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Yoga for Beginners: Plus Tips and Tricks + Yoga Essentials You Need to Get Started

woman sitting on yoga mat

Does yoga work for weight loss?

Yes! Yoga is one of the most effective and beneficial workouts you can choose. While you won’t necessarily burn as many calories from 30 minutes of yoga as you will from 30 minutes of running, yoga has been shown to help increase metabolism, improve energy levels, build stamina, and help calm the mind. All of these added benefits can be instrumental on a weight loss or overall health and wellness journey.

Benefits of Yoga

There are a number of benefits yoga offers for overall health and wellness. The many benefits of yoga include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Muscle Tone
  • More Strength
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Improved Balance and Coordination
  • Stress and Anxiety Relief
  • More Focus

Even if you already have a workout routine you enjoy, yoga can help you build strength and stamina and protect your body from breaks and tears. Yoga is especially beneficial as an injury preventative method for runners and cross-trainers.

 

woman doing yoga outside

How to Work Yoga into Your Daily Routine

Unlike other types of exercise, yoga requires relatively few pieces of equipment to get started, and you can do so from the comfort of your own home with no gym equipment necessary. Working 10-15 minutes of yoga into your morning or evening routine can drastically improve your mental health, ability to focus, and your core body strength.

Yoga Classes in Atlanta

One way to improve your ability to work yoga into your daily routine is to consider joining a group class which offers a chance to schedule a workout into your day. Many gyms and yoga studios offer morning, evening, and weekend classes to fit your schedule.

Free Yoga in the Park at Millennium Gate

Every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30pm starting  May 1st, you can take advantage of free yoga classes at Atlantic Station, in the courtyard at Millennium Gate Museum..

EXPLORE FREE YOGA CLASSES IN ATLANTA  →

Athleta Atlanta Yoga Classes

If you’re looking for yoga classes in the Atlanta area, Athleta at Atlantic Station offers free fitness classes on select days. You’ll have the chance to learn yoga poses and techniques from expert trainers, and you can ask questions, request guidance, and browse yoga attire and workout gear.

ATHLETA AT ATLANTIC STATION EVENTS  →

L.A. Fitness at Atlantic Station Yoga Classes

L.A. Fitness at Atlantic Station offers multiple yoga classes throughout the week for yogis of all experience levels at all times of the day. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, there’s a yoga class at L..A. Fitness in Atlanta for you. Rates start at just $25 per month, so don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy multiple yoga classes each week for one low monthly price.

SEE SCHEDULE  →

 

woman practicing yoga on a mat in a studio

Yoga Essentials for Beginners

When you’re ready to start your yoga journey, you don’t need too many essentials, but there are a few items which can make your sessions more comfortable and more beneficial. Here’s a list of yoga essentials every beginner yogi should add to their stash.

Comfortable Yoga Outfits

Every yoga instructor and avid yogi can tell you that investing in comfortable yoga attire is 100 percent worth the investment. When your workout involves stretching, bending, reaching, and moving your body in various ways, you want to have an outfit that moves with you and doesn’t restrict your movement.

Do I really need yoga outfits?

Yoga pants and tops are specifically made to help you make the most of a yoga session. Yoga pants and tops offer cool, breathable material, which comes in handy both during hot yoga sessions and when you’re getting an intense session in. Most yoga tops are also form-fitting in order to prevent your top from falling or draping over your head when doing poses that require forward bending.

Where to Buy Yoga Outfits

Athleta offers a variety of yoga outfits to help you make the most of your sessions. From tanks and tights to comfortable bras, their yoga tops and bottoms are stylish and comfortable. If you’re in the Atlanta area, stop by Athleta at Atlantic Station to view their selection of attire and accessories.

Yoga Mat

If you plan on visiting a studio or joining a free class at a local gym or other location, you’ll likely be expected to bring your own mat. Yoga mats are beneficial because they offer a stable place for your feet to rest when stretching and bending. Slick floors and smooth surfaces can cause your feet to slip and slide, which can lead to injury. This is why it’s recommended you use a yoga mat, even at home.

Best Yoga Mats

Most yoga mats are crafted from PVC material which is durable and easy to produce, but it’s not an environmentally friendly option. If you’re looking for a yoga mat that is easy on the environment and on your wallet, look for foam yoga mats or cotton yoga mats which absorb sweat well while also providing support.

Note: If you’re allergic to latex, be aware that some yoga mats do contain latex material, but there are also many options available which are created from latex-free products.

Yoga Mat Towel

In addition to a yoga mat, most classes and studios will expect you to bring along a yoga mat towel. A yoga mat towel allows you to remove any sweat and fluids from your mat and the area around you to prevent others from coming in contact with them. It’s both a matter of good hygiene and good manners to ensure you’re not leaving behind anything for others to clean up.

Water Bottle

A good water bottle is another essential to bring with you to a yoga studio or yoga class. While you may not think of a yoga session as being quite as grueling as a cross-training session or weight-lifting session, you still want to ensure your body is properly hydrated before, during, and after a workout of any type.

 

three women doing yoga in a studio

Best Yoga Studios in Atlanta

Signing up for a membership to a local yoga studio can give you access to group classes, individual instruction, and more. No matter where you are in Atlanta, there’s a yoga studio for you nearby. Here are our picks for the best yoga studios in town.

Dancing Dogs Yoga

Dancing Dog Yoga’s fitness and yoga classes are as unique as their name. Whether you’re looking to build strength or decompress after a long day, Dancing Dog Yoga has a class for you.

Tough Love Yoga

Tough Love Yoga offers a unique experience for yogis looking to try something new. Combining various types of music with strengthening yoga poses offers a one-of-a-kind yoga experience you’re sure to enjoy, no matter your skill level. Plus, you can try a session at any time for around $10 before committing to a membership. You can’t be that!

Nirvana Yoga

Hip Hop Yoga, morning yoga sessions, and more await you at Nirvana Yoga. By far the best part of Nirvana is the warm and inviting decor styled to resemble a ski lodge so you can relax and pretend you’re on vacation in Aspen or the Swiss Alps.

Bring It Om Yoga

If you’re looking for a yoga studio which allows you to strengthen your body while clearing your mind, Bring It Om Yoga is for you. With heated studios for hot yoga and yoga instructors who are as passionate about awareness and clarity as they are about yoga and a juice bar right next door, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated each time.

 

Salad with tofu and avocado in a bowl

Yogi Eats in Atlanta: Best Vegan and Vegetarian Dining

In addition to yoga, switching to a plant-based diet free from processed foods can speed up your weight loss results. Atlanta offers several vegan and vegetarian options for yogis who want to implement healthy eating into their wellness routine as well.

Salata Salad Kitchen

In addition to delicious salads, Salata lets you choose from a variety of delicious soups, or you can build your own wrap or salad using Whole 30 approved ingredients. Their house-made dressings are the bomb, and they also provide nutrition information for each item and ingredient.

Herban Fix

If you're looking for a great vegetarian dinner spot in Atlanta, try Herban Fix. From the Pad thai to the grilled eggplant and lemongrass tofu, each item is both vegetarian friendly and delicious. Just be sure to make reservations beforehand to secure your seats.

Flower Child

If you’re looking for something new to try in the Atlanta area, head over to Flower Child for a delicious meal with wholesome ingredients. Their farm-fresh items are organic and GMO-free, and their menu features a variety of salads and vegetarian dishes like quinoa bowls, gluten-free mac and cheese, and Indian spiced cauliflower.

Cafe Sunflower

Cafe Sunflower is the perfect spot for anyone with dietary restrictions or those who are looking to eat healthy. If you’re avoiding gluten, dairy, soy, or other ingredients, their team is happy to help craft a dish you’ll love without having to sacrifice your health or preferences. Their Sandy Springs location offers a 100% vegan menu, while their Buckhead location serves a variety of craft brews and wines in addition to delicious entrees and desserts.

 

Pen and notebook that says today I am grateful

5 Ways to Calm Your Mind

One of the many benefits yoga offers is the ability to decompress and relax while clearing your head space of mental clutter. Letting go of what’s causing you stress and anxiety can not only help you feel better and sleep better, but it can also improve your ability to focus at work, maintain a healthy weight, and live a more fulfilling life. Here are five ways to calm your mind and start letting go of what’s holding you back from being the best version of you.

1. Bless and Release

If work, family, and other potential sources of conflict are causing you stress, know that you can only control your response to the world and other people. Worrying about the outcome of certain events or ruminating over past experiences you can’t change will only fill your mind with negative space you don’t need. Bless and release any negative thoughts, experiences, and people from your life in order to make room for what is good and pure.

2. Journal Your Thoughts

Even if you’re not a writer, journaling your thoughts can help relieve tension and stress. Putting your thoughts on paper or even your computer can help you process what you’re thinking and feeling from a more objective standpoint. If nothing else, getting these thoughts out of your mind and allowing yourself to release them can free up negative mental space.

3. Surround Yourself with Calm, Centered Souls

Chances are you know how draining it can be to be in the company of people who are negative, critical, and unhappy. The mindset and energy of others can cause us to feel more anxious, more stressed, and more unhappy. For introverts and intuitive souls, the energy of others can have an even deeper impact on our own health. This is why it’s essential to surround yourself with friends and mentors who are compassionate, caring, calm, and centered.

4. Practice Gratitude

It’s also a good idea to create a gratitude journal or make it a habit to think of at least one thing to be grateful for each morning and each evening. Making a consistent effort to think of all the things in your life to be grateful for allows you to make more room for positive thoughts and less room for negative criticism and worry. Studies show making gratitude a habit can even change the way our brains are wired by making us far more likely to have a positive response to stress rather than a negative one.

5. Pay Attention to Your Diet

You can’t always control the circumstances of your life, but you can control what you fuel your mind and body with. What we eat and drink truly does have an impact on how we feel. If we’re eating processed junk, we’re not going to feel great. Add in the pressures of work and life, and you’ve got the makings of a pretty miserable mindset. Eating a plant-based diet, avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol, and taking daily supplements truly can be the first step in creating a better life for yourself.

Posted by Erika Smith at 4:35 PM
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