Yoga for Beginners
Our Yoga for Beginners guide will give you the basic tips, guidelines and recommendations you will need to start a successful yoga practice.
Meditation is a focusing of the mind on a single object, creating the cessation of all thought. As thoughts dissipate, the mind becomes quiet, and we are able to be fully in the present moment. The techniques of meditation are simple and easy to learn, but the ability to keep the mind focused takes time, patience and practice. The benefits of a regular meditation practice include reduction of stress, tension, anxiety and frustration, as well as improved memory, concentration, inner peace and whole body well-being.
Pranayama are breathing exercises developed by the ancient yogis for purification. Prana translates into “life force energy” and Yama translates into “control or mastery of”. Thus, Pranyama is used to control, cultivate, and modify the Prana in the body. Prana is taken in through the air we breathe, and since the pranayama exercises increase the amount of air we take in, they also increase our intake of Prana. For all pranayama (except Kapalabhati), the breath is slow and steady, breathed in and out of the nose and down into the belly. Always sit with a straight spine and a relaxed body. While you are practicing pranayama, let go of any thoughts by focusing on the breathing involved with the pranayama.
Seated Yoga Poses
Standing Yoga Poses
Prone Yoga Poses
Supine Yoga Poses
Yoga Posture Sequences
Use these sequences of simple stretches to warm up prior to any of the pose sequences.
Where to start if you are new or a beginner. These posture flows are simple, short and only contain basic postures.
Where to start if you have some previous experience with yoga. Build on the basic pose sequences by adding more length and challenge to the flow. For more beginning level sequences, check out the Sun Salutations and the Special Sequences sections.
Often considered the core of hatha yoga practice, Sun Salutations are traditionally practiced at sunrise to warm and energize the body. We have several Sun Salutation sequences available with varying levels of difficulty, from basic to intermediate.
By adding challenging postures to the beginning sequences, these posture flows are the most complex, vigorous and long. For more intermediate level sequences, check out the Sun Salutations and the Special Sequences sections.
Looking for something different? These sequences are designed for specific applications, using combinations of yoga postures for their effects on the physical, mental, emotional and energetic bodies.
Yoga 101: The Basics
Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe. What is normally thought of as “yoga” in the West is really Hatha Yoga, one of the many paths of yoga. The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques, but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment. Though yoga’s ultimate aim is lofty, its essence is practical and scientific as it emphasizes direct experience and observable results. It is not a religion, but a practice of personal inquiry and exploration. As the cultural and religious diversity of practitioners attest, yogic philosophy speaks to universal truths that can be incorporated within any belief system.
Philosophy of Yoga
The main philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body and spirit are all one and cannot be clearly separated. Yet there is a multitude of philosophical ideas developed by looking into the deeper dimensions of the body, mind and spirit.
The foundation of all life, of the whole universe, is the subtle life force energy the yogis call ‘prana.’ This mystical energy flows through our bodies and generates our every action – from gross physical movements to minute biochemical processes.Hatha and Tantra yogas have developed a rich description of the anatomy of the subtle or energy body, including the different types of energies, the nadi energy channels and chakra energy centers. These yogas have also developed various methods to increase, cultivate and direct this spiritual energy.
Articles on Hatha Yoga
Yoga Therapy is the use of yoga postures, meditation and pranayama to help the body naturally heal and balance itself. Certain yogic practices have been shown to have specific healing qualities in addition to yoga’s inherent ability to create wellness and good health. These pages are not intended to treat or diagnose any medical conditions. A yoga practice should be used to supplement conventional therapy. Please consult with a health care professional before starting a yoga program, as some yogic techniques can be harmful if practiced with certain conditions. Please see our site’s terms and conditions for our complete disclaimer. The postures listed under each condition are for general use and will be most effective if professionally modified for personal use by a yoga therapist. Not all of the postures listed are required for practice, use only what feels right for your physical condition and ability. These pages are only a starting point to help your body heal. Experiment and pay attention to what practices make you feel better and improve your condition. Practice slowly and gently as over exertion could cause your condition to worsen. Yoga Therapy Guides:
Explore how the yogic science of Ayurveda can enhance, strengthen and heal the body, mind and heart.
Yogic Diet and Nutrition
Explore food and dietary options that support the lifestyle of a yogi.
Need inspiration for your yoga class or practice? Use the themes in our Yoga Lessons for focus, intention and guidance. Our Yoga Lessons are not lesson plans, but general outlines with spiritual quotes, focused intentions, lists of yoga practices and further off-the-mat homework exercises. Want to share a yoga lesson with us? Post it here!
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Inspiration is an essential component to a healthy and vibrant yoga practice. We actively seek out inspirational teachers, photographers, places, videos and stories to share with you. Please let us know what inspires you!
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