When it comes to finding a movement practice that is right for you, experimenting is one of the best things you can do. Beginner classes, routines, and breakdowns are sometimes the best way to dip your toes in the water of a new activity.
If you’ve ever wanted to get a glimpse of the world of yoga, the latest episode of Good Moves is designed specifically for newbies. After just 19 minutes of beginner-level, full-body positions, you’ll be feeling relaxed, motivated, and have better idea of what yoga is all about. The thoughtful, encouraging BK Yoga Club instructors Paris Alexandra and Alicia Ferguson guide you through a series of yoga basics, reminding you to tap into that “beginner’s mindset” throughout.
According to the Indian government’s Ministry of External Affairs, yoga is an ancient tradition rooted in promoting a sacred connection between the mind and body. Although fitness and health benefits are part of what you can reap from a regular practice, the physical postures–known as asanas–are only one of eight pillars of yoga, which also include meditation, breath work, and attitudes toward our environment. It’s important to acknowledge that, although it is frequently promoted as a fitness activity, yoga has significant cultural history and spiritual significance to many people around the world.
“Yoga is about harmonizing oneself with the universe,” the website of India’s MEA shares. “Yoga does not adhere to any particular religion, belief system or community; it has always been approached as a technology for inner wellbeing.”
And according to the Mayo Clinic, the wellness benefits are numerous. Yoga can improve strength, balance, and flexibility, while potentially relieving stress and bodily pain. It also relaxes our nervous system, which can improve sleep and mood, and other physiological symptoms.
This beginner yoga routine begins in a comfortable seated position–whatever that looks like for you–reaching your arms up and over your head to one side at a time, then stretching forward. All the while, Alexandra and Ferguson suggest you allow your mind to focus on the present, and for your breathing to be intentionally slow and deep. They also remind you that the routine is about what makes you feel good, so there are many variations of the stretches throughout the video–whether they’re done standing, sitting, or on your knees–to optimize your comfort.
You’ll be introduced to classic yoga poses like cat-cow, child’s pose, and sun salutations before the routine comes full circle by ending in the same seated position that you started in. Optional yoga blocks are used by the instructors, but don’t worry if you don’t have any at home–you can substitute in books, or skip them altogether.
Intrigued? Hit the mat and press play for a calm intro to a beloved movement practice.