SparkPeople Blogs  •  yoga  •  exercise

Beginner Tips Every Wannabe Yogi Should Know

By , Melissa Rudy, Health & Fitness Journalist
Considering stretching out of your comfort zone and trying a yoga class for the first time? This ancient practice has the power to strengthen your body, melt away stress and invigorate your spirit.

One of the best things about yoga is that people of all fitness levels can participate--whether you're a seasoned athlete who needs to enhance your flexibility or you've never exercised a day in your life, there's a place on the mat for you.

That said, a little knowledge goes a long way toward a successful session. Before you strike a pose, check out our cheat sheet. Learn it, print the graphic and pass it on to anyone else who's ready to break onto the yoga scene.

Print this graphic to have a quick reference on hand before your first yoga class.

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BONDMANUS2002 6/29/2019
Interesting Report
ONLYME33 5/21/2019
All Good Report
SHOAPIE 5/20/2019
Thanks Report
_CYNDY55_ 5/19/2019
Thanks so much! Report
MSROZZIE 5/19/2019
Good need-to-know information for beginners! Report
REDROBIN47 5/19/2019
Great information. It answered some questions for me. Report
LYNETTET123 5/19/2019
Thanks Report
NEPTUNE1939 5/19/2019
ty Report
DMEYER4 5/19/2019
thanks Report
-POOKIE- 5/19/2019
Great information. Report
THINCPL2004 5/19/2019
thanks for the info and the info on how to print this!!! Great article! Report
What do you use to sanitize your mat and props? Report
LEANJEAN6 5/19/2019
I do like Yoga--a good reminder to keep at it! Report
PICKIE98 5/19/2019
Helps with pain.. Report
AZMOMXTWO 5/19/2019
thank you Report
KITTYHAWK1949 5/19/2019
maybe I can do better if I try it again. thanks. Report
FERRETLOVER1 5/19/2019
I do chair yoga. I like it a lot. Report
RAPUNZEL53 5/19/2019
Thanks Report
LIS193 5/19/2019
Great tips Report
JANIEWWJD 5/19/2019
Awesome article!!! Report
RO2BENT 4/7/2019
Great beginner tips Report
KHALIA2 3/16/2019
I have Never tried yoga. Maybe I will give it a try after reading this article. Report
PIANOKEYS88 2/23/2019
I tried yoga and found out that I wasn't good at right and left while upside down Report
RAZZOOZLE 12/14/2018
Thank you Report
So much great information that I saved it so I can keep rereading it. Report
PATRICIA-CR 10/14/2018
I like this! Report
KHALIA2 10/3/2018
Great info! Thanks! Report
This is great information. Thank you for the article. Report
I love Yoga, I just wish I had more time to do it Report
I LOVE yoga! After being inactive and obese almost my entire life, I've recently found (at age 45) that I cannot function without doing yoga at least 5x a week. Report
One of my cousins is taking yoga. I'm very interested. Report
I have not done yoga in along time and I actually really enjoy yoga. Report
Great information to starting up. Report
Thanks for the nice list. And thanks to elizagarden for printfriendly. Report
I only due very basic yoga, limbs not so limber any longer. This is a nice refresher, as I practice on my own and no longer deal with the yoga vocabulary. I like the webpage presentation, an improvement on most articles on SP; hope more are in the future throughout the site. Report
Oh my goodness. This talk about yoga conflicting with Christian beliefs is crazy. Yoga is not a religion! I am an avid yoga practitioner and have done yoga at multiple facilities for the past 15 years. Not once have I ever heard a word that would indicate that it is counter to Christianity or anyone's personal spiritual beliefs. It is more about being open to all of humanity and the diversity that creates our world. It is about being a part of this world, not separate from it. Yoga is about acceptance of your own limits and NOT judging others. Seems to me that many religious zealots could learn from this. The practice of yoga is incredibly beneficial on so many levels, please do not fear that it is counter to religious beliefs as it is truly just the opposite. Report
For those who like me are Christian, things like yoga do not have to be practiced as a spiritual endeavor but can be done purely as a physical exercise. I studied various methods of meditation as a martial artist and got a lot of good out of them, and nothing I did in that regard interfered with my faith in Jesus.

All meditation is rooted in two things: concentration and relaxation. That exercise does not in and of itself lead one away from belief in God and His word. If a class tries to lead you toward some different spiritual belief find another class if you want, but if yoga is doing you good you don't have to give up the exercise.

Most things you do can be turned into a meditation by the way: focus your mind purely on the task at hand and be as relaxed as you can be while you do it. Learn a good relaxation technique; I got a lot of good out of one called progressive relaxation, and have taught it to quite a few people who also got a lot of good out of it. What is called the work ethic could be called the meditation of the western world, if you treat it in that way (and your work performance will improve). You can turn martial art practice into a meditation, or running, or housekeeping, or about anything else you do. Report
Yoga saved my life, even though my evangelical sister tried hard to convince me it is the work of the devil. My yoga instructors and most books advise not to drink water during the practice. An empty stomach is preferable. Report
Great piece Melissa. Thank you for the writing and the info. Report
Yoga is not for me. It conflicts with my Christian beliefs. Report
Thanks again for the tip! Super helpful. Report
Thanks for letting us know about It looks great! I will use it for everything. Report
Try Copy the URL to printfriendly and voila the ads are gone, plus you have the option of removing other parts as well. It's changed my life. Report
Need print added in order to print without all the ads. Report
Please add "print" as an option for this article. Thank you! Report