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10 Rules of Yoga for Beginners

10 Rules of Yoga for Beginners

Written by
October 24, 2017
Updated September 24, 2018

If doing yoga is your new goal, but you don’t know where to start…fear not, we got you covered. Here are 10 yoga tips for every beginner to help you get started towards your fitness goals!

Yoga Rule #1: Focus on Your Breath

No need to be flexible or even warm-up before class! The purpose of yoga is not to do all those fancy, pretzel-like poses. The purpose is to breathe and find the edge – not to jump off of it.

Yoga Rule #2: Bring a Yoga Mat

A non-skid, yoga mat that is at least the length of your body and preferably a foot wider than your shoulder girdle.

Yoga Rule #3: Wear Comfortable clothing

Comfortable clothing you can move in. From sweats to shorts and t-shirts, make sure your clothes won’t get in the way and offer the most mobility. You’ll sweat for sure, so synthetics are generally the best bet.

Yoga Rule #4: Show Up to Class!

Sweaty classes at Black Swan Yoga are great to start with because the standard sequence will not only work and release your entire body but will allow you to benchmark your progress as well.

Yoga Rule #5: Embrace Bare Feet

Yes! Many beginning yogis come to their mats wearing socks. You’ll be less stable in the standing poses with socks — so take those suckers off!

 

Yoga Rule #6: Power Down Your Electronics

Nothing is more embarrassing than your phone going off during opening or closing meditation.

Yoga Rule #7: Non-comparison and Non-judgment

Don’t compare yourself to other yogis in the room and don’t judge yourself for not being able to do all the poses. Take things at your own pace. Really! This isn’t a competition.

Yoga Rule #8: Bring a Sense of Humor

You may over exert yourself or completely fall out of a pose. No worries! That’s part of the process and the fun of it. Laugh it off, kick back into Child’s Pose or give it another shot.

Yoga Rule #9: Arrive on Time and Stay Until the End

Yoga is a progression, so you don’t want to miss the warmup by arriving late or skip out early and miss the most important (and yummy) pose of them all: corpse pose.

Yoga Rule #10: Stay Relaxed

The awesome, euphoric, centered feeling you’ll experience at the end of class. Wanna know what brings people back to the mat time and time again? It’s the sense of lightness, presence and ease one feels after a good class. There ain’t nothin’ like it!

Nathan Johnson
After years of weightlifting — and enduring the tight shoulders, back pain and machismo that resulted — I was cornered, flogged and dragged by a friend to my first yoga class with the incomparable Maureen McGuire of Yale University. It was the most challenging thing I had ever done; yet, for the first time in my life, I experienced a sense of presence and ease. I floated out of that class a new man and never looked back. Ten years, three mats and thousands of downward-facing dogs later, I felt it was time to share my love of yoga with you (yes, YOU) and became a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) through Black Dog Yoga in Los Angeles, California where I taught for four years. I am absolutely thrilled to have landed in the Great City of Austin, amongst some of the kindest, most genuine and creative people I have ever encountered and am honored to be able to share this practice with you. Can’t wait to see you on the mat where I’ll take you on a meditative journey, synchronizing your breath with the movement of your body and giving you a vacation away from your thinking mind. Atha yoga anushasanam!

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