Beginner classes run for one hour and are suitable for those who have never practised yoga before or those who are returning to practise after some time. Of course anyone is welcome to attend beginners even if you have a regular practise. The main distinguishing factor between beginner classes and regular classes is that we tend to hold the postures for less time whilst continuing to work on alignment. We generally try to choose basic postures that can then also be enhanced for those who have a regular practise.
The class begins with a gentle warm up stretching , followed by 4 rounds of basic Sun Salutations (adjusted for beginners if necessary). We then take a short two minute recovery posture to allow our bodies to rejuvenate from Sun Salutation. The class then resumes with a series of basic postures and concludes with a ten minute deep relation including a light head massage to aid in relaxation. A great class for an introduction to the physical movement of Yoga.
Below is short article which will answer some questions for those who are beginning their yogic journey.
Yoga for Beginners
Actually, I would like to try it, everyone raves about it, but………….
I’m not flexible!
I have no flexibility!
I can’t bend my body!
It’s not physical enough!
I don’t get all that breathing stuff!
What is that breathing stuff all about anyway?!
All those yogis are cookooo!
These are just some of the thoughts that go through the minds of people who have never stepped on a yoga mat. It’s an interesting thought process as most people don’t really understand the yogic journey until after it has already started for them. There is something about yoga that keeps us going back for more and more without us really thinking about or understanding why we keep going back.
It can take a lot of courage for many people to make that first step onto the mat but for many it is a step that is never forgotten or regretted.
As a beginner here are some of your questions answered. These details will help guide you through your understanding of Yoga therefore taking you down a path you never knew existed.
The meaning of Shanti: Quite simply…………….PEACE………………. We like that! 😉
The meaning of OM: Om, pronounced Auuuummmmmmm……… is a sacred mantra in Hinduism and signifies the meaning of Yoga. It is a pronunciation of the Yoga symbol, the one that looks like an enlarged 3 with a couple of fancy bits flying around it. The symbol denotes the three gurus; Mahesh (Shiva, destroyer), Vishnu (preserver) and Brahma (creator). The disconnected part, the dot and curve, represents infinity. It is a mantra which is frequently chanted at the beginning and end of classes, the vibrations expressed during chanting are said to be healing and encourage harmony, peace and tranquillity in the body and mind. This is of course just a very basic explanation and can be studied in great depth but for now this gives you an insight and will suffice.
The meaning of Namaste: Again, another term that can be studied in great depth however we will just start with a brief outline. Namaste is most commonly known as a greeting in Hindi. Namaste can be used in greetings and/or departures. We very commonly also bring our hands into prayer position in front of our hearts as we recite the word Namaste, this gesture with the hands signifies a connection between the souls and at the same time offering a respectful notion of peace and harmony between people involved.
Why is breathing so important in a Yoga class: For a beginner this really is quite a simple answer. Our breathing is ultimately connected to our mind, our mood and emotional wellbeing. Think about times when you are angry or emotional, your breathing starts to change. The depth and speed of our breathing changes with our moods which is a direct result of what is happening in our lives at the time. By controlling our breathing we are consciously controlling the thought waves of our mind hence bringing ourselves into a meditative state whilst practising. This is the whole reason we practise Yoga, to control our thought waves which in turn results in a healthier lifestyle all round. At the beginning this is actually quite difficult and even advanced practitioners, at different intervals, will have to bring more awareness to control their breathing. Over time this will become the ultimate addiction to practising Yoga and is what brings you back on the mat begging for more time after time after time!
It is important to find a class that is suitable for beginners and one that will suit you. You are advised to look for teachers that will help you get more out of your postures and that will give you deeper understanding as to how to perform a posture. This is done through careful explanations and gentle and specific adjustments. Albeit subtle adjustments will make an immense difference in your practise.
A Yoga practise is not about accomplishing a pose but rather it is about honouring where you are at and then working towards the next stage. Postures should not be forced; rather they should be guided, encouraged and supported along the way.
A famous quote: ‘’It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.’’ You may very well want to touch your forehead to your toes but what you notice and learn on the way down is what shapes your body, heart and mind. Apply this theory in your practise and you’ll never look back!
Why are you reading this?
Your curiosity has commenced your journey my friend, and long may it continue…………………………….