Beginning yoga can mean two things. It can mean a yoga program designed for people just starting to learn yoga, and it can mean making the decision and taking the action to start an individual yoga training program yourself. Of course, it can also mean both these things. Beginning yoga is a state of mind and a course of action.
The first step in beginning yoga is knowing why you want to do it. Knowing your own motivation helps you focus your intentions and reach your goals. For some people, the reasons are clear. For others, yoga may have a healthy aura, but its many potential benefits might still be a little hazy.
Among the most common reasons people want to start yoga is improving mental relaxation and focus and increasing physical range of motion, but there are other reasons for taking up this age-old tradition. Yoga classes can be a way of socializing and meeting new friends. Many busy parents enjoy yoga as a way of getting a break from the kids along with some healthy exercise and stress reducing socializing.
Some people have specific joint or muscle problems they are working to improve. Others seek out yoga as a spiritual practice. Weight loss, easing insomnia, lessening symptoms of arthritis, and core strength training are other reasons women and men of all ages take up the practice of yoga. The reason does not matter much. What is important is knowing your own reason or reasons and making them clear to yourself before you start out. Then you can look for the right yoga course to achieve your goals. Different yoga courses and instructors have differing areas of focus from strength building to pain relief to spiritual enlightenment.
Once you know your reasons, you can find a yoga course designed with your goals in mind. Courses can be held in a brick and mortar classroom, available on a video or DVD series, an Internet class, or a regular or eBook for learning and practicing on your own or with a friend. As you advance, you can fine-tune the types of exercises, intensity, and frequency of your practice sessions to meet your specific needs, goals, or limitations.
There is nothing wrong with learning and doing yoga alone, if your reasons for doing it do not involve meeting and connecting with others. However, having guidance is important, and advancing in yoga practice takes a steady and well-paced approached, or you risk exceeding your limits and undermining your goals. There is no shortage of resources for learning yoga exercises in the privacy of your own home, and there is no reason not to for many people interested in beginning yoga.
If your motivation for beginning yoga include being in the company of others and meeting new people, beginning yoga classes taught by private instructors, community colleges, University Extension services, senior centers, and community recreation centers are usually not hard to find in most metropolitan areas. Many rural areas also have these same community resources for learning yoga.
Beginning yoga courses are readily available, and the benefits of yoga can extend to any aspect of mental, physical, and spiritual life to the extent desired by the person practicing this healthy, physical activity.