Yoga 101: Yoga Class for Beginners

Here at The Essential Life, we are huge advocates for developing & falling in love with your Yoga practice. All of The Essential Life contributors are practicing yogis who feel very passionately about Yoga & in our day-to-day life, we do what we can to share our love of Yoga with those we encounter. 

To help spread our love of Yoga, we collaborate with a number of Yoga instructors & Yoga studios who are located all around the world. Our goal is to share pertinent & important Yoga-related information with The Essential Life community. It is our hope that, as we continue to share, we will help bring the Yoga lifestyle to more people so that they too can experience Yoga & how it changes lives while improving overall health.

When discussing Yoga with a number of members of The Essential Life community who are not already practicing yogis, we are often asked about getting started with Yoga. The Essential Life community has a lot of questions about: what type of Yoga a beginner yogi should try, what class is the best for a first-timer or what Yoga video we'd recommend when it comes to practicing Yoga at home in order to see how much you like it before investing in Yoga classes.

To find answers to these questions, we have consulted with our network of Yoga instructors & undertaken intensive research ourselves by attending classes & doing more at-home Yoga videos than we ever thought possible. We're pleased to say, after all of the research & trial & error, we think we've found a solution!

The Ultimate Yoga Class for Beginners

Getting Started With Yoga

In our quest to find the perfect beginner's Yoga class, we ran into a few speed bumps. The first was that The Essential Life community is scattered all over the globe. While we know of a lot of different introductory Yoga classes that would be great for a first-timer, it might be difficult for someone in New York City to get to Vancouver, British Columbia for a Yoga class. 

The other speed bump was that, when we asked our network of Yoga instructors & studies for their advice, they all said their own beginner Yoga class is the best...So, they weren't a lot of help.

As we began trying out at-home Yoga videos, however, we began to have a bit more luck. There are a number of great at-home Yoga videos you can try, all of which are a great option if you're nervous about attending a class for the first time, or if you're just looking for the convenience of practicing Yoga at home. 

YogaDownload: Our Favourite at Home Yoga Program

After trying a number of at-home Yoga programs, we came across one that we were all really excited about. YogaDownload gives you access to hundreds of Yoga classes, all taught by certified Yoga instructors. With YogaDownload, you can experiment with a number of types & levels of Yoga &, the best part is, YogaDownload lets you take your Yoga practice literally anywhere.

If you want to practice Yoga at sunrise on the beach, select your favourite Yoga program & then grab your smartphone, tablet or laptop computer & head out. Maybe practicing Yoga in the seclusion of the deep woods is more your thing. With YogaDownload, you can take a Yoga class from anywhere.

YogaDownload's Beginner Yoga Classes

If you're just starting out, we recommend starting with Hatha Yoga. Haha Yoga is a slow & deliberate practice which is perfect for transformation as it brings your focus to your breathing. By focusing on your breath, it is possible to quiet your mind & be more present in the moment & in your practice.

When it comes to YogaDownload's beginner Hatha Yoga classes, we were blown away. Their five-part Yoga 101 series takes yogis on an in-depth journey of the basics of Hatha Yoga. The instructor, Jackie Casal Mahrou, does an excellent job of explaining the various asanas & postures while offering alternative poses for those who find the asanas too challenging or are surfing with an injury.

YogaDownload's intro to Yoga is made up of five different classes:

Yoga 101: Start Here, Start Now: This is the first class in the Yoga 101 series & it is designed to teach you the very basics of Yoga. This class is perfect for the very beginner. Even if you've never tried Yoga before, you'll be able to follow along as Jackie introduces you to the basic building blocks of Yoga.

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Yoga 101: Align & Define: You got your first taste of Yoga in the Yoga 101: Start Here, Start Now class. Align & define is a follow up class that will move you deeper into your Yoga practice now that you've got the basics down. This class has a greater focus on your posture. If you've attended a few Yoga classes before, or you completed the first Yoga class in this series, this class will be perfect for you.

Yoga 101: Loosen Up: One of the complaints we hear most often about Yoga is that people assume they are not flexible enough to practice. The reality is that, aside from a few extra gifted yogis, everyone starts out their Yoga practice not being as flexible as they'd like. Yoga will help you with you flexibility, so don't let tight muscles & joints keep you from experiencing what Yoga is all about.

This class is designed to help increase your flexibility as you move deeper into your Yoga practice.

Yoga 101: Build Strength: Now that you've become acquainted with the basics of Hatha Yoga, & you've started working on your flexibility, you can start working on strengthening your muscles with Yoga. This beginner Yoga class is all about continuing to develop your Yoga practice while working to develop & tone your body.

Yoga 101: You've Got This: The final instalment in YogaDownload's beginner Yoga series weaves together all that you have learned in the first four classes. This hour-long class will help you become more comfortable with various Yoga poses, while improving your flexibility & helping you to develop strength through Yoga.

If you have a Yoga block & strap, have these at the ready as you participate in these classes. We found these Yoga propers weren't integral to the class, however, they certainly did help.

On of the things we loved about YogaDownload, is how many options they had available. If you don't think their Yoga 101 series isight for you, they also have a ton of other beginner Yoga classes for you to choose from. Let us know which beginner Yoga class you found most helpful.

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Who is Britten? She's a reticent little beast born in the wilds of Northern Alberta to a foul-mouthed, French-Canadian father & an angry, stiff-upper-lipped mother. Britten is, almost always, wild-haired & poorly dressed. She recently left the beautiful & untamed chill of Canada for the blistering & somewhat oppressive heat of Australia. Her list of pastimes is short & includes reading, writing, petting cats, overeating & alphabetizing things. She's a fan of Windex on Facebook because who doesn't want a streak free shine? She dreams of one day writing a super-awesome novel that affords her & her partner a comfortable lifestyle, a large property, a few horses & the means with which to foster children in need...or just becoming a red panda.

When Britten isn't writing, reading, or organizing things in her home, she can be found cuddling with her boyfriend, arguing about why Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the history of ever, browsing Gumtree for a future cat or kitten, or contemplating days gone by, the passage of time & how ridiculous it is that humans have yet to evolve enough to grow a third set of teeth.