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Yoga For Beginners: The Ultimate 'Beginner Online Yoga' Guide

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

"Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in. And this is the point of spiritual practice; to make us teachable; to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are." - Rolf Gates

So you did a Google search, for something like...


  • 'beginner yoga'

  • 'beginner yoga class'

  • 'how to start my yoga journey'

  • 'the best beginner online yoga class'

...and you ended up here.


Call me a genius, but I think you are someone looking to start practising yoga online...am I right?!


So let's break it down for you; the benefits, how to choose an online class, what you need to get started etc etc


What is Yoga?


Yoga is such a broad practice, and tends to mean something different to everyone. For some, it's a purely just a workout. But for others, it's a way to connect on a deeper level, beyond the physical. But for most of us, myself included, it's both.


Yoga is a very ancient practice that dates back to around 2700 B.C. For context, this is around the same time as The Great Pyramids were being built!


In modern yoga, there is a lot of emphasis on the physical yoga sequence or yoga flow. The poses in a physical yoga class are called 'asana'.


In the ancient yoga scriptures, asana/postures, weren't really mentioned at all. In the Bhagavad Gita, there is a reference to two poses; Mandukasana (Frog Pose) and Virasana (Hero Pose). But other than that, the focus is on stilling the mind, living in the present and simply breathing.


The Eight Limbs of Yoga


"Yoga is more than the practice of asana, or physical postures. Living yoga means integrating the principles of yoga into your thoughts, words and actions; it means taking yoga beyond your mat."- Gaia

Here are the eight limbs, as you can see 'asana' is just one part of what makes up our yoga practice.

  1. Yama (Social Ethics)

  2. Niyama (Observances)

  3. Asana (Physical Posture)

  4. Pranayama (Breathing techniques)

  5. Pratyahara (Turning Inward)

  6. Dharana (Concentration)

  7. Dhyan (Meditation)

  8. Samadhi (Pure Bliss)

Why You Should Practice Yoga: The Benefits


Yoga has so many benefits, hence why yogis keep rolling out their yoga mat for their morning yoga; breathing, attending a vinyasa class and doing a guided meditation.


We are encouraged to breathe deep belly breaths in yoga, this helps our nervous system switch from 'fight & flight', to 'rest & relaxation'. When we are in 'rest' mode, our bodies have the space to be able to repair cells, digest efficiently and the stress hormone, cortisol, reduces.


Not to mention, that it is proven to ease the battle with mental health. Harvard Health reported that regular yoga may help ease depressive symptoms.


Improves Bone Health


Yoga uses just your body weight when moving through each pose in a yoga session. These poses require us to balance, therefore working to improve our stability.


Remember that stability is simply, 'your resistance to change'. For example, if someone knocks into you, rather than falling over, you will sway to the side and then right yourself.


Most exercises put a small amount of pressure on to the bones, which in turn helps to strengthen them.


Check out my FREE Yoga For Stability Class [here]


Reduces Stress


Did you know that the jaw and hips are connected? Usually, when you're stressed, you might notice that you're clenching your jaw. In turn, your hips will feel tight when you come to move or stretch.


In a recent medical study, it was concluded that, "More patients in the yoga groups had a drop in cortisol levels as compared to drug-only group."


Cortisol is a hormone that is released when we are stressed. The adrenal gland releases the hormone in response to a stressful situation as part of our fight or flight response.


Pranayama and meditation are particularly good at reducing our cortisol levels, by encouraging us to breathe deeply and stay in the present.


Reduces Pain


"A meta-analysis of 17 studies that included more than 1,600 participants concluded that yoga can improve daily function among people with fibromyalgia osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine"- Harvard Health

Yoga encourages and helps to improve the full range of movement in our joints. We also start to understand how our body likes to move. For example, the lower back works best when stable versus the upper back works best when mobile.


Yoga Poses for Beginners

Easy Seat | Sukhasana

How to:

  • Sit on the floor or on a block

  • Ground the tail bone down and lift through the crown

  • Draw the shoulder blades together

Benefits:

  • Mobilises the hips

  • Lengthens the spine

  • A grounding pose


Low Lunge | Anjaneyasana

How to:

  • One leg forward, ankle and knee in line

  • Hips square

  • Hands on block or on the ground

Benefits:

  • Improves spine flexibility

  • Mobilises hips

  • Increases ankle mobility


Easy Twist | Anjaneyasana Twist

How to:

  • From low lunge, left the same arm as the front leg to the sky

  • Consciously move the rib cage to twist

  • Keep hip bones square

Benefits:

  • Aids digestion

  • Strengthens the spine


Butterfly Pose | Badhakonasana

How to:

  • Sit on the floor or on a block

  • Soles of the feet together, knees dropping out to the side

  • Lengthen from tailbone to crown of the head

Benefits:

  • Stretches the inner thighs

  • Stimulates heart and increases blood circulation


Downward Facing Dog | Adho Mukha Savasana

How to: watch the video below


Read more [here]


Final Thoughts


I'm sure you're super excited to get start your yoga journey right NOW! Practising at home has all the same benefits as in a studio...maybe even more, as you can practise in your pants!


If there are any questions that haven't been answered in this article, check out this one as well, 'Top 7 Questions People Ask About Yoga [from beginners]'


I cannot wait to start practising with you!

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