Yoga for All: 3 Ways to Start a Yoga Practice as a Beginner
Theresa Polley
September 9, 2022
August 16, 2023
Self Care

If you can breathe, you can do yoga. 

Yoga is not about handstands or yoga selfies or expensive yoga pants. Yoga is an exploration of you.

Despite what you might think from seeing yoga on social media – yoga can be accessible to all, regardless of your body, income or physical abilities. Your yoga practice may simply be breathing and that’s okay.

Why Practice Yoga

I practice yoga to dive deeper into what’s going on in my life and my body – it allows me to discover what I need and what I can give. Yoga allows us to sit in our bodies and explore what’s going on – in our lives and in our minds. 

It’s natural to feel discomfort and have emotions come up while practicing yoga. Crying in Savasana – final relaxation pose – or in the middle of a challenging pose isn’t weird, it’s your body releasing what it’s been holding onto.

Yoga is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s going deep into resistance to discover what’s really going on. It’s learning to listen to your body. Your body will always tell you what it needs – rest, food, water, movement. Are you listening? We get “busy” and think we don’t have the time to get adequate sleep, eat food that makes our body feel good, drink water or get up and move. But the reality is, we only have a finite amount of time here on earth – we can’t afford to ignore our bodies. When we listen to our body we are in the present moment. 

“The [yoga] pose begins when you want to get out of it.” Baron Baptiste

How To Practice Yoga Safely

A yoga pose should fit your body – period. Your physical practice is not about what somebody else’s yoga pose looks like or even the cues your yoga teacher is giving. I’ve been injured trying and failing to do the pose just like my teacher demonstrated. 

Sometimes we try to contort our body to what we think it “should” look like, but you are the only one who knows what your yoga pose looks like. All bodies are different so why wouldn’t our yoga poses look different? When your pose looks different from someone else’s, as long as it’s not hurting you it’s not a bad thing and it’s not “wrong.” Our poses look different based on flexibility, body type and sometimes it’s just how our body is feeling that day.

When you’re new to yoga, it’s important to honor your body and practice safely.

3 Ways to Start a Yoga Practice as a Beginner

If you’d like to do more than just lay on your mat and breathe, here are a few ways for you to kickstart your yoga practice. 

1. Explore Yoga Poses  

To have a better understanding of specific yoga poses, it might be helpful to study yoga poses for beginners. This will give you a better idea of how to follow cues from a yoga teacher, or create your own practice. Know that yoga is practice and there is no such thing as a perfect yoga pose.

2. Visit Your Local Yoga Studio

Many studios offer a free trial pass – giving you access to try a yoga class anywhere from a class to an unlimited week. Taking an in-person class can help you build a foundation of poses and get the hang of yoga while enjoying the energy in a group setting. Use this types of yoga guide to know what classes to look for. Know that all yoga studios and classes are not the same. Keep trying studios and classes until you find the one that feels like home.

3. Use Free Yoga Videos

If an in-studio practice isn’t accessible or if it feels too intimidating, practicing solo with free yoga videos on YouTube is a great place to start. You get many of the benefits of an in-person class, in the comfort of your own home. Yoga with Adriene is one of our favorites.

Making Yoga Accessible for All Women

One thing you can’t get from a solo practice is the group experience – the energy from each other, the camaraderie and the love. Retreat in the Pines offers that every weekend. We are committed to making yoga accessible to all women. It doesn't matter how old you are, what size you are, if you’re flexible or not. We’ve created a safe space where you can do yoga that feels right to you. We encourage guests to take every movement at their own pace and lay on their mats and take rest as needed. 

Guests share with me their appreciation of our yoga teachers who teach to all levels and guide the yoga practice in a gentle and soothing voice. They like having the option to sit out a yoga practice and do their own thing. They love that our yoga focuses on nurturing and releasing the body and mind.

Try Yoga at Retreat in the Pines

All of our retreats, except for our Strength and Healing Retreat, are perfect for beginner yoga students. If you’ve only heard about yoga, but never tried it or if you are too intimidated to go to a yoga studio you are welcome at Retreat in the Pines! Practice at your own pace and do what feels right for you - even if it means laying on your mat and breathing - that's enough.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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