Yoga is a popular activity that can be intimidating. Though the practice has been around for thousands of years, it remains a favorite among everyone from students to stay-at-home parents to high power executives.
The benefits of yoga are clearly far-reaching. Scientific research and anecdotal evidence both note that yoga helps to:
- Improve flexibility, muscle strength, balance, and endurance
- Improve circulation
- Improve athletic performance
- Prevent injury and speed up the recovery process
- Regulate metabolism and increase energy
- Promote lean body mass
- Decrease stress and serve as a value coping strategy
- Promote an increased sense of well-being and self-esteem
Yoga and other related practices (including mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises) have even been shown to benefit specific populations, including older adults, people with PTSD, and fibromyalgia.
There are actually several different kinds of yoga (akin to there being many different forms of dance), with some being more beginner-friendly and others being much higher intensity and technically advanced. Even within a given type, however, there is a lot of scalability of movement patterns.
So, even if you’ve never stepped inside a yoga studio before, there’s no reason to worry that you won’t be “good enough.”
You May Also Like: The Power of the Pause
So, who’s yoga for? Practitioners and participants alike will tell you: virtually anyone. Every “flow” (or sequence of movements, of which there are literally hundreds) can be easily modified to match a person’s current physical capacity–especially under the guidance of a trained instructor. If you have a medical condition, it’s always wise to consult with your doctor before beginning a yoga practice, and always let your instructor know before class if you’re currently dealing with any injuries. She or he will be able to help you adjust your flow to ensure that you stay safe.
5 Yoga Moves That Are Perfect For A Beginner Flow
Don’t let their simplicity fool you. These 5 yoga positions are perfect for any yogi newbie and can easily be performed multiple times in sequence for a challenging 15-20 minute “flow.”
For an even simpler flow, try this well-known “Sun Salutation A”–perfect to do early in the morning before the craziness of your day begins!
Perhaps the most important part about all of these yoga poses is the emphasis on breath. By taking even inhalations and exhalations through the nose, you’ll be maximizing the beneficial effects of your yoga practice–both mental, emotional, and physical.
Trying yoga for the first time? Let us know how it goes—Namaste!