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8 Practical Tips For Yoga Beginners

February 16th, 2009 · 5 Comments ·


When I first tried Yoga 3 years ago, after the first class, I decided not to attend the Yoga again. My legs were sore for at least 3 days, more painful than I did my first squat. Fortunately, my friend has persuaded me some time later for another try. With her guidance, since then, I no longer avoid Yoga and fell in love with Yoga. So, I know how tough Yoga can be for a beginner. While I dare not claim that I am as flexible as those postures shown in the photos, but I have made some progress along the way.

Yoga, if it is not done properly, one many end up in worse shape. After all, yoga is meant to be a nurturing form of exercise, not a rigid imitation of poses. With that mind and couple with my experience, here are few things I learn and I hope that they will be useful for you too:

  1. Attend classes conducted by an experienced yoga instructor who asks about your physical limitations. Some of them are kind enough to slow down the pace or offer alternative poses to meet your needs.
  2. Always be in the class on time. Do not go in after the class has started. Once you miss the warm up, the exercise will do harm than good for you. Ten minutes of easy movements will increase blood circulation, get your body ready to stretch. Yoga poses should progress from simple to more difficult.
  3. Try no to eat 2 to 3 hours before you attend class. A pre-yoga snack may backfire on you. You will find it hard to bend. Not forget to mention the build up of “emissions” gas.
  4. Do not lock your knees in standing postures, despite what a teacher may say. If you feel any strain during sitting or kneeling postures, place a folded towel under your bottom.
  5. Always keep your neck in alignment with the rest of your spine when arching backward. Do not let it flop back or down. Seriously, do this properly.


  6. Get to know your body and its injury-prone zones. If you have pain, just stop. Do not compare yourself with others who may have been doing yoga for few years. Let go your ego. I have forced myself into difficult posture and end up hurting myself. If something feels painful or uncomfortable, ease back, rest and breathe. Yoga is all about awareness and accept what our bodies are able to do.
  7. Having said that, do not just sit back and rest when comes to pose you do not like. Do not practice only your best poses, but also work on poses you struggle with as well. Even a small progress is better than giving up totally. Such a practice will be more productive and give you the feeling of self-assurance.
  8. Most yoga teachers assist students during classes. In general, a light touch that brings your awareness to an area is fine. Teachers who adjust you by moving your body for you or forcing you into a posture may cause injuries. Just say no. I have done that before to a kind instructor – I just told him that, “No, I can’t do that and don’t force me (to whack you, so get your hands off from me, now!)”

As a beginner in yoga, you will times you feel a bit lost in the class. No worry, that is common. Go to your first class with open mind. We all have to begin from somewhere. Hopefully, with the above tips, you will be enjoying more on your next Yoga class.

By the way, if you wonder what you need what to wear for yoga classes, check out another of my article.

Any comments from Yoga beginners?




Category: Yoga

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5 responses so far ↓
  • River of Karma // Feb 16, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Very good advice for yoga beginners.

    Might I add to this, yoga isn’t like lifting weights where the more you crunch your body, the better. Yoga is gentle, light, done in a slow accepting manner where each time is a discovery in its own.


  • Karin // Feb 16, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Good post!

    To add on:

    Remember to breathe. When I refer to breath I am referring to one complete inhale and exhale cycle.You should breathe through you nostrils and not your mouth. Sometimes, when you are trying to do something new or extending beyond your comfort zone, you may have a tendency to hold your breath during an asana. Be mindful and do not hold your breath. If you are not breathing, you are not doing yoga!

  • Tom Parker // Feb 18, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    I’ve never done yoga. I try and stretch daily but have never got in to full yoga. It’s something I should really put on my ‘To Do’ list.

  • Lenore // Sep 19, 2009 at 5:17 AM

    Excellent tips! If I can’t see what the teacher’s position and I’m wondering which way my feet or toes or hands should be facing, is it OK just to ‘blurt’ out the question?
    Sometimes they wear long pants and I can’t see their knees and feet.
    Thanks, L.

  • Josephina // Sep 12, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    I also dreaded my first yoga experience! But just the same, I persevered in attending the classes to lose weight. On the process, it even helped me be at peace with myself and helped my mind be more focused, and just like you, I recommend it too!

    For those in Malaysia (like me) who might be interested in trying out yoga, check the website of the studio where I attend classes, they’re offering private yoga classes so the effects will be maximized!

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