ask a yogi: how to begin yoga

ask a yogi: danielle
Danielle answering your questions on how to get started with yoga

Remember when we asked you for your yoga questions for our inaugural Ask a Yogi series? Well, we're back, with answers! Read on for part 1 of Danielle's responses: How to Begin.
lululemon: ask a yogi

you asked...

Do you have any recommendations for people who are interested in getting into yoga? - Caroline

I want to start taking yoga but do not know where to begin. Is there a type of yoga that is recommended for beginners? - lara

I have taken yoga- very easy poses. I don’t know a lot about the different types. I am looking for a type of yoga that burns calories and builds strength and flexibility. - Tasha

I am very interested in yoga but don’t know where to begin. How should I start? - Emma

a yogi answers

Hi Caroline, Lara, Tasha & Emma,

I recommend that you jump in, give it a go and keep a regular schedule of yoga classes (e.g., two to four per week) for at least three or four months, which I believe is enough time for you to begin to appreciate all the wonderful physical and mental benefits of yoga.

I think it is easiest to stay motivated and have fun in a class setting, as opposed to learning from a DVD or video. Once you locate a convenient studio, gym or community centre where yoga classes are offered, start asking questions regarding what types of classes are offered and which ones are best for beginners. [Editor's note - complimentary yoga classes are offered at all lululemon locations and are a good way to sample different styles of yoga and instructors.]

Regarding the types of yoga: Iyengar yoga will provide you with a solid foundation since certified Iyengar teachers will emphasize precise and strict form in the poses but with many variations depending on the yogi’s level of flexibility and strength and will utilize straps and blocks to assist the yogis in getting into the postures. Ashtanga, power and other vinyasa flow classes are also very popular but can be overwhelming for some newer yogis since there is constant and challenging movement from one posture to the next. If you are looking for more of a sweat and detox practice then you could try hot yoga, which incorporates a slower-paced sequence with minimal variations from class to class.

In summary, find a studio or place to do it, find a style or styles you feel comfortable with, set a regular schedule, stick to it for at least three months and perhaps most importantly just have fun as you enjoy the benefits of a healthy body and a balanced, peaceful mind.

Best wishes!


Do you have any thoughts on how to get started with yoga? We'd love to hear your comments and tips on being a beginner. Also check out My First Time, a blog post about your very first class.

Stay tuned for more Ask a Yogi answers, coming soon!

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Another good tip is that most studios offer new students great deals- such as the first 1-2 weeks for a great discount, or first class free! That would be a good way to test out different styles as well before committing to a studio!

Comment by callah — April 6, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

And also- the passport to prana is a great, inexpensive way to test different styles and studios if you live in bigger cities!

Comment by callah — April 6, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

Finding a yoga instructor that matches your need makes a big different in your journey into Yoga. Personally, I find it better to start with a studio which has a smaller class size. A yoga instructor who can give you some personal attention would help a big deal.

Never force yourself into any Asana (yoga pose), it’s more important to do the Asana correctly without worrying about the extend. Focus on your breathing (pranayama) and you will find yourself get into the pose sooner or later.

Comment by yogapanda — April 7, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

I recently started taking a 60 min Hot Yoga class with my older sister. I just turned 30 and she is turning 42 soon and neither of us regularly exercise. She was able to convince the studio to give us 10 sessions for a TOTAL of $20 (for both of us!) She surprised me with the purchase and told me “by the way Jen, we’re taking a Hot Yoga class tomorrow.” I had nothing on my schedule so I said “um…ok, why not.” We have been going 3 times a week for 2 weeks now and both of us are completely addicted. I have never felt better than after I complete the class and we have our ritual “sit outside on the bench to cool off before she goes home to her husband and 2 kids”. We have both noticed that we can stretch so much further than before we started and that we are gaining more strength and balance with every class. I thoroughly enjoyed my first class but I drank far too much water during and ended up getting pretty nauseous doing the camel pose and had to take a 5 min break and lie down on my mat. I was disappointed that I didn’t do all 26 positions but I made sure to really hydrate well before my second class and I didn’t get nauseous once and participated the entire time! Slowly I am able to do more advanced poses (still not able to do the most advanced version of some of the poses) and it is so rewarding seeing the improvement. I highly recommend Hot Yoga to anyone of any age. Truly a life-changing experience!

Comment by Jennifer — July 18, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

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