If you’re looking to get into shape and minimize stress, then one answer is yoga. While many people mistakenly believe yoga is nothing more than stretching, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yoga requires strength, dedication and agility, and everyone has to start somewhere.

Start with Good Instruction

Yoga is considered a “gentle” physical activity, but that doesn’t mean it makes participants immune from injury. Starting your yoga journey with instruction will teach you how to achieve proper alignment and allow you to get deeper into the poses without injuring yourself. If there isn’t a reputable yoga studio where you live, you can learn from expert yoga teachers using online yoga videos.

Find the Yoga that Works for You

There are so many different types of yoga out there. You’re guaranteed to find an option that works for you and what you want out of your workout.

If you just want some quiet relaxation that leaves you feeling like you had a massage, consider yin yoga. For the more athletic, a fast-paced vinyasa flow or an intense Bikram (hot yoga) class will give you a workout that leaves your body tired and sore. Power Yoga is also very cardio-intense and will burn calories while helping you tone.

Work on Your Mind

Yoga isn’t just about mastering intense poses or learning how to touch your toes without pulling a back muscle. Yoga is also about the mind-body connection, and you’ll gradually notice a difference in your stress management when you’re practicing yoga regularly. If mediation seems like a bunch of nonsense, just try it once or twice. You might become even more addicted to your meditation than your yoga practice.

Treat Your Body Well

You can’t live a healthy lifestyle if you’re neglecting all the other areas of health. Eating healthy is incredibly important, and you’ll notice a huge difference in your energy and stamina when you’re fueling your body with whole, nutritious foods. The same can be said for sleep. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, it makes it very hard for your body to function at an optimal level.

Cross Train

Your yoga practice is an entire body workout, but that doesn’t mean your body won’t benefit from other forms of exercise. Walking is quite complimentary to yoga because it keeps your hamstrings from tightening up, but running also goes hand-in-hand with yoga. Whether you want to try your hand at martial arts or you’re an avid hiker, yoga is always a welcome addition to any fitness routine.

Meet Lots of Yoga Teachers

At some point in your practice, you’ll meet a teacher you consider your guru. While this is an incredible point to reach, it’s also important to practice with a variety of teachers. Getting this vast experience will further deepen your practice. You can find quality yoga instructors at gyms or health clubs like Halevy Life.

Yoga is one of the best ways to get in shape and start living a healthy lifestyle. Eating the right foods and devoting yourself to daily practice are all you need to get your fitness on the right track.