If you’re new to yoga exercise, you may naturally be concerned what to expect in a typical yoga class. Your first yoga exercise lesson, no matter what style, is going to use specific body postures and breathing techniques known as Asanas.
This makes a strong connection between your body and mind. The more you engage in this type of exercise, the closer the two can become.
So what are some of the best yoga poses that can help you achieve the state of inner peace and true fitness? Any good yoga teacher will begin with the practice of basic meditation.
Many students are initially surprised by how difficult it is to stay still during yoga exercise. This simple relaxation technique is often used in conjunction with various yoga poses in the most effective training programs.
A good yoga exercise class should always begin with a series of back or neck stretches. Begin stretching your spine by using your abdominal muscles to draw your diaphragm up and towards your heart. This action will elongate your spine and deepen your breathing.
As you stretch your spine further, your muscles should be relaxed, not tight, and you’ll begin to notice the tension in your muscles disappearing.
To get started in a yoga exercise program, it’s best to find a class that includes an introduction to chair yoga. Chair yoga simply means using a chair instead of a mat to do many of the basic yoga poses. You may be tempted to think that you need a mat if you’re not comfortable sitting in a chair, but this is very rarely the case.
If your instructor decides that you need a mat, he or she may have several suggestions for purchasing one from various yoga teachers, as well as from online resources.
It’s also very important to pay attention to how you feel as you engage in yoga exercise class. Paying attention to your body’s responses can help you get more from the experience. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is that they tense up in the beginning of a pose.
Instead, focus on opening your chest and breathing deeply. You should be relaxed throughout the class, and not stiff or uptight.
Another way to build strength and flexibility involves keeping your body in a lengthened position. Common yoga poses include the triangle, which requires you to rotate your shoulders, and the triangle pose, which requires you to rotate your hips while staying balanced on one leg.
Keeping your body’s centerline in mind, practice extending your arms over your head and then down your sides, while slowly extending your elbows back toward your hands. Remember to keep your shoulders, chest, and hips gently flexed, and don’t try to hard.
You can also experiment with using mindfulness as you perform yoga poses. To practice mindful breathing, just sit or lie down and focus only on your breathing.
Think about where your chest is in each breath and what you are feeling as you breathe in and out. Think about bending to touch your toes or getting an idea of how far you can reach out with each step you take. Use this information to further expand your awareness as you move deeper into each pose.
As you develop your yoga poses, try to incorporate some of these ideas into your movements. As you become more aware of your body’s sensations, and learn to gently expand and contract your muscles, you will find that you can relax a lot more, especially when it comes to tension in your neck, shoulders, and back.
When you perform advanced poses, such as the warrior series, arm balances, or other advanced yoga poses, you can use these same techniques to keep your body balanced. If you’re looking to strengthen your core and improve your athletic performance, consider a class of vinyasa yoga where you incorporate these techniques into your workout.