How to Start Doing Yoga
You might also like: YogaBurn!
Yoga has been part of my life long before it regained its popularity in recent years. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, my mom was way ahead of her time. She faithfully did her yoga each and every morning, and continued with it daily right through to her late seventies. She stayed so fit and youthful in appearance well into her senior years, and I know for a fact it was the yoga. Now she’s 82 (just had her birthday 6 days ago – Happy B-Day Mom!), and has dementia, so sadly, she no longer remembers or understands how to do her yoga. But her body remains so flexible and agile. Her caregivers are always telling me how amazed they are by her flexibility and physical fitness at her age. I always tell them, its the YOGA!
It really got a couple of them interested in getting started with yoga. They know I do yoga too (and have since I was 7 years old, when my mom sent me to my first yoga class!), so they asked me if I could recommend the best beginner yoga DVD for them to get started with. Their work schedules vary each week, so yoga classes aren’t convenient, and one of the girls said she feels too self-conscious to go to a class anyway! They both really wanted to be able to just get started with yoga by learning at home with a DVD.
I recommended a really good one to them (actually, its 12 videos, not just one), but first I showed them five of the best yoga poses for beginners, to make sure they would actually enjoy doing yoga before they went off and bought any dvds. Here are the yoga poses I got them started with – in my opinion, these are the 5 best yoga poses for beginners, and they are among the basic, foundational poses that many yoga instructors teach to newbies first.
These poses are really easy, relaxing and enjoyable. Try them. If you enjoy doing these, you will enjoy doing yoga. If you want to go further and learn more, get the yoga DVDs I recommend.
This pose seems so simple, but it is the basic template for all the other postures. It’s a welcoming way to begin connecting with the breath and beginning a yoga practice.
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet together, perhaps with your big toes touching, eyes closed. If you’re stiff, separate your feet slightly. Let your arms rest at your sides, with fingers together.
Modification: If standing is too much of a challenge, lay on your back with the soles of your feet pressed up against a wall. You’ll feel like you’re standing on the floor, but your lower back will get a slight stretch. Source.
HANDS TO HEART
This is an easy, seated pose allows us to connect with the ground. It’s a pose that lets us become focused, allows us to pause, and simply “be.” By bringing our hands to our chest in prayer position, we centre this energy and sense of being grounded in our heart. We can find peace and strength in stillness.
How to Do It:
Sit in a cross-legged position, with the spine lengthening upwards. Bring the hands together into prayer position in front of the heart. Source
Upward Dog stretches the front line of the body, and opens the heart to the world. By engaging all the muscles in the body and then holding this pose, we are energizing our heart and mind, and renewing our sense of openness to the world around us.
How to Do It: From a prone position with the hands underneath the shoulders, fully engage the leg muscles as you straighten the arms and open the chest upwards.
For the cat pose, position yourself on your hands and knees (get on all fours); look to the floor, drop the chest and round the back upwards, bringing the belly to the spine. (Image Source)
This one feels like it’s all about the arms, but when done correctly, it’s pretty much the best core strengthening and stomach flattening exercise you can do!
How to DO It: To move into plank from warrior 2, step your back foot forward again and move into a forward fold. Bend your knees and plant both hands firmly on the ground slightly in front of your feet. Step one foot back and then the other, standing on the balls of your feet and your hands, heels pushing back. Make sure your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders and your back is straight (not drooping down or folding upwards in a triangle shape). To achieve this, tighten your core and thigh muscles and make sure your buttocks is not pointing up. Remember to breathe during this strong posture and hold it for as long as you can. If you have weak or injured wrists, you can practice plank pose on your forearms instead of your hands. Source.
Yoga Tip for a Tiny Belly
The best beginner yoga DVD based on my knowledge, and the one I recommended to them, is called Yoga Burn by a company called Her Yoga Secrets. Its developed and instructed by a well recognized fitness expert by the name of Zoe Bray-Cotton. If you are not already familiar with her, she’s a Certified Yoga Instructor and a Certified Personal Trainer who has taught all major types of yoga for over a decade at some of the most renowned gyms and yoga studios in North America.
What is really excellent about the Yoga Burn program is that it is based on what is known as dynamic sequencing. Dynamic Sequencing is a method that teaches you how to do each movement and then continues to slightly increase the challenge at the precise moment your body starts to get used to the routine. This is really effective because it forces your body to adapt, and that, in turn, helps you develop a stronger core and a more shapely, toned and feminine body. The end result will be that you will not only look great, you’ll feel fabulous too.
Yoga Burn guides you through 15 different videos that are designed in such a way that keeps both your body and mind guessing, so you’re always excited by what comes next in the routines and you don’t get bored or end up hitting a plateau as can happen in some of the other programs and DVDs out there. That’s why I really love this particular program and recommend it as THE best yoga DVD for beginners.
In addition to the fact that you get not just one, but a total of 12 videos, I also love that they include an ebook with the program because, while some people learn better by watching a video, others learn better by reading, so this makes it easy for everyone.
What’s also great is that you can actually get started immediately, because they give you instant access to the videos online. So you can watch the videos on your lap top, tablet or phone, or stream it on your big screen TV 🙂 All in all, its the best beginner yoga program I’ve seen and you get excellent value.
I also think that the fact that they offer a risk free money back guarantee really helps reinforce what a great program it is. They stand behind their program, so it removes all the risk for you to try it. Its a sign that they have complete confidence in the value of their product. I also think of it as removing the excuses and procrastination about getting started with yoga – I mean, you literally have nothing to lose, so with that in mind, if you are thinking about giving yoga a try, you have no reason not to get started now 🙂
Visit the website to learn more or order: Yoga Burn by Her Yoga Secrets.
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