Yoga For Beginners
Life in London is stressful at the best of times, and we’re often moving so fast that we forget to breath. We all need a way to relax and The List knows how. The ancient art of yoga is a time honored tradition for a reason; because it works. Take a look at these tips on yoga for beginners.
Originating in ancient India, yoga in its broadest terms, is a group of practices that help align the mind, body and soul. It can help improve your muscular strength, flexibility and posture. It soothes your mind and allows you to better control your breathing and mentality as well as leaving a sense of well-being.
Whether you’re already relatively healthy or if you suffer from various ailments such as arthritis and high blood pressure here is scientific evidence to suggest the benefits of yoga and it is endorsed by institutions such as the NHS.
The best way to get into yoga is to find a verified professional instructor on The List for one-on-one or group sessions. A qualified expert giving you guidance is the best way, but to get you started we’ve compiled some handy tips to begin your journey to peace and tranquility.
At the heart of yoga is the idea of pranayama which is controlling your breathing. Control being the imperative word as practicing pranayama gives you total control of your body and mental state which is why it is highly recommended for moments of stress and anxiety. When it comes to Yoga for beginners, pranayama is a good place to start.
When we’re under pressure our breathing becomes quicker, more forced, and we tend to inhale more than we exhale. To spare you the boring science, it basically makes different aspects of your body work against each other which makes you tense up, effectively making your body panic.
The answer is elongated exhalation. Simply sit comfortably, close your eyes, and try to empty your hand. Just focus on your breathing entirely, try to regain control by inhaling for four seconds through your nose and then gently exhaling without pushing; let the air naturally fall out of your mouth, don’t rush for your next breath. Then repeat this process for a couple of minutes until you feel calmer or have regained your composure. This will decrease your heart rate and lower your blood pressure allowing you reach a calmer state of mind.
Kapalabhati breathing, also know as skull shining breathing, is another popular and easy to accomplish form of yoga for beginners.
Simply sit comfortably with an upright posture and place your hands on your stomach, one above the other. Inhale deeply and gently then quickly push your abdomen to force a small exhale from your nose then release. You should aim to expel the air with gentle pushes up to ten times and then take another deep breath and repeat. You should do this cycle three or four times.
Kapalabhati breath purifies and strengthens your lungs as well as improves the oxygen supply in your body.
Another core tenant of yoga for beginners, beside breathing, is the use of poses to improve your muscle strength and flexibility. While there are many poses to choose from, here are a sample of easier beginner poses for you to try at home. However while these poses may sound strict and regimented don’t believe that is so – always listen to your body. Modify them if you need and seek small improvements over time and practice. Yoga seeks to improve your body, not to push and harm it.
The mountain is one of the first poses you will learn as it is the base for all standing poses, while it may sound just like standing there is a lot more at play here. Stand and place your feet together, plant all ten toes, and stretch them open. Tighten your thighs and lift your kneecaps. Place your hands by your sides and bring the abdomen in and upwards towards the chest. Bring your shoulders down and you should feel your shoulder blades coming together. Try to keep your back and neck as a straight line as you face forwards. Imagine a string holding your head from the ceiling keeping you in a rigid line. Take a breath deep and hold for seven to eight seconds and release.
Practicing this pose regularly can help towards give you the perfect posture.
The downward facing dog is one of the most famous and common practices, making it an ideal choice of yoga for beginners, it is simple and effective at strengthening the whole body. Start by getting down on all fours, tuck your toes into the floor and push your hips upwards in the air as you extend your arms forwards and bring your inner elbows together. Try to get your legs as straight as you can but if it feels like it is pulling, tight or painful then keep your knees slightly bent. During the process try to keep your back straight. Your body in this position should resemble an upside down V. Hold the position for seven to eight breaths and then relax back down to all fours. Repeat three to four times.
Repetition and practice is key to yoga and when done regularly, it can give you much greater control over your whole body. Not only relaxing you and easing your state of mind but improving your strength and flexibility.
Yoga allows you to become more self-assured and confident and best of all it is accessible to everyone.
Don’t hold back and start your yoga experience today with The List.