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Looking to enjoy the benefits of yoga? Here are 5 tips to help you get started.

When it comes to exercise options, few activities can rival the many benefits offered by yoga. This ancient practice offers a host of physical benefits, from increasing strength and flexibility to improving balance and coordination. It also can boost your mental health. In fact, research shows yoga can help manage stress, lower anxiety, ease depression and improve mood. It has even been shown to reduce pain and help you sleep better.

If you have never done yoga before, it can be a little intimidating to get started, but there’s no need to feel this way. After all, yoga is one of the easiest activities to do, no matter what your fitness level. You don’t need specific equipment and you don’t need special skills. All you need is a willingness to move and the desire to learn.

Here are 5 tips that can help you get started:

  1. Get yourself yoga ready. All you really need to do yoga is some comfortable clothes and some space to do it. A yoga mat is generally good to have. You may also want to invest in a yoga strap or blocks to help you do some poses, or you can use items around the house as a substitute.
  2. Practice a few basic poses to start. Some yoga poses are easy to learn on your own. You can find videos online that show you the correct way to do the poses right in the comfort of your home. Start with poses like child, chair, warrior, tree or downward-facing dog. Watch the video above for step-by-step instructions on how to do the chair pose at home or in your office.
  3. Don’t forget to breathe. Although you may be focused on the physical movements you’ll do during yoga, breathing is a big part of the practice. Not only will you want to concentrate on breathing through the poses, but you’ll reap benefits from beginning and ending your yoga practice with deep breathing exercises that will calm your mind and your body.
  4. Decide what type of yoga you want to do. If you’re planning on taking yoga classes, it’s helpful to know what style of yoga is being taught in the class so you can decide which is best for you. Hatha yoga is a good place to start because it incorporates slower-moving poses than some other forms of yoga. Vinyasa, Ashtanga and power yoga classes may be more challenging.
  5. Consider joining a class. Although you can do yoga anywhere, many people find that classes help them take their yoga practice to the next level. They provide an experience that may be hard to replicate at home and instructors can also provide tips and feedback to help you master poses. If you prefer to do yoga on your own, that’s fine, too!

The beauty of yoga is that anyone can do it, no matter your age, body type or fitness level. The practice can help strengthen your body while calming your mind, making it a well-rounded practice that helps enhance a healthy lifestyle.


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Date Last Reviewed: July 18, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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