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Starting Point: A Yoga Beginner’s Guide

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Yoga usually has two different images associated with it. People usually think about either giant, expensive yoga studios in Beverly Hills filled with soccer moms or a bunch of monks in a temple making a humming sound. These are two giant misconceptions about yoga.

Yoga is actually for anybody who breathes. You don’t necessarily have to take yoga classes. You can do yoga in your home. All you need is comfortable clothing, a yoga mat or carpet if you can’t get a mat, and the will to commit to it.

Thalia performs Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). This pose boosts circulation, builds bone density, and it wakes you up.

You also need to do your research. I researched yoga for a very long time before I started my practice. One of my greatest resources was an eBook entitled “The Starting Point” by a beautiful woman I follow on Instagram named Sanaa Jaman or @ladydork. She is a self-taught yogini, and she is also a yoga instructor.

The advice she gives in her eBook is very remarkable, genuine, applicable, and understandable. She wrote the eBook for the common beginner that is interested in starting a yoga practice but may not know much about yoga at all. She’s been practicing yoga for two years, and if you look at her Instagram, you can see the progress. She is such an inspiration to all aspiring yogis and yoginis (people who practice yoga).

Thalia performs Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hand Pose). This pose improves digestion and relieves mild anxiety.

In her eBook, Jaman first introduces a very brief history of yoga. She talks about historical elements of yoga and what the whole universal practice is based on. She introduces Ashtanga, the eight limbs of yoga, which are the guidelines of “living a meaningful and purposeful life.” Jaman’s guide focuses primarily on the first three limbs of yoga: Yamas, Niyamas, and Asanas.

She simplifies the difference between the seven types of yoga: Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Anusara, and Jivamukti. She provides a short list of the basic things you need to start your yoga practice, and she also gives detailed advice on safety precautions and when not to practice yoga.

She gives a very detailed, yet understandable guide for people who want to start their yoga journey and she makes it very personal by talking about how it was for her as a beginner. Since I started reading it, I have slowly started to adapt my daily schedule to incorporate the yoga sequences that Jaman suggests. It is easy to follow, and it takes discipline and drive to apply the advice Jaman gives to your actual life.

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