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How to Start Practicing Yoga

Yoga incorporates body, mind, and can create a toned, strong, and lean body. But how do you get started? Read on for tips on how you get that yoga physique you've always dreamed of. Namaste!

Get instruction. Sign up for a workshop or beginners’ class. Basics classes create a foundation for you to build upon. Knowing the proper alignment of the basic yoga poses will also help you in your at-home practice.

Make time. Yoga doesn't have to happen in a gym or a yoga studio. If you are strapped for time, lay out your mat at home. Create a sacred space free of noise and clutter, which can distract you. To ensure you keep up with an at-home practice, pick a time each day that’s best for you and stick to it. You should even mark it off in your calendar, so you don’t make other plans. It is just as important to make time for ourselves, if not more, than working or being with friends.

Focus not only on the body. Yoga is not just a physical (asana) practice. Yoga also incorporates breathing (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana). Be sure to make time for all three elements.

Breathe. Yes, you read that right! Breathe! Create a reminder on your Outlook calendar every day at noon to practice deep breathing. You can also incorporate stretches such as eagle (right arm under left, left arm under right) to do at your desk to release tension in the neck and back.

Go on vacation. Looking for a vacation that’s already planned for you? Seek out yoga retreats for you or you and your significant other. Yoga retreats take place all over the world and usually combine yoga with healthy food and fun, local activities. They are a great way to relax and replenish your energy (especially since you don't have to lift a finger!).

Now make sure you learn how to use deep breathing.

Nestpert: Jill Snowden is a certified yoga instructor and founder of restore + flow. She is a graduate of the Laughing Lotus College of Yoga and a member of Yoga Alliance. Jill is the yoga expert for BluePrint Cleanse and the contributing yoga writer for BounceBack.com.

-- The Nest Editors

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