An enriching exercise for both your mind and your body, yoga has been a beloved activity for thousands of years. This is no accident. Besides providing a meditative-like serenity for our overactive brains, it also strengthens and sculpts our bodies.
For those unable to partake in more high-impact exercise, yoga is an amazing way to maintain vitality and flexibility.
Classes are a smart way to build a safe foundation for your practice, but you can also get started on a mat in your own home.
Read our list of over 100 quick tips on yoga, and then go get bendy!
Best yoga tips
- Be especially mindful of your body during transitions between yoga poses – these are moments of a potential risk of injury because we tend to pay less attention to our alignment.
- Keep a yoga practice journal. It’s a great way of recording insights, observations, new postures, new terms, and questions that come up whilst practicing yoga.
- Find a good yoga teacher! A teacher’s presence and ability to actually see you and respond to what you are doing, is essential for building your confidence that you are doing yoga properly. It’s also much more enjoyable!
- Respect your body’s inner wisdom and limitations. Don’t push yourself to do any yoga pose that feels dangerous or wrong for you, and if you feel any pain, stop.
- Yoga is all about finding a healthier, deeper harmony between our body and mind, and our breathing is central to this. Breathe into your whole body in the poses, and relax.
- Don’t compare yourself with others! Look inwards to your own progress; there will always be more flexible, strong and beautiful people around in your yoga class, as in life.
- Be aware of the space around you. Yoga classes can be packed out; be aware of the need to leave enough space between yourself and others so that if you topple from your Tree Pose, you don’t knock over your neighbour too.
- Top tip! Have a sense of humour. Although yoga is a quiet, focused activity, but we need not to take ourselves too seriously. Humility, an inner smile and a bit of gentleness can save us from pushing ourselves to the point of strain and injury.
- Try to practice yoga frequently! Little and often is more effective than occasional long sessions of yoga. Even 15 minutes a day can have a very positive effect on your physical, emotional and mental well-being.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing for yoga practice. You will stretch your body in all directions and so you don’t want to wear anything that will dig in or restrict your movement.
Yoga tips for beginners
- Number one tip for beginners. Relax! No one is judging you. The only watching you is yourself – so just relax. This journey will bring you so much joy and relaxation!
- Make sure you start learning yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher who can lead you through the correct way of doing each technique. This will help you learn yoga asanas (postures) properly and avoid possible injuries.
- Don’t force your body. Always watch your boundaries and especially be mindful of your body’s vulnerable areas. If you feel any painful sensations, adjust or come out of the pose.
- Although it’s best to practice yoga asanas early in the morning, any time of the day is fine till you are regular with your practice. Just make sure you keep practicing!
- It’s always a good idea to warm-up before hitting the yoga mat, so do Sukshma Vyayam (gentle warm-up exercises) to loosen up the body and prepare it for the asanas coming ahead.
- New to yoga? Smile! Keeping a gentle smile relaxes the body and mind and helps you enjoy the yoga asanas much more. With a calm mind, you can push your body’s limits further and stretch more than usual.
- Challenge your limits – one step at a time! Going slightly beyond your comfort zone will keep the yoga practice interesting and will add a spark of challenge as you progress and adopt new yoga asanas.
- After your yoga asana practice, don’t be in a great hurry to get up and start moving about with the tasks lined up for the day. Lie down in Yoga Nidra for a few minutes, as it helps cool down the body and relax the mind after the workout.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If it's about yoga culture or etiquette, more experienced students are almost always happy to share their expertise. Questions about specific physical postures are best directed toward your teacher, either during or after class.
- Don’t feel bad if your teacher corrects your postures! Hands-on instruction is the best way to learn good form.
Yoga tips for men
- Don’t think yoga is just for women! In fact, men may benefit even more from certain yoga postures than women, thanks to the larger and tighter muscles men generally boast.
- Do the Uttanasana, or Standing Forward Fold, to open up the back of your legs, hips and back. For non-bendy men, don’t fear! This is easily modified, so just keep your hands on your thighs or calves, or use blocks to shorten the distance.
- The Warrior pose is an iconic posture that stretches men where you need it most – the hips and the shoulders. It’s also a strengthening posture that builds the muscle of the thighs. Perfect for more stability and protection during high impact sports.
- Yoga is not easy but remain calm! Don’t freak out if your athletic build is getting in the way of some moves. Progress is supposed to be slow and steady, and the most challenging aspects are usually what your body needs the most.
- Do the Mountain pose (Tadasana) to strengthen and return flexibility to your feet, improving your posture and working your thighs and core. With every inhale, imagine lengthening your spine by stretching your head toward the ceiling.
- Remember! Yoga is not a competition or a race. It’s quite easy to judge yourself and compare yourself to others, but there’s no need to. Give yourself time, and you’ll get where you’re supposed to be.
- Focus on your breathing! Deep abdominal breathing in yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone that forces your body to hold on to belly fat, a problem area for a lot of men.
- Think yoga isn’t physically demanding enough for tough guys? Try the Chair Pose (Utkatasana), and you’ll quickly change your mind! It works the quads, ankles, glutes and shoulders, and it is guaranteed to make your muscles shake!
- Do the Downward Dog! It brings the attention to all of those tight areas that challenge men – the hamstrings, calves, arms, shoulders, back, hips, and more.
- Every man could benefit from strengthening the heart! So do yoga poses such as the Downward Dog to improve circulation, reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
Yoga tips for women
- Lower-back pain is a common issue for women. If it affects you, incorporate the Child’s Pose into your yoga routine. This go-to rest post opens hips and relieves lower-back tightness.
- Listen up ladies! Everyone could do with strengthening the upper body. The Downward-Facing Dog pose is perfect for doing this, as well as increasing your circulation.
- Contrary to popular belief, doing yoga doesn’t always require twisting yourself into a pretzel! If you’re an older woman, you can still benefit from starting yoga. You’ll increase your flexibility and connect with yourself on so many different levels.
- Make sure you find the right yoga class and instructor for you! There are so many out there, that it may take some searching, but do not give up until you find one that fits/
- Does your mind feel scattered? Does the Tree pose to help centre you, whilst also stretching your hips, legs, spine, and core?
- That time of the month? Certain yoga poses are great at easing cramps and boosting your energy. The Garland Pose is a deep squat that is perfect for this, whilst stretching your lower back, hips and ankles at the same time.
- Most women are after a stronger core. Perhaps the best yoga pose for this is The Boat Pose, which builds bulletproof core without straining the neck like crunches do. Give it a try!
- Suffering from gut problems, ladies? Try twisting poses such as the Seated Half Twist Pose, which improves digestion by massaging and increasing blood flow in the lower belly.
- Go easy on yourself! Women often put too much pressure on themselves and are constantly comparing themselves to other women. Focus on yourself and your yoga practice, and you will see improvements.
- Practice with a smile! A great way to gauge if you’re overdoing it when doing yoga is if you can’t smile while you’re in a pose. If so, ease off and work back up to it.
Yoga tips for weight loss
- Looking to lose weight? Do Yoga! We all know that stress leads to a poor diet. Yoga helps to greatly reduce stress, which will help you make better decisions when it comes to what you eat.
- If you’re on a weight loss journey and feeling stressed, think about taking up yoga. Because it reduces stress, it lowers cortisol levels, which will help you naturally lose weight.
- You will get out of yoga what you put into it! Yoga is about challenging your mind and your body and taking it to new lengths. If you challenge yourself, you will burn more calories, and you will lose more weight.
- Do yoga to simultaneously induce relaxation and invigorate organs responsible for digestion, elimination and metabolism. This will help speed up the weight loss process.
- A great yoga pose you can do to lose weight and look slimmer is the Bridge pose. Doing this regularly will flatten your tummy by toning and strengthening the abdominal muscles along with the hip flexors and spine.
- Try the Bow pose to help you burn fat and tone difficult parts of the body. It may be difficult and take more energy than other poses, but it is definitely worth the effort!
- Wanting to lose weight through yoga? Incorporate the Cobra pose into your routine. This will firm the buttocks and tone the abs.
- If you do yoga regularly, you will be enhancing the vital force of your liver for its better functioning, which will eliminate bad fats from the body and put the good fats to use.
- Hoping to lose weight? Yoga poses help in correcting Thyroid dysfunction, which is necessary for controlling metabolism. An active metabolism helps in burning fat from the body and at a faster pace, so give yoga a shot!
- Yoga can aide weight loss…seriously! Although aerobic exercises are the most popular way to increase the heart rate, but effective yoga exercise that gets the heart rate up for a short period of time and then drops it right down.
Yoga and health tips
- In yoga, twisting postures are said to aid in detoxifying internal organs such as the liver. They can also revitalize the spine after hours spent hunching over at a desk. Try the revolved chair pose, or Parivrtta Trikonasasna (revolved triangle) to stimulate and revive your body.
- Do backbend postures such as Full Wheel and Ustrasana (camel pose) to open the heart and lungs. They will stimulate the nervous system and you’ll certainly notice a change in your energy levels after practicing them.
- Do the Lotus Pose, simple for even beginners. The pose helps to calm your mind and relieve stress, so is a popular position for meditation.
- When doing yoga, focus your attention on the breath, as this will help keep the mind quiet and occupied. Concentrate on feeling every muscle, joint and tendon as you perform your Asanas. This will allow you to get the most out of your yoga practice.
- Remember, Yoga is a lifestyle – there are no belts to earn, and the only true gauge to your advancement will be felt in every aspect of your existence as time goes by.
- Suffering from chronic back pain? Try yoga! Make sure you get a carefully adapted set of poses from a qualified instructor, which will reduce pain and improve function.
- Worried about your health? Yoga may be the path for you. The mental and physical aspects of yoga can actually lower blood pressure and reduce heart rate.
- Don’t be mistaken that yoga is only about meditation and relaxation! It can be an extremely physical workout, so if you’re looking for something that burns calories and tones muscles, give yoga a try.
- To improve strength in your entire body, there is no better workout than yoga. Use your own bodyweight effectively to sculpt and tone every muscle in your body!
- Suffering from a condition like diabetes, high-blood pressure or heart disease? Yoga is a great activity for you, because it gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness, without being too strenuous on your body.
Yoga tips and tricks
- The best time for Yoga practice is in the morning before you have eaten breakfast. The body is warm and well rested after a good night’s sleep, so you will find your body is at its most flexible early in the day.
- Always make sure you allow a minimum of two hours for food to digest before starting your Yoga practice.
- To do yoga, wear clothing that leaves as much skin exposed to open air as possible, as long as you are not feeling a chill. Cotton and lycra blends in both looser and more form fitting styles will allow your skin to breathe.
- When doing yoga, pay more attention to form and less attention to the depth of the stretch, especially when you are first starting out.
- In yoga, focus on long, deep, slow exhalation and inhalation – your breath is your guide. If a particular pose makes you feel out of breath, rest for a moment or two before moving on to the next pose.
- Practice balancing postures like Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) and Tree Pose to find focus! Balancing isn’t about being perfect and ‘getting it right’, it’s about training the mind to focus on one thing at a time – hopefully a skill we can then bring with us into daily life.
- The focus and attention we practice within a Yoga class benefits us most when we’re able to translate it into everyday life. Take just a minute every now and again throughout the day to become aware of your breath…practice being present in that moment.
- Listen up yogis! Learn to feel the difference between your body’s resistance to movement as opposed to pain. If you experience any sharp pains at all, stop immediately and examine what changes in the posture are necessary to make you comfortable.
- Warm up and lightly stretch before starting your Yoga practice. When you do begin, start slowly and lightly. Yoga should leave you feeling energized and aware – not tired or sore.
- Make a commitment with yourself to be as regular as possible in your yoga practice. BUT…when life gets in the way, do not feel bad; instead, renew your commitment and move on in a spirit of anticipation – not guilt.
Yoga tips for glowing skin
- Practice yoga on a daily bases and you can keep your skin beautiful, youthful and glowing at all times!
- Do you want glowing skin? Do yoga! Yoga provides a natural glow to the skin by flushing out toxins from the body.
- Stressed? That can make your skin appear dull, tired and worn out. Yoga rejuvenates and revitalizes the skin and makes it blemish-free by cutting down stress level.
- Allergies or impure blood can lead to infections, boils, and pimples. Yoga helps in healing skin infections and allergies by maintaining proper blood circulation and flushing out toxins from the blood. So get practicing!
- Do you want that healthy glow? Yoga promotes restful sleep. Lack of restful sleep can make your skin lose its natural shine and lustre.
- Yoga helps the skin to become tight and firm and gives it a natural lift thereby reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Get practicing and you can say hello to glowing skin!
- Choose yoga poses that improve blood flow to the nerves present underneath your face that aids in skin cell renewal. Devote at least 15 to 20 minutes to these yoga asanas every day to see amazing results within a few weeks.
- Do the Sarvangasana, also known as the shoulder stand, if you want glowing skin. This is the most effective pose for your skin, because it improves skin texture and quality by promoting blood circulation towards your face.
- The Halasana, or the Plow pose, is one of the best yoga asanas for achieving healthy glowing skin naturally. It helps to improve your digestive process that is essential for glowing and healthy skin, so start doing it today!
- Uttanasana should definitely be part of your yoga workout! This forward-bending pose that promotes blood flow to the face makes it one of the functional yoga poses for the glowing skin.
Hot yoga tips
- Top tip for your first hot yoga class…bring two towels! The temperatures and sequences in hot yoga are designed to make you sweat – there’s a good chance you’ll be dripping by your third pose!
- You will sweat…A LOT… during a hot yoga class. You’ll need lots of water during and after class, but be sure to hydrate well before class as well. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, and favour frequent, moderate sipping over long gulps or chugging.
- Remember to supplement your water with these electrolytes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat, and you will sweat buckets during hot yoga.
- Normally it’s not recommended to drink ice cold water during physical activities, but if you’re heading to hot yoga, bring water that’s close to freezing. That way it will stay cool, even with the hot temperatures in the studio.
- Hot yoga is no place to worry about your appearance. Dress for comfort and to minimize heat and weight on your body. The lighter and more spare, the better J
- It’s important to eat two to four hours before your class. Your body will need the energy, but try not to eat anything within an hour of hitting the mat as the combination of heat and exercise may make you nauseated.
- The temperature in a hot yoga studio will be a shock to your system. Try to get to class 10-15 early just so you can sit in the studio and allow your body to adapt to the heat.
- If you feel lightheaded during a hot yoga class, remember that it’s OK to stop & breathe. Take a restorative position like Child’s Pose or Corpse Pose if you feel uncomfortable or sick. Resting will give your body a chance to calm down and adjust to the heat.
- Although you want to dress minimally for a hot yoga class, make sure to bundle up and stay warm afterward. The outdoor air will feel colder than the humid, hot yoga studio and it is easy to become chilled or tight.
- Hot yoga is a pretty challenging style of yoga. But don’t let its tough nature scare you off! The benefits from practicing in a heated room are many, and those who stick with the hot stuff often find themselves stronger and more flexible than ever before.
Yoga teacher tips
- Be yourself! Your teaching style is influenced by your own teachers. Let those influences provide enriching inspiration, but don’t copy them. The world doesn’t need cloned yogis. It needs your unique gifts.
- Make sure you plan your yoga classes ahead of time, especially if you’re new to the yoga teaching world. With notes, you have a place to return to, to re-centre, and to reconnect to the class if necessary.
- Remember to laugh at yourself! As a yoga teacher you will make a mistake, but just don’t attach to it. The moment we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves is the moment people get uncomfortable at the awkwardness settles in.
- Build relationships with your students! People love when you remember titbits about their life, so try to show you care and to make your students feel comfortable.
- Be present. When you’re teaching a yoga class, do your best to let go and disconnect from the daily grind. Fill the entire room with your presence so there’s no room for anything else.
- Make sure that you are always growing and learning as a yoga teacher. Attend workshops, read books and go to fellow yogis’ classes. That way you will stay inspired and passionate about what you do.
- As a yoga teacher, remember that not every moment needs to be filled with dialogue. Choose your words mindfully and try to avoid talking for the sake of talking.
- When teaching students who are new to yoga, try not to use a great deal of yoga jargon and lingo. It may overwhelm and frustrate them. Find the right balance by combining English with the Sanskrit, so that everyone is clear what they are doing.
- Being a yoga teacher; consistency is key. Being consistent allows students to understand what to expect when they attend your classes.
- Always remember that, when teaching a yoga class, it is not about you, so avoid the overuse of “I” statements. Students are there to have their own experience, to heal their own pain, to explore their own inner spaces.