When you’re brand new to yoga, it can feel intimidating and be difficult to know exactly where and how to get started. Our Yoga for Beginners guide was created specifically for you—to give you all the tips, guidelines, and recommendations you will need to start a successful yoga practice. 

Yoga is a body-mind practice. It offers immense benefits for physical and mental health. As a result, it has grown in popularity across the world.  The root of the word yoga means union, integration, or wholeness. In the context of yoga, this means the integration of body, mind, and spirit, or the union of the individual and universal consciousness. Yoga is a way of living. It provides a complete philosophy to live a healthy, happy life to its full potential. 

Pregnant woman cradling her belly

What Is the Best Yoga for Beginners?

The best yoga for beginners really depends on the individual practicing yoga.  If you are out of shape or extremely inflexible, we recommend you begin with a gentle practice until you have built up the strength and flexibility for more challenging sequences. If you are a relatively fit and flexible person, you should be able to jump right into a regular hatha yoga class. Once you are familiar with the basic postures, you can explore a vinyasa or flow class. We recommend you avoid Ashtanga, Bikram, or hot yoga until you have built up some physical strength and endurance. It is always best to error on the side of caution and safety and approach yoga slowly and carefully. The best way to know if yoga is for you is to give it a try!

Whether you are young or old, flexible or tight, fit or unfit, a regular practice of yoga strengthens the body and calms the mind. Contrary to popular belief, physical flexibility is neither the pre-requisite nor the goal to practice yoga. Striking a perfect pose is not the goal. What matters at the end of a practice is the state of your body and mind. If you feel at peace and in the present moment, then you are practicing yoga. Yoga is work within and not a ‘workout’. Don’t let the intimidating postures scare you away and dim your enthusiasm to practice yoga!

It’s even possible to practice yoga as a beginner if you are pregnant and in need of prenatal yoga modifications.  You just want to make sure that you find a certified prenatal yoga teacher who has taken a RPYT Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training that is registered with Yoga Alliance.  To keep your yoga practice safe during pregnancy – avoid any poses which cause compression or squashing your baby and please seek medical advice before undertaking any kind of exercise program during pregnancy. 

During pregnancy, you want to stay in shape and do what is best for you and your baby. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to do both. In our go-go-go world, yoga offers a much-needed opportunity to slow down and connect with your baby and with your body as it transforms. Whether you are new to yoga or are already an experienced practitioner, you can enjoy the many benefits of yoga during pregnancy.