For those who follow my blog know, I love yoga! I practise 3 mornings a week minimum and the odd evening too, and by practice I don’t mean hours at a time Gwynnie style, it’s usually 10-15 minute sessions, with even those short bouts makinf the world of difference to my daily life, my well being, how toned I look and feel and well, how happy I am to be honest.
So much so, yoga has stopped being just a form of exercise to me, but a big part of my life, not only having a positive impact on my fitness but also on my mental wellbeing and overall health.
I’m asked a lot for my tips on how and where to begin when it comes to yoga and although I’m by no means an expert, I wanted to share a few of the things that have worked for me and also of course, to share my yoga style with you all
So without further ado, here’s my top 5 yoga tips for beginners:
1. Get the right kit – In terms of clothes, make sure you choose a yoga outfit that’s cool, comfortable and not too loose (some poses mean you’ll be upside down and the last thing you want is to be yanking down loose clothing particularly in a yoga class – my favourite yoga outfit is by cool Swedish brand me&i (more of that in detail, later). If you want to practice yoga at home make sure you invest in a mat so you don’t slip (you can pick them up for as little as £5 online).
2.Take classes – There are some fantastic online videos and DVDs that allow you to practice yoga in the comfort of your own home (I love the 10 minute solution-dvd) and my friend writer and yoga teacher Zaz’s blog Mama and More for yogi-spiration.
I strongly recommend taking at least a couple of beginners classes so you can have an expert teach you the key moves (such as Downward Dog and Plank). The key to yoga success is how you align and open up your body and its important that you have a yoga teacher show you the correct way to do this. Don’t feel disheartened if the teacher corrects your pose either, no one is perfect from the start and it takes months or even years of practice to perfect the individual moves.
3. …And Breathe – Breathing technique is a key part of yoga, so make sure you master this early on (again attending classes helps). Observe your breath and concentrate on deep inhales and exhales to power each movement throughout your session. Yoga breathing strengthens your respiratory and immune system and helps energy levels. It can also help with stress and improves mental wellbeing (Top Tip – if you’re having a stressful day, take 5 and practice yoga breathing – it has a brilliant calming effect and I use it all the time).
4. Know your limits – Yoga is a great way to train your muscles and push your body, but at the same time make sure you listen to your body too. Don’t over do it. If something genuinely hurts or you are struggling for breath, then stop and revert to Child’s Pose (the yoga pose of the rest). You know your body the best and if something really doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. And don’t fixate on your classmates either if you attend a class- we all progress at our own pace and the number one priority needs to be your safety.
5. Try, try and try again – Let’s not kid ourselves…yoga is HARD, but that’s what makes it such a brilliant workout. Some poses are difficult to master, but practice makes perfect and through perseverance and by building your core strength you will eventually nail it! I remember the first time I took on the Eight Angle Pose (where you balance just on your hands with your legs crossed out to the side – difficult huh?!) I couldn’t master it and kept on falling over, but after several attempts, I eventually perfected the move and was ready to take on my next challenge!
Clothes wise, I want my yoga outfit to be comfortable, able to stretch with me, and durable. As I practise yoga regularly, that’s a lot of use and a lot of washes! As my regular readers will know, I don’t like to compromise on style either. I often do some yoga then head for the school run, so its important that my outfit is suitable for the public arena too! I believe if I look good, I feel good too.
I picked up the outfit here at a recent me&i style party I hosted, which you can read about here.
I adore the colour of this on trend pastel pink v-neck t-shirt (£37). It’s a light cotton blend, so keeps me cool too. The material is textured and has a slightly ‘lived-in’ look meaning it looks great wear after wear after wear…These me&i Magic Pants are ideal for yoga (barefoot) and also look pretty cool with converse or as I’m wearing floral Cath Kidston trainers.
Magic by name, magic by nature…they’re literally one of the comfiest pair of tracksuit/legging style pants I’ve ever worn!
I love the fact that although they’re loose fitting (and therefore nice and cool!) the bottom cuff is elasticated so they won’t ride up during my more acrobatic (!) yoga positions.
I often like to start my session, or end them wearing this matching sweatshirt with anchor motif on the back. Pretty huh?
The perfect yoga outfit for this yoga loving mummy.
So are you an avid yoga fan too? I’d love to hear your tips!