opt to buy some basic yoga accessories like a yoga mat, resistance bands, or a yoga ball foam set. We wish you the best as you embark on your yoga journey. Namaste!