These beginners’ yoga tips will help you practice yoga without hurting your back, neck, or other precious body parts. Here, the founder of Dahn Yoga, Ilchi Lee, shares everything from how to do the yoga twist to how move your belly yoga-style.
Yoga for Beginners & Beyond includes Yoga for Stress Relief, AM-PM Yoga for Beginners, and Essential Yoga for Inflexible People. I practice yoga at home with a variety of DVDS, because I don’t like to take the time to go to a studio for yoga class. But, I did go to a series of 10 yoga classes in person before practicing with my DVDs. It’s good to get the in-person instruction before doing yoga at home, especially if you’re just beginning your yoga practice.
If you’re dealing with a loss in your life, read 10 Benefits of Yoga Poses for the Grieving Process. You’d be surprised at how effective yoga can be for people who are grieving any type of loss in life. That post describes how yoga effects your body and mind in positive ways. In this article, the founder of Dahn Yoga shares his tips for beginners…
This is a guest post from Ilchi Lee.
How to Practice Yoga Without Getting Hurt
“People sometimes assume that getting healthy is a very difficult, complicated task that requires great knowledge, discipline and willpower,” says Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga. “While these things do help, we can actually do a lot for our health with surprisingly little effort.”
1. Move your belly
When practitioners first begin Dahn Yoga training, we teach them a very simple, but highly effective exercise called the Intestine Exercise. All it involves is moving the abdomen in and out: Just push your abdomen out, making round like a balloon, and then pull in, like you are trying to bring your belly button back toward your spine. This beginner’s yoga tip can help to improve circulation in your abdomen while helping to move waste products out of your digestive tract – which will help you achieve your weight loss goals.
2. Give yourself a pat
In Dahn Yoga, we often use what we call “tapping” to warm up before a session. It simply means patting your entire body with cupped palms in order to increase energy and blood flow throughout the body. This beginner’s yoga tip may look a little funny at first, but it feels great. Afterward, your body feels very warm and your can feel the buzz of energy throughout your body. It is a great way to reenergize your body when you have been sitting still for too long.
3. Shake it out
Recently I wrote Brain Wave Vibration: Getting Back into the Rhythm of a Happy, Healthy Life, which is all about using shaking and rhythm to create health of body, mind, and spirit. It is very simple, but incredibly effective. The simplest form is just to close your eyes and gently shake your head back and forth. This exercise will help your brain “reset” and relax, allowing a break from the “fight or flight” stress state.
4. Do the twist
Spine health is very important because the spine is like the central pillar of your body. Many sports and exercises can help strengthen the back, but we often forget to move the spine in all directions to keep the vertebrae limber. So, next time you do your stretches, don’t just bend forward. Try twisting your spine. Place your hands on your hips, keeping your abdomen forward, and then try to look behind you while standing straight.
Believe it or not, you can lose weight even if you’re new at yoga! Read How to Lose Weight When You Hate Sweating or Can’t Exercise.
5. Sit cross-legged
When some beginners start Dahn Yoga, they find sitting cross-legged for meditation more difficult than the yoga stretches!
When I taught in Korea, this was not usually the case because people were accustomed to sitting cross-legged on the floors of their homes, which is typical in traditional homes. I recommend spending more time in the half-lotus posture since it can help you keep your hip joints limber. In addition, getting up and down from this posture strengthens the legs and knees.
6. Tap your toes
One of the simplest and most effective Dahn Yoga exercises is called Toe Tapping. To try it, just lie or sit down on the floor and extend your legs. With your feet spread slightly apart, begin to tap your toes together. Continue for several minutes, keeping a steady rhythm and your legs relaxed. When you stop, you will be able to feel the circulation of energy tingling in the legs. This beginner’s yoga tip is a fantastic mind-body coordination exercise, and it helps to calm your mind.
7. Keep a cool head and a fire in the belly
In Dahn Yoga we emphasize a concept from Oriental medicine called “water up, fire down.” This beginner’s yoga tip refers to the fact that, in the healthy state, our heads are cool and our abdomens warm. If the body’s natural system is out of balance, this condition can reverse itself. Many of us are indeed out of balance, due to stress and poor lifestyle choices. If your head is hot or your abdomen is cold, it might be time to take a break and reconsider your habits.
If you’re looking for a yoga fitness workout to do at home, read the Best Yoga DVDs, Plus 4 Tips for Choosing a Yoga DVD.
If you have any questions or thoughts on these beginners’ yoga tips and yoga toes, please comment below.