How To Get Started With Yoga

There’s a reason yoga has been popular for thousands of years. Lots of people find that delving into a regular yoga practice can be life-changing. Creating an increased sense of calm, stability, and emotional wellbeing, as well as strength, flexibility, and muscle tone. It’s a unique practice in the way that it combines spirituality, ancient practices, physical strength, mental wellbeing, and self-realisation.

What is yoga?

Before you get started, I wanted to share a brief outline of what yoga is.

The origins of yoga can be traced back thousands of years to around 3300-1300 BC in the Indus Valley civilisation – the area that sits between India and Pakistan. The earliest written records date back to the Vedas – the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism, around 1500-500 BC.

What we see as yoga today is often associated with the Sage Patanjali (the so-called 'father of yoga') in 400-200 BC. Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras, which is seen as the seminal text for the framework of yoga. According to the Yoga Sutras, the practice of yoga is designed to ‘still the fluctuations of the mind’. At its core, yoga is a mental practice much more than a physical one: we move our bodies to unwind, to connect with ourselves on a deeper level, and to prepare the mind for stillness or meditation. Patanjali only spends three sutras (of almost 200) detailing the physical side of the practice, merely telling us that asanas (the Sanskrit word for physical postures) should be ‘steady and comfortable’ (Sthira Sukham Asanam)

This is important because as we start the physical practice it’s easy to let our ego take over and compare ourselves with others - feeling like we’re ‘not good at yoga’ simply because we can’t do the splits, or stand on our head. And we simply have to let that go and focus on our practice. 

Yoga today

Modern yoga underwent a huge transformation in the twentieth century, evolving into a series of different styles from Ashtanga to Bikram, Lyengar, and Vinyasa. Many people in the Western World started adopting the practice for its physical benefits, but the mental benefits can be extraordinary.

How to start a yoga practice

So, where do you start with the physical practice? You start by realising the key is to enjoy the practice, to see it as a moving meditation, an antidote to the stresses and strains of your life. Use your breath to guide you, and remember that every asana/posture should feel steady and comfortable – you should be able to breathe deeply in it. If your breath is strained or you’re holding it, then back off a little – the practice will unfold in time and what feels hard today will become easier over time.

Beginners' classes

We have both a six-step ‘beginners’ course and a range of beginner’s classes. Starting with the course can be beneficial, allowing you to slowly get to grips with the names of the core asanas/postures so that you’re able to progress into one-off classes with a sense of confidence and understanding. You can also start with some meditations to practice tuning in to your mind.

Beginners' meditations

How To Meditate
Meditation
10 mins

How To Meditate

with Gelong Thubten

A video guide to meditation. In this class Gelong Thubten guides you through the basics of the practice, what meditation is and what to expect from a class. This is a tutorial with a short beginners practice designed to help you get started, rather than a daily practice.

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Calming Beginners Meditation
Meditation
15 mins

Calming Beginners Meditation

with Belinda Matwali

This beginners meditation practice with Belinda Matwali guides you through a relaxing fifteen minute practice to release tension and create a deeper sense of connection.

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Simple Beginners Meditation
Meditation
5 mins

Simple Beginners Meditation

with Gelong Thubten

This beginners practice with Gelong Thubten guides you through a classic meditation practice in a very accessible, easy to follow manner.

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Balance The Breath
Meditation
10 mins

Balance The Breath

with Jess (Wood) Baccanello

This 10-minute meditation focuses on a simple breathing pattern to support your body shift into the restorative, rest-and-digest parasympathetic nervous system. This practice is the perfect way to feel more grounded in your body and mind.

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Simple 5-Minute Daily Meditation
Meditation
5 mins

Simple 5-Minute Daily Meditation

with Gelong Thubten

A classic meditation with Gelong Thubten, which you can come back to time and time again. This practice focuses on the senses, the room around you and the breath to cultivate a deeper sense of ease and awareness. A great practice for beginners and those with more experience.

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Beginners' yoga classes

Getting Started For Beginners
Yoga
20 mins

Getting Started For Beginners

with Ella Mills

With explanations for each pose, this class is designed for your first few times doing yoga, though this is also ideal if you'd just like a refresher of the basics too.

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Back To Basics Vinyasa Flow
Yoga
30 mins

Back To Basics Vinyasa Flow

with Natasha Wood

Natasha guides us through classic vinyasa sequences and reconnects us with the body. Great for beginners or experienced yogis wanting to work on alignment & technique.

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Slow Nourishing Flow
Yoga
10 mins

Slow Nourishing Flow

with Jess Baccanello

This 10-minute flow is the perfect way to slow down, connect with your breath, and stretch your whole body when you're short on time.

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Nice & Simple Feel Good Flow
Yoga
20 mins

Nice & Simple Feel Good Flow

with Lisa Hood

This is a great simple 20-minute flow for anyone new to yoga, or just getting back into it, and wants a flow that covers all the classic moves & positions we all love, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.

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Breath & Intention
Yoga
10 mins

Breath & Intention

with Ella Mills

This is the perfect practice to reframe your mindset by tuning into the breath and setting intentions in this calming flow.

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