Getting started with yoga

Sometimes, just getting started is the hurdle.  You might have questions such as “How long and how often should I practice yoga?”, and “What do I need to get started?”.

getting started with yoga

Getting started with yoga

The amount of time to spend practicing yoga depends on what you’d like to achieve.  But if you are a beginner, anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour every other day is a good place to start.  You’ll get the greatest benefit if you can do some every day.  However, if you only have ten minutes a few times a week,that’s still better than not practicing any yoga at all.  The main thing is to find a routine that you can sustain over time.

You also need to decide if you’re going to take yoga classes at a studio, or practice at home on your own. Classes can provide structure, and of course guidance if you have a good instructor. Classes do cost money, but discounts are generally easy to find online.

You can practice yoga for free at home, and there are literally thousands of free workouts on websites such as YouTube.  There are also many worthwhile DVDs to follow along with which you can either purchase, or borrow for free from your local library.  Another option is purchase instant downloads.

What do you need to practice yoga?  Firstly, a mat that is suitable to your own preferences.  Because of the many brands, types, materials and colors, we will explore this topic separately.  I also suggest having a small blanket on hand for the meditation period of practice so that your body does not cool down too quickly, which can cause you to tense up.  And I recommend loose clothing always…nothing constricting.  A small towel under your head can be helpful if you need additional neck support.

Always be sure to practice safely and cautiously.

Whether it be in group classes, or practicing yoga at home,  I highly recommend starting with a beginner’s program.  This will help get you become acquainted with the poses and prepare your body for more advanced levels of yoga when you feel you are ready.  Trying to start out with an advanced program isn’t going to give you results faster, and it could potentially cause harm for the inexperienced.

Never force yourself into any position.  Don’t ever push your body too far.  Yoga is not a competitive sport, and everyone is built differently.  Do what feels right to you.  And most importantly, always consult with your physician before engaging in any new physical activity or exercise you may want to try.

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About Lee Marie

Lee Marie is our resident expert on all things yoga. Lee Marie has been practicing yoga since the 1960s. She was certified and began teaching in 1972. As the mother of six children, yoga has helped her to keep fit and energetic, not to mention sane! Lee Marie has taught in many settings, from her own private yoga studio to a modeling school to adult education classrooms. She also had an award winning Hatha Yoga instructional TV program which was syndicated and cablecast throughout New England.