Yoga Tips for Beginners



Intentions help us become more conscious of what we do in and out of our practice, helping us stay focused on our goals. 

Even the most experienced and dedicated yogis were once novices. With patience and persistence, beginner yogis who have just only started to discover yoga can unlock the myriad advantages yoga offers, from improving physical health and mental clarity, to the enhanced spiritual connection it allows. Here are a few ways we can boost our daily practice.


Beginning here and now 

“Here and now is where yoga begins.” A translation of sage Patanjali’s first sutra or aphorism. The sutra can be taken as a recommendation, or even an instruction for a yogi to begin their practice no matter their current physical or mental state. We must practice with what we have, not with what we aspire to be. The first step is to learn the basic asanas through introductory classes. While challenge is good, it is best to move ‘slowly but surely,’ ensuring we don’t delve into advanced practices too quickly. This enables us to establish a proper foundation before moving on to higher practices.


Eating a balanced diet 

Mindfulness is a key yogic concept, which applies to all areas of life, not just our practice. California-based yoga teacher Scott Blossom believes that the yogic diet should closely resemble a plant-based diet as it is known to be rich in essential nutrients and vitamins. While becoming vegan is not a requirement, adhering to healthier eating habits can help us feel lighter on our feet and hands. Also, it is best to practice on an empty stomach, normally at the start of the day, or once we have already cleared our bowels.


Investing in the right gear and clothes

The right gear and clothing can make a difference. Researchers have found all kinds of unwanted invaders in mats. From bacteria and allergens to lotions, body oils and other debris. If we take yoga classes, its best to invest in a yoga mat rather than use the ones provided by yoga centres. There are many options with different materials, from affordable rubber mats for sporadic practice, to non-slip mats that aid stability for intense classes such as Vinyasa or Hot yoga.

Comfortable clothing too is important to maximise performance. Standard sports attire will generally do; however, it may not be recommended when practicing outdoors on colder days. Activewear hooded jackets emphasize comfort, while providing ample room for movement. Plus, the hood can help us support inverted asanas, giving us a layer of fabric between our head and the floor.

When choosing your yoga apparel, don’t be afraid to try a few poses in the fitting room to check the comfort and stretch of the fabric. When attending a class, it’s best not to wear brightly coloured clothes, as they may distract others from their own practice.


Focusing on the breath 

Breathing should always be done through the nose as it primes the air before it reaches the lungs. It also helps in elongating breaths, which is what every new yogi should focus on. Deep abdominal breathing helps us find comfort and stability in each asana. Apps such as the Headspace mindfulness app which contain breathing exercises can help yogis improve their breathing, which will help prepare them for meditation and enable awareness of the self.


Setting an intention

Setting an intention is an important part of manifesting our goals, and something we should do each day. Just before starting your next practice, set an intention, such as remaining in a state of gratitude throughout the practice, or even something more tangible such as completing five sun salutations continuously, without losing breath awareness.

Intentions help us become more conscious of what we do in and out of our practice, helping us stay focused on our goals.


Never comparing ourselves to others 

Social media has changed the perspective of yoga – or at least asana practice – for many it may even seem unfeasible. The

Countless Instagram accounts featuring slim yogis showing off challenging postures continues to perpetuate exclusivity within the community. But it is important to remember that yoga is much more than asana practice. After all, asanas are only really practiced to prepare ourselves for meditation, only then can we encounter the mind and truly transform ourselves. The key is

looking inward and accepting our reality. Yoga is not a team sport; it is the science of self-development. There is no place in the practice of yoga for competition nor comparison, other than comparing our very own evolution with resolute awareness and honesty.