Yoga has always intrigued me. I took some yoga classes when I was about 12 years old - this to create more peace and quiet in my head as I wasn't sleeping well back then. I stopped doing it after my subscription ended, but my interest in yoga has recently been revived.
I used to practice yoga without a yoga mat but that isn't very comfortable when you're lying on the floor. That's why I invested in a yoga mat today - here's a little post with tips for beginners (like me!) with interesting yoga routines, some tips and more.
First of all - if you've never practiced yoga, and don't know if you're going to like it yet - don't invest in a yoga mat. They can be quite expensive (even though they don't have to be!), and it might end up in a corner, gathering dust. I have a simple yoga mat now and before that I just did my exercises on a mat/on the floor. I like wearing leggings because they don't limit my flexibility. I do prefer looser tops, though.
A morning routine: this is a great routine for when you want to start your day in a calm and relaxed way, but want to be woken up by the physical exercises nonetheless. The YouTube channel, 'BrettLarkinYoga', definitely deserves a subscription if you want to get into yoga - she has so many helpful videos.
An evening routine: here's a link to a before-bed yoga sequence. I like doing these kind of exercises before I go to sleep, especially when I know I'm not too exhausted yet but have to go to bed anyway because I have an important day coming up. Take a shower before doing these exercises, make sure you've brushed your teeth and get in bed when you feel like you've calmed down enough. You'll see that falling asleep is a lot easier. Don't be tempted to pick up your phone after having calmed down: the LED-light will undo the calming effect!
General routine: this routine doesn't have a purpose like waking you up or calming you down before you go to bed, but I really like it and the pictures are very helpful.
Yoga With Adriene: this is a very helpful YouTube channel with inspiring and informational videos. The instructor's voice is very calming as well - which is extremely important!
PsycheTruth: I personally prefer Adrienes channel but PsycheTruth has some useful videos as well. I like this one a lot, which shows a routine of morning yoga stretches to relief pain in the lower back - something I struggle with quite a lot.
- Making drawings of the poses that feel right for you can help you remember a nice routine, and might eventually stimulate you to create a routine by and for yourself. The drawings don't have to be fancy - not at all! - stick figures with little arrows to point out the important characteristics of the pose will suffice.
- Dedicate a place in your house to yoga. I have a very small room, but I have this one corner of my simple student room I keep white, clean and filled with candles - that's my happy and relaxation-area I never touch or add elements to. I can forget all about the studying-side of my room when I'm facing this, and that really is all you need. A big fancy room isn't necessary to create peace in your head at all - just make sure you have a space where you feel comfortable and relaxed in.
- Read about yoga and take your time to watch videos as well, but more importantly... find out what works for you. You don't have to be extremely athletic to practice yoga - it's not about what you accomplish physically, it's not about who can stretch the furthest - it's about how it makes you feel.
- Once you find out whether or not you like yoga, think about investing in a yoga mat. You really feel the difference - yoga mats are less slippery than regular floors. This also is part of creating a 'yoga space' - rolling out the mat means your practice begins, and your only focus should be on that.
I hope these tips were helpful. I really want to attend a hot yoga class and there's a place for that really close to where I live so once I find the guts to sweat excessively in public I'll make sure to share my experiences with you. Until then (and after then as well!) I'd love to hear what you think. Do you like yoga, or have you never tried it? Were these tips helpful? And do you have other tips, tricks or opinions? Please, let me know.