5 Tips for Beginners to Yoga

  1. Do not overstretch, especially in forward folds. If you suffer from lower back pain or have very tight hamstrings, trying to touch the ground can cause you more pain, especially if you are rounding in your back to reach a little further. Instead, bring your hands to a block, or two or three. If you are practicing at home, you can even press your hands into a chair or ledge.

  2. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to use props! They will make your practice much more enjoyable and beneficial, especially when you are starting out.
  3. Know that all poses are optional.  If something isn’t to your taste or just seems too extreme, don’t do it! Ask the teacher for an alternative. They should be happy to offer a different option. You can also rest in child’s pose or tabletop position until you are ready to join back in.
  4. Teachers are happy to help if you are struggling with a certain pose. If you aren’t sure about something, ask your teacher! They will certainly give you a few pointers to help you with the pose. Before or after class is usually a good time.

  5. Do not compare yourself to the people around you. That person next to you might be naturally flexible or has been practicing for years and years. Everyone is going to be at a different level in their practice. Wherever you are is just fine. If you are benefiting from the practice, don’t worry about how your pose looks compared to your neighbor’s.