Beginner Yoga & Movement Flow
Namaste, welcome to yoga for beginners! If you want to start a beginner yoga practice, best to start a deep breath in, exhale out slowly to the count of 7, & then move onto practice basics with a movement flow to get you stronger, mobile, agile, & tone up faster. Joining a beginners yoga class at a yoga studio may not be something you are comfortable with, & that's perfectly ok as yoga for beginners can be done anywhere without too much setting up(just yoga mats).
By the end of the article, you would have made up your mind on the best yoga studios to practice yoga, best yoga videos, type of yoga workout/ practice, & make changes to your mind, & body.
How to start a beginner yoga practice?
If you are new to yoga, it can be daunting to searching through google on how to start a yoga practice & what it all means. To start with, let us be clear on what a yoga practice is not, & what it is.
Yoga is not:
Best type of yoga mats
While this is like a personal thing, yoga for beginners are usually suggested to go with something of a thicker mat but not too thick that you wobble in all yoga poses, i'd say 5-8mm would be perfect for most body, & if you're taking the mat to classes(yoga studio) make sure you buy something light enough for you to not cause your shoulder to overcompensate, changing your body alignment(it defeats the purposes of going for yoga classes!
What is Movement Flow?
Movement Flow is created(by Marlo Fisken) on the basis of allowing the body to move freely from head to toe, & classes don't include any form of static poses & then moving into the next(think in the lines of yoga), instead it's filled with a lot of small bits of movements where you can easily combine with any form of sequence to make it uniquely your own flow. This allows your body & core to engage on a higher frequency through classes. Movement flow has been compared to an animal flow class(not yoga) a lot of times but is entirely different from what she teaches in her class(see videos). Movement flow(floor flow) is a stretch class that encompasses multi directional fascial stretching for the body, & will leave anyone feeling much looser like getting a deep tissue massage just by lying on your back. We teach it at the studio & students love it(see our story)
Our stretch mobility class at the sports medicine centre has many aspects of floor flow in which clients come in & roll around exploring lost movement, stretching & exposing the body back to restore some of the lost motion with breath work(yes breath work) to help facilitate deeper stretching, & like i mentioned, every move is done lying on your back(even the laziest person can do it).
What are the benefits of yoga vs Movement Flow?
Yoga & Movement Flow have very distinct practice yet provides almost similar benefits.
Yoga practice helps to lower blood pressure, alleviate lower back pain, strengthen core muscles, & strengthens mind-body connection helping increase the awareness of your body.
Most of the yoga exercises/ poses however are done in what we call a sagittal plane(think walking forward & reversing)which is not the most ideal way of movement if that is the only practice you do because that may turn out to be a repetitive movement that causes knee, hips, legs, chest, & even back to your lower back pain, which you tried to manage or avoid! Some people try picking up yoga classes for weight loss & have had success but only for a short period as it is not metabolically demanding as say resistance training, & multi-directional loading on the body to create a demand for higher resting metabolic rate, also know as the basal resting metabolic rate(which is crucial for weight loss goals). Yoga practice is excellent for active recovery(eg a runner, lower backache, muscle soreness, etc), & below i give you a glance of what a typical yoga workout will work on from head to toe:
Note how you only move towards the line of the mat without much movement around other axis of movement available to your body, practicing this too much may make your body less efficient than you think. Our body needs movement & resistance from all angles to make it healthy, such is Movement Flow(Floor Flow)!
Movement Flow practice is a much more dynamic practice where you can do home practice, yoga studios, outdoor, at the beach, park & so on(literally anywhere) without getting too much attention as it looks like you are exploring or rolling around, which it really is. Unlike yoga, you don't need a yoga mat to do any of the movement exercises, & with trying to learn a simple movement to a complex flow, you do what is called neuroplasticity which is when you learn a new skill which may challenging & as you keep the practice, things gets easier(that's when you start getting into complete flows).
Breathing techniques are easily blended into the practice, & is excellent for both beginner yoga & advanced yoga practitioners alike as this will blow your mind-body which is what yoga aims to achieve but doing it in a mindful & active practice, with breath(basic breathing techniques). Unlike a yoga workout/ class for beginners, Movement Flow gets your body engaged fast through the arms, core muscles, legs, hips, lower back, bascially your whole body from all angles making you fitter, stronger, faster. Watch the video below how easy her drills are.
Which type of Yoga & Movement Flow is best for beginners?
Yoga has various styles of practice make sure you know what they are as the poses may look similar on a yoga mat but they aren't. The most commons yoga practices found in most yoga studios are:
Ashtanga is the next level up in terms of intensity, beginners usually are not advised to join this class if it's your first class ever & you have a sedentary lifestyle.
Most of the styles of yoga sequences & yoga poses will revolve around the famous basics of a downward-facing dog(even in hot yoga). Yoga & meditation during a session in most practice is almost synonymous as it's part of the practice to settle the mind & body(one benefits of yoga appreciated by many including me). Try to keep in mind that a beginners' yoga practice/ yoga workout is always best when you start to practice basics as that is what will enhance your transitional yoga poses with added stability, & awareness of your moving body. Most of yoga classes are about 60 minutes to 90 minutes long, & for someone who's new to yoga, i must say it can be overwhelming to the body the next day.
Hot yoga is a sweltering sweaty yoga with the average room temperature of being in the Sahara desert(i definitely wouldn't suggest anyone who's new to yoga do this)
Movement Flow is also done best if you start to practice with the basics to gradually gain better motor control, strength, flexibility, core, & all done on your back(floor flow).
How often should a beginner do yoga practice or Movement Flow?
A beginner yoga practice should be gentle enough for you to last anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes(which is about the time to complete a few sets of the yoga sequences on a mat, & enough time for you to practice some breathing techniques before during & after you are done yoga workout/ exercises. Movement Flow class practice takes not 30 minutes minimum, but less than 6 minutes of gentle flowy movements that even the laziest person could manage & practice the exercises to working your core muscles, arms, lower back.
How do I start doing yoga at home?
Years ago watching videos on yoga classes was very expensive, & almost inaccessible, now, you have free resources everywhere & they are very affordable(ever since COVID its much cheaper). However, there are a few things i still find cumbersome, that they are still not done professionally for home practice/ classes(movement flow however), not enough practice of basics to allow your body to get stronger & adapt, & too fast without clear information on what you are supposed to do, feel, & why you're doing it.
The type of beginner yoga session done by yourself at home should not take you out of breath, rather it would warm your whole body up which includes back, core, knees, hips
Can I teach myself yoga?
If you've never done yoga practice or attend yoga class in a yoga studio with a yoga instructor or yoga teacher, then you would be having to watch yoga videos from youtube, search google for a beginners yoga pose/ poses, & all this takes time(you know it's not gonna be 30 minutes of searching)with trial & error to see what yoga workout videos fits your body at the current moment.
Save time on error & researching
Practicing yoga & meditation years ago isn't like the current time & era, there is a lot more search form that will leave you clueless & either injure yourself or you give up on searching for the best yoga videos for yoga beginners. Movement Flow takes out the guesswork as it has done for me at the studio which we have taught hundreds of students from lower back pain, to the strengthening of their core muscles, arms, legs, hips, & even those having such tight body. All i do is to move them using the basics c& couple it with some simple breathwork which is taught by Marcel in her simple & easy to follow
What is the downward-facing dog?
When you start to practice yoga for beginner, this is one of the yoga poses that you want to master. Its actually a very complex pose that involves the engagement of your back, core, lengthening of your head(think decompressing the neck) and a lot of yoga videos online don't go through this body awareness in the first class of yoga videos. When you practice yoga poses during yoga classes, always listen to your body by observing your breath, it can tell you if you're pushing yourself too much during a yoga class, even more, if your first class.
Conclusion on Yoga Class for beginner & Movement Flow Videos
So if you want to go through yoga poses that need the body to go through specific sequences & pick a yoga studio or a teacher that caters explicitly for beginners to ensure that you don't injure or push yourself too much as certain poses demands different physical exertion.
If you, like a lot of people who don't like repeating poses each class, want to challenge your core, back muscles, & pretty much the whole body, Movement Flow(fluid starter) will be your choice, and you can't go wrong with it as your body will be stretched out from head to toe just by moving on your back & rolling around(there is plenty of science on its but for another article!). Best part of it is that you have lifetime access to it & it costs nothing to your yoga studio in mind. Let me know how you like her videos.
My name is Jab, as a Sports Medicine Specialist, Yoga Teacher, Functional Stretch Specialist, & a Neuroscience geek, i always seek clarity & simplicity in how we can move, think, & feel better, & not to follow a dogma approach to anything in life. I write mostly to reach out to people far & wide to help them be informed on how they can be in charge of their body & mind to live life to the fullest. Movement is life, & life is, movement.