How To Start Doing Yoga At Home For Beginners

In this guide I will show you how to start doing yoga at home (for beginners with zero experience).

When you decide to start doing yoga and meditation at home, you should feel proud, optimistic, and excited to get started.

You are going to get so much out of practising. To start, take a look at my article on the 28 styles and their benefits.

Did you see how many different styles there are and there absolutely staggering benefits? Hopefully, that guide has motivated you to get started. And you can do so in your own home.

If you are a complete beginner, you can learn safely and privately at home, which can be a more comfortable way to start.

And if you do already go to a studio, you can complement your practice with some home-based exercises and meditations.

To get the most out of it, I also recommend doing the mental side of the practice as well as the physical. That’s why I made this a guide to yoga and meditation. Beginners should put just as much effort into the mental aspect as the physical—[READ: How To Meditate At Home].

Starting Yoga At home VS Studio for beginners


Here are some of the benefits of practising at home VS at a studio, in my experience.

  • More time to practice
  • Less risk of embarrassment (yes, it can be an issue for some complete beginners)
  • Great way to relax at home
  • You get to do your routine at home, unlike in a studio class
  • Pauses to catch your breath in yoga whenever you need to!
  • Go at your own pace

One of the risks for beginners doing yoga and meditation at home is that you are more likely to injure yourself. In a class, the teacher can spot if you are out of alignment. If you do practice at home, go slow and always make sure you are comfortable.

When practising yoga and meditation at home, less is often more.

The absolute worst thing is to end up with an injury because you’ve been practising a pose incorrectly. That’s why I recommend that you read a few high-quality books before starting, and to only ever do poses you are comfortable with. Yes, Formidable Face Pose looks fantastic, but if you try it as a beginner, you will probably end up with a spinal injury. Be safe guys!

 Best Types Of Yoga For Beginners

Some of the different styles are more suitable for newcomers than others. Here are the best types of yoga for beginners:

 

Hatha (beginners will love this gentle style)

Hatha is all about basics. In Hatha, we move slowly, which is a great way to learn all the different asanas. Moves are also gentle, so there is less risk of injury.

This is an excellent type of yoga for seniors over 60 and for anyone who wants to go more gently.

Vinyasa

Vinyasa is a dynamic style of yoga that is a good cardio workout. Some exercises can be more intense and will get your heart rate up.

Iyengar

When you’re a beginner learning yoga for the first time, it’s a bright idea to learn the technical details of each of the yoga poses. This includes posture, the names of poses, and how they work together in a sequence.

Iyengar is for beginners who want a technical understanding of the moves. In Iyengar, beginners stay in poses for a long time so they can learn the precise moves properly instead of just rushing through them.

Ashtanga

Ashtanga consists of six series of yoga poses that we do in a specific sequence. The teacher leads students through each pose in the sequence. Ashtanga is arguably the most serious type and one of the most spiritual too.

Warning: Hot yoga (Bikram) is not ideal for beginners because there are many health risks involved.

Meditation

I’ve created a complete tutorial on all the different meditation methods for you. And I’ve noted which ones are suitable for beginners.

Generally speaking, the best place to start is with some simple breath-techniques. There are breathing meditations used in yoga, so if you’re doing both these practices, that is an excellent place to start.

You might also like to download an app to help you develop the habit of meditation, such as Headspace or Calm.

Another excellent option for novices is guided meditations, which you can find on Youtube. You can simply put videos on and follow along.

5 Rules For A Home Yoga Practice

1: Create a room to practice in

I recommend creating a relaxing space at home to use as a dedicated yoga room. [READ: How To Create A Yoga Room At Home]

From personal experience, having a particular room at home to practice in increases your motivation to practice every day. It also makes it far easier because your mat, blocks and other items are all there ready to go without faffing around.

2:  Go Slowly

Part of learning how to start yoga and meditation at home for beginners is to make sure you do the techniques correctly. Many people start doing yoga only to get into an asana (pose) that they are not comfortable in, and they end up getting injured. And because meditation is a very nuanced thing, it can be easy to make mistakes.

Remember, you’re going to get a ton out of practice, but the last thing you want is to start incorrectly or, worse, get an injury from doing yoga poses incorrectly. So go slow. When starting, take the time to learn about asanas

3: Comfort

You should never feel overly stressed when practising. The practice is about releasing tension in the body, so it is essential to be gentle with your body. If you think that you are straining stop, or use a simplified version of the pose. This is true for the mind too. Some people experience negative emotions when meditating. Make sure that you start with only those techniques you feel comfortable doing.

4: On learning from videos and blogs

It can be tempting to crane your neck to look at the video to work out what is going on. This is a mistake as it creates tension in the neck. If you need to watch a part of the video, stop doing the exercise and just watch, work out what’s going on, then try again. Don’t crane your neck.

While you’re watching those videos, make sure you follow some good yoga blogs too.

 

5: Find some friends

Whenever you’re learning something new, it’s worth finding a few people who know what they’re doing. Use online forums and Facebook to find people in your area who do yoga. Ask them for advice. In my experience, most people are only too glad to offer some advice and to show off their skills.

So, that’s all the basics covered. Watch the video below, try out some of the moves and get started! That’s how I started doing yoga, and it’s working great for me!

Here is the best beginners yoga video on Youtube (by Adrienne).

Yoga For Complete Beginners - 20 Minute Home Yoga Workout!

Poses

When you’re just learning how to start yoga and meditation at home as a beginner, you should focus on simple and comfortable poses. For meditation, this simply means sitting comfortably (read my guide to meditation poses for more).

For yoga, it is a little more complicated. You will want to only do the easy poses at the beginning.

Here are the best poses to start with:

The basics: If you are an absolute beginner in yoga, use your home practice to get accustomed to the poses you will be doing in the studio. Practice downward dog, chaturanga, Warrior I, Warrior II, Warrior III and other poses that are commonly used in the studio.

Sun Salutations: I love to wake up and get started on some sun salutations at home while the sun is rising. It is fantastic for positive energy.

Hip openers: Many beginner yogis have problems with their hips. For instance, many people find it challenging to sit in the lotus position for extended periods. One way to solve this is to use hip-opener exercises (pigeon pose/lotus / Bharadvaja’s Twist) . Do these while sitting in your living room watching TV (as a little bonus to regular practice).

And meditation: Many beginner yogis make the mistake of thinking that yoga is purely for the body. Actually, the old texts state that yoga is as much for the mind as for the body. When we are in the studio yoga class, we don’t have time to truly meditate. Five minutes at the end of a class is not proper meditation.

Summary

This was a simple introduction to yoga and meditation. In the article, I have shared lots of links to various exercises and techniques. I recommend going through those links to learn more.

It’s essential for beginners to have fun.  Whether you’re learning yoga and meditation to get fit or to relax your mind, make sure you enjoy it.

The number one rule for beginner yogis is to have fun.  Because if you’re not enjoying it, there’s no point.


Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation. You can read his books on Amazon

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