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New to Yoga? 12 things you should know before the first lesson

If you think about trying out yoga in 2019, you have a lot of company. Over 14 percent of American adults practice yoga. According to a new study published by the CDC data from 2017 were analyzed. The practice which in India around 2700 v. Chr. (19459006) was born and continues to grow in popularity in the United States, ranked # 7 of the American College of Sports Medicines the latest fitness forecasts for 2019 .

Yoga is much more than a fashionable way of exercising, which is usually known as the West. And despite the # yoga Instagram images that make it intimidating, you do not need a specific body type or level of flexibility to practice it. In fact, there are many misconceptions about yoga ̵

1; especially in the United States – and knowing the facts before you first unfold your mat can help you gauge your origins and make the most of your experience.

Here are three yoga experts explaining what you should know before your first yoga class – about the important and often overlooked history of yoga, what kind of movements to expect, what to wear, how to do a beginner-friendly yoga Choose course, basic manners and much more

1. First of all, it's important to note that yoga is about more than just fitness – it has a long and deep history that is often overlooked in the US.

Yoga emerged thousands of years ago in the Indus Valley Civilization and before its transition to over a century ago in the West, it was never considered as just exercise. Rina Deshpande Ed. M., MS.T., ERYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher, says SELF. "It's a philosophy of how to live well by transforming yourself and experiencing everyday life with all its ups and downs," explains Deshpande, who writes, researches and teaches about the benefits of yoga and mindfulness for adults and children , [19659006] Classical Yoga – called Raja Yoga – includes eight limbs or exercise types. Together, all eight exercises involve yoga, which in Sanskrit means "unity" or "yolk," explains Deshpande. In general, Western yoga practice usually emphasizes only one of the eight connected limbs – asana the physical limb, which in Sanskrit means "seat" or "pose". However, the other seven limbs are equally important for yoga and include the yamas (social principles such as "do no harm"), Niyamas (philosophical principles for self-care, such as cleanliness and attention Your mind habits), pranayama (intentional breathing exercises), pratyahara (retreat into your interior), Dharana (laborious concentration on the way to.) Meditation), [19659020] Dhyana (concentration becomes effortless and softer) and Samadhi (meditation, silence and connection to the universe), explains Deshpande.

As previously mentioned, many yoga lessons in America focus mainly on the asana portion of yoga. So, if you can take a course designed to give you great training and take advantage of certain benefits, you simply know that you will miss the holistic benefits of yoga, depending on the studio and lecturer you choose. (Learn more about choosing the right class for you.)

2. You do not need a degree of fitness or flexibility to try yoga.

If you browse #yoga on Instagram, you'll see images of people in designer leggings turning their bodies into complex poses, balancing in this way and seeming to defy the laws of gravity. These pictures can be mesmerizing and intimidating, especially if you've never tried yoga before and may have limited flexibility. However, you do not need expensive clothes or a basic level of flexibility – or fitness – to try yoga.

"What happened in the US that, ironically, we introduced a yoga culture that feels exclusive or that requires & # 39; material objects – a real mat, an outfit, a kind of body, or sportiness, "says Deshpande," in fact, everyone can practice yoga. "

Amy Opielowski, Master Trainer in San Diego, agrees with CorePower Yoga . "Anyone can step on a yoga mat as long as he is open-minded and open to try something new without judgment or expectation," she says SELF.

3 There are many different types of yoga, so choose a class for you.

From hatha to vinyasa to yin-yoga and more, there are many different styles in the US, and it can be overwhelming to browse through the options, especially if you've never done yoga before The styles may differ from studio to teacher, and some studios have their own class, so it is best to call the local studios and ask which courses they recommend for beginners Offering basic poses is a good choice for newcomers, says Opielowski. Vinyasa means "breath connected with movement" and focuses on flowing movements that are related to your breathing, or hatha yoga, which in Sanskrit refers to any kind of yoga that teaches physical attitudes (although in most studios a more fundamental, slower-described -paced-style), would be the best choice for beginners, Claire Grieve certified yoga teacher and stretch therapist, says SELF. Some studios have also set beginner classes.

Sorting By choice, you know that many styles of yoga are dedicated to the surnames of revered teachers, such as Iyengar and Kripalu, Deshpande explains. Some styles – like Ashtanga Yoga – are more rigorous and focus on "passionate postures and movement," says Deshpande. Some of them, such as Yin Yoga, are slower and refer to minutes held for minutes. Some studios, such as CorePower Yoga, offer fusion courses that focus more on strength training and at some point in the classroom require picking weights and make movements like lunges and squats. "

"Everyone offers great opportunities to practice yoga in their own way, but I believe that no matter what style, guru is darkness") – the teacher – that's important. " Deshpande says, she also notes that in the case of fusion courses, it is ideal to find someone who "teaches these classes holistically and in a balanced manner, offering philosophical teachings of yoga that are infused into a practice of strength." They will probably do so Do not find in any Power Yoga studio, especially when it comes to physicality or weight loss, it really depends on the studio and a particular teacher.

When evaluating potential studios and teachers, consider the following: "Your teacher Not only does he have to have an Indian background to be a good teacher, "explains Deshpande." A good teacher does not have to be athletic or "spiritual", a studio does not have to be high There is no need for any Indian statues to be on sale, and there is no need to be just an Indian or to have an adoption Indian name, "she adds. "A true guru of yoga just has to be an authentic yoga student, a practitioner of all the elements of yoga, just as he is a yoga teacher." Ideally, says Deshpande, a teacher will associate asana with the other members of yoga. Search for potential teachers online and call the studios to ask for the background, expertise and philosophy of their instructors to find someone whose practices match what you're looking for in a class.

. 4 The structure of a yoga class varies by style, but there are some common things that you can expect.

The structure of a yoga class also varies depending on the studio, class type and teacher. For example, the courses at CorePower start with a series of poses to connect you to your breath, says Opielowski. From there, the teacher may ask you to set an intent for the class, which essentially means selecting a particular word or quality for the rest of the class, such as Openness or Cure . , Then you will probably go through different poses and rivers (a certain sequence of poses will be repeated several times). Your class may also have a "pose of the day" that your teacher describes in detail and provides several regressions for the class. The classes may also include hip opening movements and spinal restraint movements before ending with a short meditation performed in the backrest of Savasana (also referred to as Corpse Pose).

Even during the specific poses you will differ greatly depending on the class and teacher. There are a handful that you should know well before, as they often pop up in many different popular yoga styles. Check out this 12 must-know Yoga for Beginners to arm yourself with a few basics.

. 5 When dressing for class, decide on something comfortable and well-designed.

Their clothes should be comfortable, above all else, says Opielowski. It should also absorb sweat well and allow you to move, stretch and breathe easily, she adds. Most people wear leggings for yoga, although you can wear shorts if you feel better in them. In addition, a supportive sports bra and a lightweight, comfortable T-shirt or tank are a great choice. Just make sure that what you choose is form-fitting, or put your shirt in the waist of your pants so it does not spread as you move through various poses, says Opielowski. You do not need special shoes because yoga is barefoot.

. 6 Imagine the teacher before class.

Come to class early and introduce yourself to the teacher. Let them know that you are in yoga for the first time and inform them of any injuries or concerns before beginning your lesson. A good teacher will be happy to guide you through any changes or reservations you may have, says Grieve.

. 7 Consider a water bottle, a towel and a yoga mat.

A water bottle (for hydration), a small towel (for sweating) and a mat (where you perform your poses) are three important tools you need in the classroom. You can bring your own, although most of the studios provide loans or provide these items with membership for free. It is therefore worthwhile to check the offer and what is included in the class price beforehand.

. 8 No matter what kind of yoga class you attend, there is a basic etiquette that you should follow.

When you enter a yoga room, leave your phone and other electronics behind, says Opielowski. Respect the current noise level – most studios are quiet places. Most studios also have cubbies in the locker room or outside the room for your shoes. Leave them there instead of bringing them to class where they can get in the way.

When you lay down your mat, notice where others have placed their mats. Although there are usually no marks on the floor, most people will end up laying their mats in rows. When the room starts to fill up, make sure there is room for everyone and adjust the placement of your mat if necessary.

After all, as with any fitness group, you should do your best to be on time and stay for the entire duration of the class, if you can, says Opielowski. This is out of respect for both the teacher and the classmates so that everyone can enjoy their exercise with as little external distractions as possible.

. 9 If you can not do a certain pose, do not emphasize stress.

A good teacher will give instructions for changing poses, says Opielowski, and it's perfectly acceptable to skip a pose if it does not work for you. You can rest in a basic pose Child's Pose if you need a break, Grieve adds.

10th You may be in pain after your first hour.

You will probably be a little sore after your first lesson, says Grieve. "Yoga tends to train muscles that are not used often, even if you exercise regularly," she says. However, if you feel pain in your joints and / or ligaments after yoga (as opposed to general soreness), it is a sign that you may have been hurt. In this case, you should see a doctor if the pain persists for a few days or worsens.

. 11 To avoid adopting yoga, educate yourself by simply asking, reading, and engaging in the practice before making any decisions about it.

"Remember that we do not know what we sometimes do not know," says Deshpande. Educating yourself and asking questions (from people who have invited you to ask them about yoga) will be very helpful. Deshpande says people often tell her that they are afraid to try or practice yoga because they have inadvertently appropriated a practice from a culture they do not belong to. Her answer: "We are in a really powerful, transformative time, in that we are talking more about it – to highlight deeply meaningful practices or slogans marketed from their roots," she explains. "Entering a yoga practice with humility and self-taught education, such as reading articles or even asking simple questions, does not mean that you are in a position of appropriation. The practice of yoga is so valuable that I hope that anyone who tends to find the step of yoga that invokes and begins it.

If you want to learn more about the origins of yoga, Deshpande recommends The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and The Hatha Yoga Pradipika as well as teachings of the legendary yogi Paramansa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda [12] to read. If you still feel intimidated, you should focus on letting go of your self-judgment and being open-minded.

Every time you try something new – movement-related or not – it can lead to a judgment and expectation Opielowski. Try to let go of judgment and expectation before unfolding your mat. A yoga class can "provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with your body and breath in a collaborative space," she says. You just have to give yourself the chance to be vulnerable and to open yourself to learning everything that yoga has to offer.

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