Apakah Anda baru-baru ini mengikuti kelas yoga pertama dan merasa sangat sulit? Atau apakah Anda sudah lama mengikuti kelas tetapi masih memerlukan bantuan untuk mengingat posenya?

Yoga tidak diragukan lagi lebih menantang daripada kedengarannya.

Ada banyak faktor yang berperan dalam melakukan pose dengan benar. Pola pernapasan Anda, jenis yoga yang Anda latih, dan bahkan matras yoga Anda semuanya dapat memengaruhi pengalaman Anda.

Namun jangan khawatir jika Anda merasa peregangan yoga seperti backbend jembatan menantang atau jika pinggul Anda menolak untuk memanjang; Saya di sini untuk membantu.

Saya telah mengajar yoga untuk pemula selama lebih dari 5 tahun dan telah belajar dari pengajaran yoga tentang kesalahan yang dilakukan kebanyakan orang saat pertama kali memulai. Jadi, untuk mendapatkan hasil maksimal dari kelas yoga Anda dan menguasai penyelarasan asana favorit Anda, ikuti 10 tips berikut.

1. Mulailah dengan pose yoga yang ramah bagi pemula

One common mistake I see among beginner yogis is trying too much too soon. Many people see advanced yogis doing fancy asanas like headstand, crow pose, and chaturanga and want to learn those postures immediately.

Once they realize how challenging these advanced postures are, they feel disheartened, believing they are not good enough to do yoga.

However, it is not so much to do with your ability (although lack of flexibility in the hips or shoulders certainly plays a part). But the main problem is that you’re approaching learning yoga poses in the wrong way.

It isn’t a good idea to start lifting 20kg in your first weight-lifting session, but you shouldn’t start with advanced yoga postures.

Instead, focusing solely on beginner-level asanas will help you gradually build the strength, stability, and flexibility in your hips, arms, and shoulders needed for those standing arm balancing poses and inversions.

So, what yoga stretches should you start with? Mountain pose, Downward Dog, Cat and Cow, and Child’s Pose are great starting points.

  • Mountain Pose: The standing mountain pose teaches you how to ground down through your lower body and improves your posture by promoting a lengthened spine.
  • Downward Dog: Downward dog gives a nice stretch to the entire body, improving flexibility in the hamstrings and spine while strengthening the upper back and arms.
  • Child’s pose: Child’s pose is an excellent pose for learning to connect with your breath. It also helps to release tightness in the hip flexors and spine, improving overall mobility.
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2. Attend Iyengar, Hatha, or Ashtanga Yoga Classes

The right type of yoga can make a world of difference. While all yoga styles bring wonderful benefits to the mind, body, and soul, I recommend a couple of styles to beginners – Iyengar and Hatha yoga.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga is ideal for beginners as it focuses on precision and alignment. It’s all about getting the posture just right so you hold each position for longer than most other styles – typically, 10 breaths or so.

I also recommend Iyengar yoga because it encourages the use of props to help you find the correct positioning while keeping your body safe.

This approach makes Iyengar yoga great for people recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic back pain and is even suitable for older adults. A study by the University of California found that 12 weeks of regular practice of Iyengar yoga improved balance and mobility in the 54 older adults who took part.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a gentle, slow-paced style that promotes body awareness and breath connection. You typically hold a Hatha posture for 5+ breaths; like Iyengar, it is accessible to all. Most Hatha yoga teachers will provide modifications or alternatives to each pose.

What about Ashtanga Yoga?

If you’re coming from an athletic background, try an Ashtanga yoga class. As this is a demanding style, it is not suitable for beginners who lack strength and stability.

However, what I love about Ashtanga yoga is the structure – in each class, you follow the same routine, so you learn to master the primary series before moving on to more challenging poses.

3. Invest in a high-quality yoga mat

You can practice yoga anywhere, anytime, with nothing but a yoga mat required.

However, the quality of your yoga mat matters A LOT. A good quality mat is the foundation of a beneficial and effective yoga practice.

Like Lululemon’s renowned “The Mat,” a good mat provides grip, preventing your hands from slipping in downward dog and improving balance in standing postures. In the lunge pose, it also provides comfort and support for your joints, such as your knees.

Therefore, one important tip I give all my beginner students is to NOT skimp on this essential tool. Investing in a high-quality mat is investing in your practice.

Choosing the Right Mat

So, how do you find the right mat for you? There are several factors to consider, including:

  1. Thickness: A thicker mat offers more cushioning but may be harder to balance on. Thick mats are best for restorative and yin yoga, while average-thickness (5mm) mats are better suited for other styles. Learn more about the importance of mat thickness in this guide!
  2. Material: Natural rubber mats offer excellent grip. Cork is a fab, eco-friendly material that is great at keeping foul odors at bay. However, you should avoid certain materials, such as PVC, that can contain toxic chemicals. We’ve created a guide to non-toxic yoga mats to help you choose the right one.
  3. Texture: Some yogis prefer a smooth surface like rubber, while others like a texture (such as cork) for extra grip. This is entirely down to personal preference.
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4. Use props for support and alignment

When you’re learning the yoga poses, props are your best friend, so rather than dismissing them, embrace them! Here are the props I recommend having on hand and how they can help you.

Yoga Blocks for Better Balance

Have you ever tried to do the Triangle Pose but couldn’t reach the ground? That’s where yoga blocks come in handy. They help you maintain balance without straining your muscles.

You can use them under your hands, feet, hips, or shoulders. For example, in a side-angle pose, you can place a dense foam block like this one by lululemon next to your front foot to rest your hand on.

Or, in pigeon pose, you can place one under your hip (filling the space between your body and the floor) to promote better spinal alignment.

Blocks can also encourage muscle engagement. For example, placing a block between the inner thighs in a bridge pose will help you keep your glutes, legs, and back muscles activated.

Check out this article for other ways to use blocks in yoga poses.

Bolsters for Added Comfort

Bolsters give extra cushioning for your hips or knees in seated stretches and support your back in supine poses.

I like to put a bolster on my legs in a seated forward bend and rest my head on it. I also often place one under my spine in a supine butterfly pose to lift my chest and deepen the backbend.

Straps for Extended Reach

Straps serve as an extension of your arms, so if you can’t touch your toes in a seated forward bend, grab a strap! Wrap it around your heel and pull gently to deepen the stretch.

Most yoga straps also allow you to create a secure loop, which you can use in several ways. For example, you can place a looped strap around your hips and heels in reclined Baddha Konasana to support your spine and knees.

Use of the wall

If you don’t have any props on hand, use the wall as support instead. The wall can help you learn inversions, find a deeper forward bend or shoulder stretch, or support you when your balance is off.

If you enjoy doing poses against the wall, you might also like chair yoga! Check out this guide on chair yoga poses for beginners.

5. Study yoga books

Many informative yoga books focus on asana, which can provide insights into the benefits and alignment of the most common yoga poses. They can also help you understand the anatomy of yoga, learning how to stretch your back, leg muscles, and outer hips effectively.

Here are a few yoga books I recommend checking out:

  • Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff – Featuring full-color anatomical illustrations, this eye-opening book shows you exactly what muscles strengthen and stretch in each pose.
  • Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar – This renowned yoga book provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of all the Iyengar yoga poses and breathing exercises.
  • 2,100 Asanas by Daniel Lacerda – This “asana bible” gives detailed cues of each pose and beginner-friendly modifications and tips on how to make the pose work for you.

6. Connect with your breath

Learning how to execute yoga poses correctly is not just about what you do with your body. Breath control is a HUGE part of yoga, as through our breath, we can consciously relax tight muscles and move through tension to go deeper into the stretch.

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Cultivating a slow and steady breathing pattern during your yoga session will also prevent fatigue and muscle cramping. Thus, breath connection allows you to develop more upper body and core strength to tackle the more advanced poses.

Ada banyak teknik pernapasan yang berbeda dalam yoga, tetapi saya sarankan untuk menguasai pernapasan diafragma terlebih dahulu. Setelah Anda menguasainya, Anda dapat mempelajari  napas ujjayi , yang meningkatkan oksigenasi darah, membantu membangun panas internal, dan mencegah kelelahan.

7. Berlatih secara konsisten

Menetapkan rutinitas yang konsisten sangat penting untuk benar-benar memahami pose, karena ini meningkatkan memori otot Anda, membantu memperpanjang waktu Anda menahan pose, dan mempercepat proses Anda.

Untuk menjadikan yoga sebagai kebiasaan, saya sarankan menjadwalkan sesi Anda pada waktu yang sama setiap hari. Saya juga menyarankan untuk memantau kemajuan Anda dengan membuat jurnal tentang pose yang Anda latih setiap hari, bagaimana perasaannya di tubuh Anda, dan terobosan apa pun yang Anda lakukan.

Tapi ingat: perjalanan setiap yogi itu unik, jadi jangan membandingkan diri Anda dengan orang lain atau menyalahkan diri sendiri jika Anda merasa tidak membuat kemajuan, yang membawa saya ke tip profesional terakhir saya…

8. Dengarkan tubuh Anda

Yoga bukan tentang apakah Anda dapat menyentuh jari-jari kaki Anda, tetapi tentang seberapa terhubungnya Anda dengan napas dan tubuh Anda.

Semakin banyak kesadaran tubuh yang Anda kembangkan, semakin Anda dapat menggunakan tubuh Anda sebagai panduan. Dengan mendengarkan isyarat tubuh, Anda akan tahu kapan harus menantang diri sendiri dan kapan harus mundur.

Anda harus merasakan keseimbangan antara usaha dan kemudahan dalam setiap postur. Jika suatu pose terasa tidak nyaman atau menyebabkan rasa sakit, ubahlah atau pilih alternatif lain. Jangan pernah berpose jika Anda mengalami rasa sakit yang tajam atau menusuk.

Pikiran terakhir

Menguasai pose yoga membutuhkan waktu, kesabaran, dan latihan yang konsisten. Namun ada beberapa hal yang dapat Anda lakukan untuk mempercepat kemajuan sekaligus menjaga keamanan tubuh, seperti menjelajahi berbagai gaya, membaca buku yoga, dan menggunakan alat peraga.

Namun, ingat, yoga adalah tentang kemajuan, bukan kesempurnaan, jadi dengarkan tubuh Anda, hubungkan dengan napas Anda, dan nikmati proses belajarnya!

FAQ 1: Apa saja pose yoga yang ramah bagi pemula?

Beberapa pose yoga yang ramah bagi pemula antara lain Pose Gunung (Tadasana), Pose Anjing Menghadap ke Bawah (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Pose Anak (Balasana), dan Pose Prajurit I & II (Virabhadrasana I & II).

FAQ 2: Mengapa saya harus berinvestasi pada matras yoga berkualitas tinggi?

Matras berkualitas tinggi memberikan cengkeraman, dukungan, kenyamanan, dan daya tahan yang lebih baik. Ini dapat membuat latihan Anda lebih aman dengan mencegah terpeleset dan jatuh.

FAQ 3: Bagaimana alat peraga dapat meningkatkan latihan yoga saya?

Alat peraga seperti balok, tali pengikat, dan guling dapat membantu penyelarasan, memberikan dukungan selama pose yang menantang, dan memperdalam peregangan.

FAQ 4: Apakah ada buku khusus untuk mempelajari yoga?

Ya! Beberapa judul yang direkomendasikan antara lain Light on Yoga karya BKS Iyengar dan The Yoga Bible karya Christina Brown.