Yoga tips for beginners

This is Meagan Kerr x Yoga With Me: Yoga For Beginners // Wall Lunge

There seems a misconception that yoga is only for a certain type of person, but the truth is that yoga is for everyone. No matter what your age, gender, size or background, yoga poses can be adapted for your ability. But where do you start out? I wanted to share a few yoga tips for beginners – I hope you find them helpful.

There are plenty of yoga videos on YouTube that you can follow along to, or classes you can take. The important thing to remember is to go at your own pace and adapt the poses to suit you. I’ve got a couple of videos coming over the next few weeks that I’d love for you to check out – make sure you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel to be among the first to see those.

Yoga for beginners

This is Meagan Kerr x Yoga With Me: Yoga For Beginners // Breathing

Think about your breathing

Before I start my practice, I like to sit (or stand, depending on the kind of yoga I’m doing) with my eyes closed and take time to slow my breathing, let go of my day or anything that’s bugging me at the moment and focus on what I’m about to do. Some long slow breaths in and out through my nose help to get me into the right frame of mind, slow down and be mindful of what I’m doing. While I’m moving through my yoga poses, I continue to be mindful of my breathing which allows me to flow from one pose to the next.

This is Meagan Kerr x Yoga With Me: Yoga For Beginners // Standing Forward Fold Modifications Using Foam Block

Uttanasana or Standing Forward Fold Modifications

Go at your own pace

I’m sure you’ve seen some yoga poses and thought “there is no way I can stretch that far/bend like that”. We all have to start somewhere, and don’t worry – your abilities will grow over time. Think about something like a forward fold – not everyone can touch the ground, and that’s okay. You can rest your hands on your legs to begin with, use foam blocks in a number of different ways to give you support at different heights, touch your fingertips to the ground, and then one day you’ll find yourself with your hands flat on the floor. I like to aim for improvement in my poses (this is what I’m aiming for with Uttanasana), and it’s a real sense of achievement each time I manage to do something I couldn’t do previously.

This is Meagan Kerr x Yoga With Me: Yoga For Beginners // Eagle Arm Modifications Using Strap

Eagle Pose (arms only)

Don’t be afraid to use props and accessories

I resisted using yoga props for a long time and as soon as I gave them a go I realised that I’d been missing out. They helped me to try poses that I hadn’t previously done, meaning new challenges for my practise. Two accessories I’d really like to get one day are foam blocks (which you can see in the standing forward fold poses above) and a strap (like the one I’m using for eagle pose).

Remember that you don’t need fancy gear

Props and accessories are a nice addition to your yoga practice, but they’re not essential. I would say that my only two essentials are comfortable clothing and a quiet space – I usually do my yoga inside (in my lounge, because that’s where I have room) but sometimes on a nice sunny day I do like to take my practice outside. I was lucky enough to practice in the cosy warm space at Om Yoga Studio in Stonefields recently (where these photos were taken) and that was a lovely treat

This is Meagan Kerr x Yoga With Me: Yoga For Beginners // Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Savasana or Corpse Pose

Above all, I think it’s important to find poses that you enjoy doing. My favourite is Uttanasana (the standing forward bend I showed you above) – it helps me to relax and gives me a great stretch all down the back of my body. Do you have a favourite pose?

Do you practice yoga or are you wanting to give it a go? Make sure you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel so you can follow along with my videos. We’ll start things off nice and easy next week.

If you have any yoga tips for beginners, make sure you share them with me below!

xo Meagan

Thanks to:
Shirley from Yoga With Me for her tips and guidance
Sandey from Om Yoga Studio for letting us use her wonderful space
Doug from Ambient Light for the photos

11 Comments

  1. September 26, 2015 / 1:51 am

    I think one of things I wish someone told me when I started doing it, was ‘don’t be afraid to move your fat’. I have an ‘apron of fat’ which sometimes hinders certain positions, and it wasn’t until I was watching a video a year later, that someone said that & it opened a whole new world to me. Don’t be afraid to move your belly around so its more comfortable! It may be a weird tip & would only matter if you’re plus size, but it helped me 😛

    • September 26, 2015 / 9:58 am

      That’s great advice Natalie! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. theyogaconnectionak
    September 9, 2015 / 10:15 am

    I think your advice for beginners is relevant for all yogis, no matter how long you’ve been practicing. It always comes back to the breath! Love your pics and modifications. 🙂

    • September 9, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Thanks Jane 🙂 You’re right – it is all about the breath. I find myself taking note of my breathing at other times now too, it’s such a great way to centre myself

  3. September 9, 2015 / 8:53 am

    I like to do a few yoga sequences at home. I think it’s really helped with my back. And it’s nice to see that all bodies are welcomed with this practice 🙂
    Also, you can get a pack of a strap and a foam block at Kmart for $6. I use mine all the time during practice because it helps to support my back in poses where I feel my core isn’t strong enough to support me completely.

    • September 9, 2015 / 9:54 am

      Ooooh thanks for the heads up! Hurray for Kmart, I’m going to have to pop in and check those out

      • September 9, 2015 / 10:15 am

        I know right?! They think of everything! The St Luke’s store just got a whole load of new fitness stuff in and I’m pretty sure I saw a few of them.
        I also grabbed a swiss ball while I was there for core workouts (they’re like $10) and I’ve been loving that too. I use the yoga practice and swiss ball when I’m too lazy to go to the gym or the weather is super bad. Always nice to have a back up option at home 🙂

        • September 9, 2015 / 11:34 am

          Damn it, now I’m gonna have to go to Kmart. Goodbyyyyye all my money!

  4. September 8, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    I have always wanted to practice yoga…I got the worst sinusitis problem….I used to do breathing exercise..but I would like to do it in full fledge… have to find a good centre in Auckland to start off with. Totally agree with you..Yoga is for anyone… not limited to certain people…

    • September 9, 2015 / 11:39 am

      Where in Auckland are you based Renji? I’m sure I (or one of my yoga friends) could suggest a good studio to visit.

      • September 9, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        If you’re looking for yoga as a beginner I know of a few studios that have beginner courses coming up – probably the best way to get into it as you’ll have help with alignment and breathing. Otherwise, great classes to start back into it would be yin, yin yang or some slower vinyasa.
        We have Auckland studios listed here: http://theyogaconnection.co.nz/studios/ and the courses are listed on the Events page: http//theyogaconnection.co.nz/events/
        Or get in touch if I can help with anything further info – happy to help!

        Sorry for the links, I need to change my account 🙂