When you're new to yoga, it's natural to feel overwhelmed. The world of yoga can seem vast and complex, with its various poses, terminology, and the aim to unite the body, mind, soul, and universal consciousness. After all, yoga is not just about flexibility; it's a spiritual journey.
In this blog post, we’ll first go through how to get started with yoga. We’ll then cover why the STRETCHIT app is often the better option for those looking for more science-based and goal-driven flexibility training without the spirituality of yoga.
Understanding the basics of yoga
Before you jump into your first yoga class, it's helpful to understand what yoga is all about. Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation.
It’s not a competition, but about listening to your body and moving at your own pace.
Finding the right class
There are many types and styles of yoga classes, each with its focus and intensity level. As a beginner, look for classes labeled as "beginner" or "introductory." These classes are designed to introduce you to yoga's basic poses, terminology, and principles.
You can find beginner-friendly classes in local yoga studios, community centers, or online. Many online platforms also offer beginner yoga classes that you can do from the comfort of your home. When choosing a class, consider factors like the teacher's experience, the class size, and the style of yoga.
Different styles of yoga
Each yoga style has its unique focus and benefits. Here's a brief overview of some common yoga styles that you might encounter:
Hatha is a broad term encompassing all forms of yoga involving physical postures. Most beginners start with Hatha yoga classes, which focus on basic postures, slow-paced stretching, simple breathing exercises, and perhaps seated meditation.
Vinyasa is all about flow, with each movement synchronized to a breath. The flow can be slow and gentle or fast and challenging, depending on the class and instructor.
Iyengar emphasizes precision and alignment in each pose. You'll use props like blocks, straps, and bolsters to help you get into the correct alignment.
Ashtanga is a more vigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures. Each pose is held for five breaths before moving on to the next one.
Bikram is a heated yoga consisting of a sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style where poses are held for extended periods, typically from 45 seconds to two minutes for beginners and up to five minutes or more for advanced practitioners.
Kundalini yoga is a more spiritual style that combines physical postures, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras. The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness.
There's no one-fits-all in yoga. The best style is the one that resonates with you. Feel free to try different styles and find the one that fits your needs and goals. You can also look for some yoga stretching videos online to get a better idea of each style.
Whether you follow the path of yoga or opt for a science-based, goal-driven approach like the STRETCHIT app, the most important thing is to listen to your body and enjoy the journey toward greater flexibility and wellbeing.
Practicing mindful breathing
Breathing is a crucial part of yoga. Yoga practitioners use a type of breathing called "Ujjayi breath,” or "the ocean breath," which helps to calm the mind and body.
To practice Ujjayi breath, inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale slowly through your nose while constricting the back of your throat, making a sound like the ocean.
Creating a regular practice
As with any flexibility practice, consistency is vital in yoga. Set aside a specific time each day for your yoga practice. It doesn't have to be long; even 5-10 minutes daily can make a big difference.
We’ve already mentioned this, but it bears repeating the goal of yoga is not to achieve the perfect pose but to connect with your body and mind.
Maybe after reading all that about yoga, you’ve realized that you want a more direct, less spiritual approach to improve your flexibility instead of yoga.
STRETCHIT is packed with goal-driven and science-based flexibility and mobility training programs focusing on helping you achieve your specific flexibility goals. Whether that’s to finally nail the splits, improve your flexibility for gymnastics or dancing, or achieve general health and fitness-related flexibility goals.
Flexibility workouts in STRETCHIT are not about spirituality, dogma, or uniting the body and mind with the universal consciousness.
With STRETCHIT, the aim is to get you more flexible in areas important to you and your larger goals, one workout at a time.
STRETCHIT is grounded in science
It uses proven techniques from various sports and modalities (even a few from yoga) to increase your range of motion, prevent injury, and improve your overall wellbeing.
Unlike yoga, which blends physical postures with meditation and breathing practices, STRETCHIT provides a focused approach to achieving specific flexibility goals. Regardless of your starting point and experience level.
It's like having a personal mobility and flexibility coach in your pocket.
But don't just take our word for it
Doing the workouts or joining one of the challenges in the app helps you get stronger, prevent injuries, and improve your overall wellbeing. Here's what one of our users, Bünzo, had to say:
“Having spent over a decade as a dancer and gymnast, I am very impressed by the STRETCHIT techniques. I'm amazed at how quickly my body is responding to the classes and it's always wanting more! Each class is unique and challenging in its own way, and the time goes by quickly.”
While yoga is a fantastic practice for the right person, it's not for everyone
If you're looking for a non-spiritual, goal-driven, and science-based flexibility practice, STRETCHIT is the perfect choice. It's designed to help you achieve your flexibility goals as fast as possible in an engaging, accessible way.
Whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility for dancing or gymnastics or after specific stretching videos for beginners, we’ve got you covered.
Ready to stretch your way to a more flexible you? Try STRETCHIT for free for 7 days and experience the difference yourself. Your body will thank you!