Yoga Tips for Beginners: Get Om With It

Let me guess: you've been saying it for days, weeks, months or years: "I REALLY want to try Yoga."  Kids, now is the time!  Yoga has a bajillion stress benefits and will calm your body and mind, as well as potentially prevent you from aging (calling all Real Housewives of anywhere! STEP AWAY FROM THE BOTOX).  It's a fabulous way to get in shape for the wedding, both physically and mentally.  With my job as event planner being one of the top 10 stressful ever, I have depended on it for peace of mind, strength to get me through 14-hour days on my feet, and probably, let's be real, my sanity.  For beginners, it's good to collect some yoga tips from those more experienced, and that's exactly what we'll be talking about today.

Take a beginner's class.

I've taken yoga off and on for about 18 years now, and I still have to work on the basic poses.  So don't jump right in - take a beginner's course. Many studios even offer "introduction to yoga classes" for free. This is the best tip for starting yoga - you absolutely HAVE to nail the basics so you're feeling good before going to a class for people with some experience.

Ha! If only true relaxation were as easy as flipping a switch...

Ha! If only true relaxation were as easy as flipping a switch...

Gear up.

So, I started taking yoga when I was dating this guy shortly after I moved to L.A. It was a totally stereotypical story:  Midwestern girl heads to L.A. to seek fortune and fame (I considered myself an actress, turns out of dubious talent), dates a way older guy (he looked my age, I swear!) who is a hot yoga instructor and personal trainer. Sooo LA, right?  It was pretty funny. But, he got me in shape. We worked out about 4-5 times a week, often hitting up the top yoga studios of L.A., and he gave me a fantastic yoga mat that was nice and cushy and my hands never slipped.

Cut to the present, I lose the yoga mat (where? I have no idea), got a cheap one for $10, and now my knees kill me when I do tabletop position and my hands slip like crazy. Moral of the story? Tip: Spend at least $30-40 on a good mat. You'll be glad you did.

A good yoga mat allows you to practice anywhere - the office, home, you name it.

A good yoga mat allows you to practice anywhere - the office, home, you name it.

Other than that, all you need are leggings or yoga pants, and tops that are nice and form fitting and come up fairly high on your chest - so you don't have a 'wardrobe malfunction,' given you'll be bending over a lot.  Good Housekeeping recently rounded up the best workout leggings out there and I love this higher-cut top by Gaiam at Kohls.

Search for Free or Inexpensive Yoga Classes.

You're no doubt counting your pennies while you save for the wedding, and luckily there are many donation based or free yoga classes in most cities; for example in my own backyard (i.e., L.A.) there are a fair amount of places where you can take yoga for free. 

So get your Om on, will you?  I promise you'll love it!