Much has been written about the health benefits of yoga, and the practice has become ubiquitous over the years. At this point, you can find a yoga studio in almost every town and city across the country. Of course, if you live at one of our Greystar communities, you might not even have to leave your neighborhood. Our apartments always feature a thoughtful amenity to make you feel at home, whether that is a yoga studio or workout space, or manicured outdoor areas for you to enjoy the fresh air. The beauty of yoga is that you can practice it almost anywhere there is space.
If you’re interested in getting started with yoga but have no idea where to begin, we can help. Yoga might seem intimidating at first, but reading these helpful tips will turn you into a yogi in no time.
1) Make space and make time
Most yoga poses require space roughly the size of a yoga mat, although some advanced poses will require more room than that. For comfort, give yourself a few feet of room on all sides of your yoga mat. Block off about an hour for yoga. Yoga is something that you should not rush. If you plan on doing yoga outside, you should also consider the weather. It might be easier to do yoga in the morning or in the evening and avoid the hottest parts of the day.
2) Invest in the Right Equipment
Get a yoga mat with a sticky side. A sticky mat allows you to have much surer footing and prevents the mat from slipping while you go through. Another thing you should invest in is proper attire. Yoga clothing does not have to cost you an arm and a leg, but buying actual yoga clothes can help you relax during your sessions. Yoga pants are usually opened at the bottom to allow your feet freedom of movement while tight throughout the body to keep you from catching on loose clothing. Try to wear shirts that are well fitted and not too baggy for the same reason: some of these postures require movement and you could get your hand caught in the loose fabric.
3) Balance Postures with Meditation
Some of these poses will have you testing muscles that you may not even know existed. That being said, it is easy to get wrapped up in the idea that yoga is strictly an exercise. In fact, yoga also encourages you to find your center through meditation and self-reflection. A true yoga master will clear their mind as well as strengthen their body, finding the perfect balance between mind and body.
4) Seek Help
When it comes to yoga, it is especially important that you ask for help if you are not sure what you are doing. Doing yoga improperly could put you at risk of hurting yourself. If you know someone who has done yoga for a while, ask them to help you with various poses. If you feel confident in your technique but simply want a routine, there are plenty of free and premium guides that will lead you through a session online. You could also find a yoga instructor near your apartment to get hands-on help and guided sessions. Yoga is also a great opportunity to meet your neighbors. Doing yoga together can create a sense of wellness and community.
5) Free Yourself From Distractions
As we mentioned, freeing up time in your schedule to do yoga is recommended, but we would also recommend removing all distractions if possible. Let yoga be a time for peace and focus, not a time to check your work emails on your phone or send Snapchats. Try turning your phone, computer and TV off. If you have to listen to something (other than instruction), put on relaxing music to help promote inner wellbeing.
6) Go at your own pace
If you go to a studio, you might encounter people who have been practicing yoga for years and can perform virtually every pose. Don’t get intimidated! These people took years of practice to get to where they are. You will often hear instructors inform practitioners that if they cannot do a pose, they can simply relax in child’s pose, or the instructor might offer alternative poses that are easier for novices. Yoga is about self-improvement, so don’t worry so much about the actions of others.
7) Don’t give up!
It’s easy to dismiss yoga as nothing more than a few weird poses, but after a few sessions, you’ll quickly realize that yoga is hard work. You will work your muscles, break a sweat, and might even be tempted to give up, but resist that urge! The health benefits of yoga are numerous, and few exercises promote both spiritual and physical wellbeing the way that yoga does. Even if you find yourself struggling at first, keep at it and soon you’ll be feeling great both inside and out.
Regardless if you have a yoga studio at your Greystar community or room in your spacious apartment, yoga is a great way to strengthen your body and center yourself. Find your inner peace and start practicing yoga today!