How Do I Get Started with a Yoga Practice?

How Do I Get Started with a Yoga Practice?

Starting yoga is a great feeling but also overwhelming. Maybe it has been awhile, maybe it is the first time ever putting your feet on that mat. Not only do you not know what type of yoga to try, you are also in recovery so you are especially vulnerable in mind, body, and spirit. Starting off with something that will help you feel aligned but also not push you too hard right away is probably the best place to start. FInd out more about how to get started with a yoga practice in recovery.

Health Benefits

Yoga is an ancient practice, not a Western practice. It was adopted for people in the West but it came out of Eastern philosophies. Yoga is really not poses and pushing the limits of our bodies. It all starts with breath work. The hardest part is showing up on the mat and mastering breathing. We live in a fast-paced society that focuses on less breath, more running at a frantic pace. If you master breathing, you are practicing yoga. Poses are also good for stress management, improving mood, and enhancing the quality of sleep, among others.

Yoga Basics

The best way to learn yoga is by doing it. If you are nervous, don’t keep yourself from going. Just try to find the different types of yoga that go slower to dive in at the moment. Power yoga and Vinyasa tend to be faster-paced and not always for beginners who have never practiced. Some other types of yoga include:

  • Iyengar: focuses on alignment with use of props
  • Hot yoga: studios heat up to 104 degrees to sweat through poses
  • Kundalini: incorporation of meditation, chanting, and spiritual elements

It helps to check with classes to be sure you are on the right path for your body and your health.

Know the Poses

If you want to practice yoga, it helps to know the poses you may see and experience. Some of the favorite ones show up in every class:

  • Child’s pose (balasana): resting pose
  • Downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana): hands on the mat with feet planted, body in an upside down ‘V’ shape
  • Warrior poses
  • Sun salutations

When you come to class, most places have mats and blocks and straps available, but you may want to bring your own to each class. They are relatively inexpensive at local stores.

Know Yourself

You and you alone know your body and what it can handle. What feels safe for you may not for someone else. If you have low back issues, you may need to ask the teacher for modifications to basic poses. If you’re starting a home-based yoga practice, it is important to work on poses that are risky for beginners so you don’t do something you’re not ready for yet. Many yoga poses require strength and balance to develop. Start slow, and give yourself time. Take breaks in child’s pose where needed and, before you know it, you can make it through class like a champ.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.