Search

What is Yoga? Background & Insights for Beginners

So you’ve been wanting to get started with yoga, but you have no idea where to begin. As with trying anything new in life, it helps to know a little bit about the basics first. This article will help to give you a bit of insight into the beginnings of yoga, as well as offer some tips to make getting started as easy as possible. Before you know it, you’ll be out on the mat honing your craft, and reaping the many health benefits offered by a consistent yoga practice too.

The Origins of Yoga


As a formal practice, yoga is said to have begun in Northern India around 5000 years ago. It may even have origins dating far earlier than this, but we only have historical records (written text) from around this period. These documents show that yoga was used as part of the popular rituals, songs and mantras during that time. Knowing this gives a lot of power to yoga in a way. It suggests that yoga not only helps us to ground ourselves in the present, but also allows us to connect with something that was an important spiritual practice for the many generations that came before us.

Beginners Yoga Classes


When you’re first starting out with yoga, try a beginners class. These have been designed to cater to people with little to no experience, and are meant to gently encourage making a yoga practice a part of your daily routine. As you gain more experience and get more comfortable on the mat, it’s possible to start exploring other types of classes. Take your time! There is no rush to move to intermediate classes. Enjoy the process of building up experience and confidence as you go. With the right instructor and a commitment to the process, you may even find that you end up surprising yourself with the progress you make.




Using a Comfortable Yoga Mat


When getting started, some beginner yogis make the mistake of choosing the first yoga mat they see on special online. A good quality yoga mat is very important, as it helps to keep you safe and grounded throughout a variety of different poses (and eventually different yoga types). It’s important that you feel comfortable whenever you’re using it, so consider visiting a physical store and giving it a test run before you decide to buy it. Think rubber or a material on on which your hands and feet won't sleep and think enough to support your knees when on your hands and knees. The right yoga mat might end up being a bit more expensive, but look at it as an investment to your health and wellbeing, as well as your overall enjoyment.


Starting Early: Kids Yoga


If you’re trying yoga for the first time as an adult, it’s safe to say that you might not have had parents who talked about or even tried yoga themselves. These days, it is far more common for parents to encourage their kids to try it out. Kids yoga is a modern form of yoga that has been designed to increase their flexibility, strength and coordination. The classes are meant to be fun and inclusive, and often they include creative names for the various poses. By starting early, the child gets a headstart in terms of their physical and mental health. Better yet, you get to enjoy doing yoga with them as they get older, creating a secure bonding experience in the fast-paced world that we live in. Are you ready to get going?



- HH Editorial -