This is going to be a very simple guide to yoga and meditation for beginners at home.
When you make the decision 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 practicing. To start, take a look at my article on the 28 styles and their benefits.
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 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].
If you’re an absolute beginners might wonder what exact benefits you will get from practice.
Let’s take a look.
Guide To Yoga And Meditation For Beginners At Home
What are the benefits of yoga and meditation for beginners and why do it at home?
There’s a reason why yoga and meditation are two of the best hobbies you can start [READ: Best Healthy Hobbies].
Just consider these benefits:
- increases flexibility
- helps with weight loss
- Great for toning
- improves athletic performances
- Is excellent for creative people
- relaxes the mind
- is a spiritual as well as physical health practices
- is considered on of the best hobbies for mental health
- reduces anxiety
- lowers the risk of depression
- improves posture
- builds muscle strength
- protects your spine
- improves cognitive function
- reduces stress at home
Helps you relax
Excellent for mental health
Boosts happiness levels
See my complete list of meditation benefits for more.
Benefits of yoga and meditation at home vs studio
Here are some of the benefits of practicing at home VS at a studio:
- More time to really 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 own routine at home, unlike in a studio class
- Pauses to catch your breath in yoga whenever you need to!
- Go at your own pace
Best Types Of Yoga And Meditation 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 (beginners will enjoy the energy of this style)
Vinyasa is a dynamic style of yoga that is a good cardio workout. Some exercises (like the Gymra videos on Youtube) can be more intense and will definitely get your heartrate up.
Iyengar (for beginners who want to get technical)
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, including 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 (for beginners who want a formal discipline)
Ashtanga consists of six series of yoga poses that are done in a specific sequence. The teacher leads students through each pose in sequence. This 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.
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 a good 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 great option for novices is guided meditations, which you can find on Youtube. You can simply put videos on and follow along.
How To Start Doing Yoga And Meditation For Beginners — 5 Rules
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 special room at home to practice in increases your motivation to practice every day, and 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 beginner 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 ot, worse, get an injury from doing yoga poses incorrectly. So go slow. When starting out, take the time to actually learn about asanas
3 : Comfort
You should never feel overly stressed when practicing. Practice is about releasing tension in the body so it is important to be gentle with your body. If you feel that you are straining stop, or use a simplified version of the pose. This is true for the mind too. Some people experiene 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 in order 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).
Practicing At Home VS Studio Classes
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 practicing yoga and meditation at home, less is often more.
The absolute worst thing is to end up with an injury because you’ve been practicing a pose incorrectly. That’s why it is highly recommended to at least read a few high quality books before starting, and to only ever do poses you are comfortable with. Yes, Formidable Face Pose looks amazing, but if you try it as a beginner you will probably end up with a spinal injury. Be safe guys!
How To Start Doing Yoga And Meditation At Home For Beginners -- Poses
When you’re just learning how to start yoga and meditation at home as a beginner you should focus on simple and easy poses. For meditation this simply means sitting comfortably (read my guide to meditation poses for more).
For yoga it is a little more complex. 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 personally 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 yogi have problems with their hips. For instance, many people find it difficult to sit in lotus position for extended periods of time. One way to solve this is to use hip-opener exercises (pigeon pose / lotus / Bharadvaja’s Twist) 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.
And that’s my beginners guide to yoga and meditation
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.
What is most important for beginners is to have fun. Whether you’re learning yoga and meditation to get fit or to relax your mind, make sure you actually enjoy it.
The single most important rule for beginner yogis is to have fun. Because if you’re not enjoying it, there’s no point.