In this guide we’ll be looking at how to start doing yoga at home for beginners..
When you make the decision to start doing yoga 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.
To get the most out of it I also recommend doing the mental side of practice as well as the physical. By this I mean: Meditation! [READ: How To Start Meditation].
If you’re an absolute beginners might wonder what exact benefits you will get from practice.
Let’s take a look.
Benefits of doing yoga at home as a beginner
There’s a reason why this is one 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
Benefits of yoga at home vs studio
Here are some of the benefits of practicing at home VS at a studio:
- More time to really practice the poses
- 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 whenever you need!
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 (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.
How To Start Doing Yoga At Home 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 at home for beginner is to make sure you do the poses 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.
Remember, you’re going to get a ton out of practice, but the last thing you want is an injury. So go slow. When starting out, take the time to actually learn about asanas. Perhaps grab a beginner’s book or DVD to learn from.
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.
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 of starting yoga at home is that you are more likely to injure yourself. In a class the teacher can spot if you are out of alignment. But more beginners yogis will not know the difference between proper alignment and improper, and this could potentially lead to a spinal injury. That’s why it’s best practice to go slow when doing yoga at home, and always make sure you are comfortable.
When practicing yoga 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 At Home For Beginners -- Poses
When you’re just learning how to start yoga at home as a beginner you should focus on simple and easy poses.
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 beginners 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 cheat 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 how to start doing yoga at home for beginners!
Most importantly, when you’re just starting to do yoga at home as a beginner, make sure you have FUN!
Whether you’re learning yoga to get fit or to relax your mind, make sure you actually enjoy it.
The single most important rule for beginners yogis is to have fun. Because if you’re not enjoying it, there’s no point.