6 Tips For Yoga Beginners

If you have recently made yoga your new year resolution, and signed up for a beginner course, you might still feel nervous to start.

It’s something new, you might hear some strange new words from your teachers, and what’s more, you are sharing the space with other people in the class. All these create an extra challenge for you when you’re starting out.

How to prepare yourself for a beginner yoga course?

1, Find your motivation

Nobody practices yoga to be good at yoga. We practice yoga so that we are better at life. Really dig deep for the real reason to why you wanted to bring this positive change in your life.

When the motivation is ‘to lose some weight’ or ‘my doctor said it would be good for me’, people often find it hard to persist. Ask yourself what is the reason behind your intention of losing weight or following advice. It has to come from self-love, your intention to change for yourself.

When you discern your real motivation, you will find it easier to grab your mat and make it to class.

2, Have a growing mindset

By signing up for a beginner yoga, you already understand that you are here to learn, not to perform, and so is everyone else in the class. But we sometimes have a tendency to get a bit competitive with either our neighbours or ourselves and get frustrated because we couldn’t do a certain posture the way others do or the way we used to be able to do. This can be dangerous because it means you stopped tuning in with your body. You’ve entered the mindset to push yourself to meet a certain standard and often injuries can happen when you don’t honour your body where it is.

Try to harbour a growing mindset, tell yourself that you are here to practice for yourself. Maybe you wish your body could be more flexible or stronger, but you are never too old, too stiff, too weak to make a change, so be patient. The most important practice we do on our mat is the practice of Self-love.

Before we do anything on the mat, first try to truly accept where you are, and appreciate that you have a healthy body which is able to move freely and do yoga.

3, You are the boss on your mat

Yes you are the boss, the teachers are there to support you and guide you, but when you want to rest, you can rest; when you think a pose is not for you, you can choose an easier version. You don’t need to apologize if you raised a different arm to what the teachers told you to, because you are in control.

When you attend a public yoga class, don’t worry about ‘catching up’ with the pace, teachers understand that everyone had a different day to others, everyone’s body and mood will feel different. Just try your best to follow the instructions, but when it comes to the boundaries of your body, you know it the best.

4, Questions help everyone

Don’t be shy to ask questions in and after classes. You’d be surprised that many people would have the same questions but were too shy to speak up. Some people learn well with just listening to the instructions, some people are more visual, they prefer the poses are demonstrated first, whilst for some people, hands-on adjustments work the best.

Also, questions also help your teachers to know you better so they could help you progress faster.

5, Yoga teachers are not perfect

Yoga teachers actually fall on the mat the most. Their demonstration might seem effortless but you are the one who has to stay in the pose for what may feel like forever!

At some stage, you will start correcting your teachers for mixing up the left and the right sides, or reminding them some posture names.

In yoga classes, both you and your teacher are practicing the teachings of yoga, the connections between you are precious because you grow together in the process. No one is perfect, but everyone is perfect in their own unique way.

6, Try to have fun!

Yoga is nothing fancy or serious, think of it as a tool we apply to improve our lives. So throw away your expectations and ego, having a good time is so much more important than ‘achieving’ a certain posture.

Stay on your mat and explore, have a light mindset and enjoy!

Written by: Melinda Liao

Melinda Liao (Mel) teaches Vinyasa flow and beginner yoga at Tribalance.