Updated: Nov 18
Well - currently (that is January 2021) and where I live (in the UK), you don't have any other choice but to start yoga at home. And it is possible to do so. There are yoga classes on YouTube, online yoga studios, and local yoga teachers like myself who teach live online yoga classes several times a week. Attending a live online class with the support of a teacher is maybe the best way to start when you are new to yoga, but you can start with videos alone, too. Just make sure you chose a suitable class.
Which yoga class is best for beginners?
There are soooo many different yoga classes available online that it can be confusing and daunting. Typically, a class labelled as 'all levels' 'suitable for beginners' or 'gentle' is appropriate if you are new to yoga or had a break from practicing yoga for a long time. It might also be worth looking for a beginners course to learn the poses etc. in more detail.
How often should a beginner do yoga?
The answer to this question is not easy as it very much depends on your general health, level of fitness, flexibility, and experience with other forms of exercise and sports. The frequency also depends on your goals for practicing yoga. Starting with 1-2 classes per week, with rest days in-between, will give you the opportunity to get to know your body and familiarise yourself with the different aspects of yoga.
What should I wear?
Wear something comfortable, which allows you to move freely, like joggers or leggings and a t-shirt. The latest yoga pants and fashion accessories are by no means necessary. Take your socks off as yoga is best practiced with bare feet. This will allow you to feel the connection with the floor and stop you from slipping in some poses like Downward-facing Dog. Have a jumper or blanket at hand to keep warm during the relaxation at the end of class. Be aware that in live online classes other participants can see you - unless you keep the camera switched off - so dress with this in mind and avoid see through or revealing clothes.
What equipment do I need?
Some classes use props, such as belts, blocks, bricks, bolsters, and blankets - sometimes even chairs. You don’t need to purchase any of these to start yoga. Some props can be substituted with everyday items; for example you can use a tie instead of a yoga belt , a book instead of a block, a firm pillow or two instead of a bolster. In my online yoga classes I always offer alternatives for people who do not have props. I recommend to use a yoga mat, though, to avoid slipping and so that you have a dedicated and clean space for your yoga practice.
Where should I practice?
Having a dedicated space for your home yoga practice can help getting into the swing of things. Maybe you have the luxury of converting a spare bedroom into your yoga room. If not, a corner in the living room or bedroom, free of clutter, where you can roll out your mat is all you need. Ideally, there is space around your mat so that you can spread out your arms, and enough head room for you to raise your hands when standing up. The floor should be even, clean and clear of clutter to ensure that you can practice safely.
When should I practice yoga?
You can practice yoga at any time during the day (or night), but avoid doing yoga after a heavy meal or when you feel unwell. Allow 1-2 hours after a big meal before doing a yoga class. As with many other activities, is can be useful to block the time for your yoga practice in your diary. From my experience, doing yoga when you have 'an hour to spare' simply does not work.
Join the Yoga for Beginners Course
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“Do not stop trying just because perfection eludes you … Humbleness is the art of learning.” (B.K.S. Iyengar)