There are many ways to get a firm, strong and toned body, but we need to have variation in our workouts so that our muscles and mind will not get bored. If you are considering Yoga as a new exercise to refresh your fitness routine, right now is the best time to start. A consistent Yoga practice offers all kinds of mental and physical health benefits, i.e. improved flexibility, increased muscle tone and stress reduction.
To get started, here are a few quick tips to help as you are practicing your asanas:
- Get to know several types of Yoga If you know a friend who has a great posture and has practiced Yoga for many years, ask about the person’s journey in finding the right Yoga type for his or her body. Maybe you can try that too! A typical class starts with the teacher’s invitation to close both eyes and chanting “om” three times, followed by warm-up poses, more challenging poses, stretches and closed with the Corpse Pose (savasana). During this five-minute relaxation, some teachers would go around and give each student a little massage on the head or feet.
There are dozens of Yoga types out there – from the slower moving one like Hatha Yin, Iyengar, to those more dynamic ones like Vinyasa or Power Yoga, so explore your options before you pick one that suits your personality and physical fitness.
- Pick a yoga studio Other than asking a friend, you can also get some clues from online resources. You can take yoga classes in Malaysia at a gym or a specific Yoga center. If you want to join a community that focuses on Yoga from its spiritual aspect, places like Kevala Yoga Center or The Divine Life Society Malaysia would be a good option. However, if you only want to boost your fitness level, the best option is to join a gym. Pick the one with easy access from your location and has a dedicated Yoga studio. Some gyms offer a free trial entry or walk-in rate for as low as RM 8, so you do not have to commit right away.
Finding a good Yoga teacher is also an important step to help you stick to the routine. If you do not have the right chemistry with a teacher, move on until you find one or two you like.
- Be honest with yourself In the beginning, do not be too ambitious about doing the perfect movement, but listen to your body. When you choose a class, see the level requirement and tell the teacher that you are a newbie. During a session, the best spot for beginners is at the back, where one can see the teacher and follow the movement of more experienced classmates. Yoga expertise takes years of practice, so consider yourself as a beginner for the first three years. After that, it depends on your eagerness to practice and join various levels of enhancement, i.e. Yoga retreats and Masterclasses.
- Get the right equipment Most Yoga studios provide mats for free, so you will not need to bring anything except yourself. Wear light, breathable clothing that will not limit any movement. It would be best to wait for a while until you understand the type of equipment that would enhance your movement further. For example, some people like a thick Yoga mat, but others like the thinnest one available. It would cost you between RM 170 and RM 650 to buy a new Yoga mat, plus a few hundred ringgits to add props like Yoga Block, Strap, and more.
When you take yoga classes in Malaysia, always remember to have fun and accept your body as it is. After all, yoga is about self-discovery and acceptance.