Discover the Benefits of Yoga for Beginners

Discover the Benefits of Yoga for Beginners

Yoga is a health and wellness tool that promotes personal sustainability. Expert Chelsea Ann takes us through the basics of yoga to inspire your yoga journey.

Portrait of Chelsea Ann outside in front of giant palm tree.

We speak a lot about sustainability for our planet. However, personal sustainability is just as important! It’s like when you are on a plane and they say in an emergency to put on your oxygen mask before helping someone else. If we are happy and healthy, then we can better support our planet.

That is why this week, we have employed the help of our friend Chelsea Ann to help us deliver the best tips and tricks for yoga beginners. She is a Life Balance Coach, Spiritual Guide, and certified yoga instructor. We love her mission to help others find greater health and joy through yoga. She is a fierce advocate of self love and delivers endless inspiration on her Instagram, and we love the advice she doles.

“Yoga saved my life (cliche but really did!),” she says. “I was at a pretty big low in my life when yoga found me 10 years ago and asked me to dance… best yes I have ever said!”

“Yoga saved my life (cliche but really did!),” she says. “I was at a pretty big low in my life when yoga found me 10 years ago and asked me to dance… best yes I have ever said!”

Keep reading to gather her expert advice specific to beginners and those who have been away from their yoga mats for awhile. We hope this blog will empower, inspire, and show you that yoga is for everyone. “​​If you can breathe—you can do yoga!” Chelsea Ann says, so who is joining us?!

What is Yoga & Types of Yoga Classes

“Yoga is: personal growth, transformation, mental health, accountability, confidence, strength, therapy, and peace,” Chelsea Ann says.

Yoga is both a physical and mental practice that aims to build strength in your body and mind through stretching, breathing exercises, and postures. “While it may seem daunting at first, especially for beginners, remember that yoga is a personal journey where progress is measured not by how far you can bend or twist, but by the sense of peace and connection you cultivate within.”

As Chelsea Ann said, yoga is truly for any one. Your age, body type, or fitness level do not matter because the wide variety of yoga styles offers something for everyone.

There are many types of yoga classes to take, from hot yoga and vinyasa classes to restorative yoga. If you are looking for greater strength building or weight loss, a power yoga or hot yoga class might suit you best. However, if you are seeking a slower pace more focused on flexibility, an iyengar yoga or yin yoga practice might be your style. The best way to understand which yoga style suits you is by experimenting at your local yoga studio or with Youtube videos.

Chelsea in a yoga pose outside.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is more than stretching. It is a physical practice that can build muscle, core strength, and flexibility, as well as an excellent way to reduce stress and practice in mindfulness. For Chelsea Ann, yoga is a positive outlet that has aided her during her sobriety journey while simultaneously building strength, furthering her spirituality, and awakening her consciousness.

“Yoga makes my soul light up and leaves me anchored and connected within the present moment,” says Chelsea Ann.

“Yoga makes my soul light up and leaves me anchored and connected within the present moment,” says Chelsea Ann.

Through yoga and the practice of slowing down, Chelsea Ann says that she has achieved more joy and gratitude, decreased stress, stronger relationships, richer and deeper experiences, increased self-awareness, and more presence.

Physically, yoga offers a plethora of benefits. We love that it helps the muscles and joints move better and that it improves strength and balance. It also improves posture and can help reduce chronic pain and can aid in weight loss. All important qualities for a healthy body, especially as we age!

Best Yoga Poses for Beginners

Online and Youtube videos are a great resource for those first getting into their practice. Yoga poses can range from simply laying on the floor and practicing breathing techniques to extreme balance poses. A great place to start is by practicing sun salutations and focusing on your breathing techniques.

Chelsea Ann takes us through an awesome beginner hip-opener flow (we shared the video on our Instagram so that you can follow along with the movements):

Chelsea in first yoga pose, on back hugging legs..

1. Draw your knees into your chest, maybe rock side to side. Give yourself a much deserved hug

Chelsea in second yoga pose, on back, right leg up to chest, left leg extended out..

2. Exhale your left leg out in front as you inhale your right knee in towards your right armpit, taking a moment here to inhale in through your nose.

Chelsea in third yoga pose, on back with left leg to chest and right leg extended out..

3. Right leg comes out in front. Left knee comes in towards your left armpit, allowing the shoulders to melt into the earth.

Chelsea in happy baby yoga pose.

4. Inhale and exhale your way into happy baby by grabbing the soles of each foot and bringing the knees into the chest. Here, you can sway side to side or find some stillness if that's what you're feeling.

Chelsea in molasana yogi squat yoga pose.

5. Rock and roll your way up to molasana yogi squat.

Chelsea in downward facing dog yoga pose with right leg extended up towards sky.

6. Allowing your sit bones to come between the heels hands then come down to the earth, stepping back into downward facing dog, pressing the earth away.

7. Gaze comes to your navel inhale your right leg up towards the sky.

Chelsea in crease pigeon pose.

8. Right ankle comes to your left hip. Crease pigeon pose inhale. Shine the heart forward. Exhale.

9. Come back into downward dog and inhale your left leg towards the sky, moving your left ankle into your right hip for pigeon pose on the opposite side

Chelsea in final yoga pose, easy seat.

10. Make your way to easy seat, rooting down into the sit bones inhale your arms up high. Exhale.

Chelsea in yoga pose inside yoga studio.

Tips for Beginner Yogis

Chelsea Ann reminds us of the most important thing to remember in our practice: “yoga is for EVERYBODY!” She goes on to say that “the beauty of yoga is that … you don’t have to look a certain way, dress a certain way or have all your ducks in a row – you just need to show up for you and your healing.”

Yoga is famously not about perfection, pushing the limits, or being the star student. Almost every yoga teacher begins their class with the acknowledgement that yoga is not a competition and no place for comparisons or egos. It is solely focused on you and what your body needs.

Here is the best advice as you begin your practice:

    • Return to child’s pose or downward dog whenever you want during your practice. Think of these poses as a “home” during sequences that are safe places to catch your breath, calm your mind, and come back into relaxation.
    • Always listen to your body. Some yoga poses are difficult and may be too much for your body’s ability. Don’t try to “push through it” – instead, ease off when you feel any pain, discomfort, or strain. Unlike other workouts, like HIIT classes, yoga is not about “feeling the burn” or seeing how many reps you can get.
    • Remember that yoga is a practice. It takes time, be patient!
    • Feed your practice by setting realistic goals to commit to. Can you take ten minutes everyday for sun salutations? Maybe you can mark off an hour every Tuesday night to practice. Whatever it is, make sure it is something that can be added into your life in a sustainable way. Also, do not stress if you happen to skip a day.
    • Experiment: Do you prefer to practice at home or with others in a studio? What type of yoga do you like? Because there are so many ways to practice yoga, there are options for everyone. It may take some time to figure out what works best for you.

Must Have Yoga Tools

If you take your practice to a yoga studio, you will find that most supply everything from mats to towels for you. We still recommend investing in your own yoga mat to bring into classes. It may make you feel more comfortable and will help you avoid rental fees some studios require for mats. If you are practicing at home, you only need a few simple tools to get started: a yoga mat, yoga blocks, and a folded blanket.

Whether you are practicing at home or in a studio, joint protective gloves may be helpful if you find that putting pressure on your wrists is too much. We like these gloves that are recommended by physical therapists.

Though not a requirement, picking out clothing for yoga is always fun (especially if it is sustainable and fair trade)! Chelsea Ann loved our Seychelle Tank Top, Adele Tank Top, and Satya Leggings from our Spring 2023 Collection for her practice. But we also recommend these pieces of athleisure:

Satya Legging

Detail view of Skylar Tank top.

Skylar Tank

Detail view of Twyla tank top.

Twyla Tank

Detail view of Goldie print jogger.

Goldie Print Jogger

Detail view of Samba Crop Pant.

Samba Crop Pant

Detail view of Starla Legging.

Starla Legging

(HURRY, almost sold out!)

“Intuitively moving is a way to keep my connection to self strong and open. It allows us to tell stories, let go of stories, and express our unique essence.”

“Intuitively moving is a way to keep my connection to self strong and open. It allows us to tell stories, let go of stories, and express our unique essence.”