Friday, 21 August 2015

Lifestyle | Beginners yoga tips

I previously assumed that yoga and meditation was something people did to look fashionable, follow the celebs and live the 'Tumblr lifestyle'. I most definitely ate my words as I've now been completely converted, and really wish I'd given it a go before now.  It wasn't until I saw online that practicing yoga can help to decrease lactic acid in your muscles, and also decrease joint pain, that I thought I needed to give it a go as this would be a huge plus considering I have a joint related condition. I've yet to find somewhere local to me for beginners classes, so for now I practice at home as often as I can. I can honestly say, it's one of the most relaxing and enjoyable parts of my day. I appreciate that for a lot of people it's difficult to find the time, but even if it's something you make time for a couple of times a week - you'll thank yourself!

I'm in no way a yoga expert, but from my experience so far, I've popped together some tips which I think could be useful to any fellow newbies!

There's a common misconception that yoga is only for the slender, super-fit and flexible. That simply is not true. It's for everyone, and can be practiced by anyone, as long as you have the right tools. By 'tools', I don't just mean the physical, but the mental. You'll need a quiet space, time, patience and a little determination. Remember, you don't need to start off as a naturally bendy person - with practice over 9 weeks, Yoga can help to increase your flexibility by 35% ( 

The Basics

1. Invest in a decent yoga mat - the length and 'stickyness' varies from one mat to the next. I bought mine in store at TK Maxx, but you'll probably find one in any sports store, and some fashion retailers. 

2. Pop on something comfortable, you need something you can stretch in! Im wearing Decathlon Yoga Leggings and a Decathlon Yoga Tank (size down as they're very roomy!). 

3. Try to practice in the same space. This helps to refresh the memories of your past sessions in your mind, and should help you get into your routine more efficiently. 

4. Get your water bottle ready. I always pop my water bottle in the freezer 30 minutes before I start. Water helps you to focus, and replaces the water you lose through exercise. 

5. Browse the web. Have a look at the kind of routines you want to practice. You can use YouTube, yoga blogs, Instagram, google - anywhere you can draw some inspiration from.  

6. Find the right balance of yoga and meditation. Combined, they help you to knit body and mind together - I feel one isn't as strong without the other. Successful meditation helps you to relax, destress and enhance your inner strength. (I know it sounds like waffle, but I assure you if you keep at it, it really works!). Meditation usually comes before, and after your yoga session, but you can also take 'breathing breaks' to refocus. 

Seated spreaded forward (fold). This pose is part of my warm up/pre session meditation routine to open up my hips, and get the blood flowing.

 Pigeon Pose/One Legged Pigeon.

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana/Extended heel stretch.

Hanumanasana/Monkey Pose/Right leg split.

My next goals are to master the tiger pose, mermaid pose, and improve my back flexibility overall! Anyone can do yoga, and I think I'm someone that consolidates that (being plus-size and having arthritis), so don't let anyone tell you or make you think you can't do it, because you can. 

Are you new to Yoga? Do you have a specific routine or favourite pose? I'd love to know, so please feel free to comment below, or click on my social media links to pop over and say Hello! I'm an Instagram addict, so would love to see you over there too! 

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