In Australia alone, over 2.18 million people practice yoga. With statistics like this, it’s safe to say you won’t be alone in your yoga journey.
Of course, like anything new, starting with yoga can feel intimidating and unknown. Fortunately, starting your yoga practice is something you can do at any stage in your life, regardless of funds, age, physical fitness/ability, and location.
Believe it or not, yoga is one of the most welcoming communities to join. Whether you have a vast knowledge of philosophy and asanas or you’ve come to get a little stretch, starting yoga is one of the best choices you can make for your body, mind, and soul.
Ready to commit and start on your way to becoming a yogi? Follow along to learn 6 simple steps and tips for how to start yoga in Australia.
1. Let Go of Expectations
Before you start yoga, it’s important to take a step back and let go of any expectations. Yoga has many important aspects beyond physical abilities such as flexibility and strength, setting it apart from most forms of exercise in a profound way.
This is why it’s so important to leave those expectations off of your mat before coming to your practice. No matter what your abilities are when starting yoga, you’ll begin to reap the benefits of regular practice in many areas from your physical physique to your emotional state.
Don’t stress if you can’t sink into a pose or take the more advanced options right away. This doesn’t mean you are ‘bad’ at yoga or even less than any other yogi in class. Simply surrender to the process and trust that as you continue to practice you’ll experience changes in all areas from your flexibility and balance to your mindset.
2. Gather Your Tools
Now that you’ve decided to commit to yoga, you’ll need to set yourself up with the right tools for the practice. Many yoga studios in Australia will provide a mat and blocks for beginners to borrow, however, if you wish to take your practice beyond the studio or prefer to learn at home, having your own props is essential.
For starting yoga, the first prop you’ll want to invest in is a quality yoga mat. Your mat will be the physical item you attach your practice to, so choosing a durable mat that will last is key.
Investing in a yoga mat can help you stay on track, keep your joints well supported, and even align with your environmentally conscious values. Choosing options like our grounded yoga mat can ensure you are always practising on a toxin-free, sustainable eco yoga mat.
Once you have your mat, set yourself up for success by picking up yoga blocks and a strap to ensure you are fully supported in your alignment.
3. Carve Out Time
Use your yoga mat as a space where only yoga happens.
Instead of bringing your day with you to the mat, carve out specific pockets of time where you get to truly arrive in your body and just be. Let your to-do list go, stop brainstorming ideas for work, and worry about dinner later. This time has been set aside just for your practice.
If you choose to practice at home, set up a babysitter for the kids or close the door to your family members so that your time is not unintentionally taken.
For yogis who have not yet mastered the art of ‘leaving it all behind’, booking in yoga classes and entering an entirely different space can help create separation and take your mind from ‘doing’ to ‘being’.
4. Book a Beginners Class
If you’ve never practised yoga before, booking a beginners yoga class is a great place to start.
The teachers for these classes provide extra guidance, alignment cues, and adjustments to ensure you are practising the asanas with proper alignment.
This not only gives you a solid base for your start but also ensures you won’t get injured due to improper form.
Beyond the incredibly helpful guidance, these classes are a much less intimidating environment as all the attendees are just starting yoga as well. Although you shouldn’t be worried about what others are doing on their mats anyways, this beginner community is much less ‘scary’ than booking into an intermediate or advanced class unknowingly.
5. Pain and Pinching Mean ‘No’
It’s no question that yoga can be a solid workout. Certain poses can challenge your strength and extend your flexibility. This often comes along with sensations that let us know we are approaching our edge.
While breathing into these poses is a great way to advance your practice, a feeling of pain or pinching is never something to ignore.
Pain is not an advantageous state in yoga, in fact, it’s your body’s way of telling you it’s too much. Instead of pushing through, acknowledge your pain and honour your body by easing off.
Every body is built differently and some poses simply won’t work for your body. There is nothing wrong with this and you should never feel embarrassed. Instead, use props, ease off, or ask your teacher for an alternative posture.
6. Soak Up Savasana
Savasana is the restorative pose at the end of a yoga practice. This is done by relaxing into corpse pose for a longer period of time and entering a meditative state.
For yogis who came to sweat and move, this pose can seem unproductive to their exercise, however, savasana is perhaps the most valuable part of your yoga practice.
Throughout your class or at home practice you’ll have stirred up energy, broken stagnant emotions free, and warmed your body in the perfect preparation for your savasana. This end pose then allows you to process, let go, and heal from anything that your body released during the movement.
In essence, this is where the magic of yoga really happens, so do your best to stay present, relaxed, and open right to the beautiful end.
Starting Yoga in Australia
Now that you know these 6 tips for starting yoga in Australia, you can head to class with confidence. From commiting to your practice with your own eco yoga mat to staying present right to the end, we can’t wait for you to start your journey with yoga.
Want to get your hands on the best yoga props for your new practice? Shop our eco yoga mats today and invest in your wellness - mind, body, and soul.