Online yoga classes grew in popularity at the beginning of the pandemic. Even though many studios have reopened, many people still enjoy practicing from the comfort of their own home.
There are several things to consider when practicing yoga online, especially for beginners, and all of the information can be overwhelming. However, a home yoga practice might be the most comfortable and convenient choice for you before rolling your mat out in a live studio class.
I hope the following tips inspire you to begin your practice today!
5 Beginner Online Yoga Tips
1. Believe in Your Abilities!
Yoga can be intimidating, especially when most images online feature bendy postures, headstands and complex poses held for long periods of time. But, as Krishnamacharya, one of the most esteemed teachers of modern yoga said, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
Aspiring to do more challenging postures is fine but it shouldn’t keep you from practicing right now. Yoga extends beyond the physical postures on the mat to include breathwork and meditation, too.
Yoga is for every body and mind. No one posture is better than another and what works well for you might not work for someone else. You can begin your practice with what you have in this moment.
2. Make a Space
If possible, make a dedicated space to practice. If you’re sharing a space, find one that’s safe with a little extra room to move outside the dimensions of your mat.
Choose a space that has natural light and a wall that you can use for support as needed. If you can, personalize this space with things that inspire you to return to your mat daily – incense, candles, artwork, plants, etc.
The most important thing is to make time to practice even if you don’t have the “perfect” studio. You can invite anything that might be a distraction to be part of your sensory experience as you move on your mat.
3. Practice Safely
This is one tip with no exceptions. Listen to your body; respect your body’s inner wisdom and honor your limitations without judgement or comparison to others.
Don’t ignore pain; pay special attention to vulnerable areas such as your hips, knees, neck, and spine.
Yoga is safe enough to practice daily, but I recommend switching up the styles of classes you take – vinyasa, yin, meditation, restorative, to name a few – to prevent injuries caused by repetitive movements.
4. Pick a Style
Online yoga classes are like the menu at the Cheesecake factory – there are so many options that all look good and it can be difficult to know where to start! It’s better to know what you have a taste for before checking the menu or in this case, it’s best to ask yourself, “What do my mind and body need in this moment?” before trying to find a class.
If you need an energy boost, you might enjoy a vinyasa flow or maybe a restorative practice would be better to help you recover from injury. If you’re sore and need a deeper stretch with minimal flow, yin might do the trick.
Some platforms offer yoga programs with curated classes based on a theme, muscle group or playlist. Focus more on the style of the class than on the description written by the teacher as sometimes the description won’t give an accurate representation of the class.
You can always slow down, speed up, pull back or find another version of each posture at any time during the class. This is your practice.
5. Linger in Savasana
Allow your body to relax, restore and to receive the benefits of yoga by taking savasana at the end of each class – try not to skip it and stay longer if you can!
Even in more relaxing styles where you might not feel like you need it, your body and mind can still benefit from time to transition back to the activities of your day. You might enjoy the support of props, a warm blanket or soft music or take comfort simply lying flat on your back on the mat.
You don’t have to wait until the end of class to take savasana. When I used to teach in person, I’d start by saying, “You’re welcome to take savasana the entire time…this is your practice.” Every so often someone would take me up on the offer.
Starting a yoga practice doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Practicing from the comfort of your own home can be both beneficial and a safe alternative to joining a live class.
Join the online yoga community and get started today!