Does Yoga Hurt at First?
If you're new to yoga, you may be wondering: does yoga hurt at first? It's normal to feel some discomfort when trying any new physical activity. The good news is that yoga shouldn't cause pain if practiced correctly.
- Understanding Growing Pains
- Tips to Prevent Injury as a Beginner
- Why Yoga Hurts Less Over Time
- How Long Does it Take to Get Used to Yoga?
- Making Yoga Comfortable as a Beginner
- How CBD Can Support Your Yoga Practice
Here's what new yogis need to know about potential soreness, how to avoid injury, and why yoga gets easier with time.
Understanding Growing Pains
Yoga is meant to challenge your body but not cause sharp pain. Some muscle soreness can happen naturally.
You're using your body in new ways, engaging muscles that are weak. It's normal for weak muscles to feel worked during and after class.
This is similar to starting a new workout routine. The first few weight lifting sessions may leave you sore. But as you continue, soreness fades.
Your body adapts. Muscles grow stronger, flexibility improves, and yoga starts to feel good.
Does this mean pain is fine in yoga? No. There's a difference between muscle fatigue and injury pain:
- Muscle fatigue occurs after class. It's dull, achy soreness in areas like your legs, back, or shoulders. This natural side effect usually peaks 24-48 hours after practice.
- Injury pain is sharper. You'll feel it during poses, especially in joints. This means you're pushing too far.
Muscle soreness will come and go as you advance in your yoga practice. But joint injuries take longer to heal. It's best to avoid them by not overexerting.
Tips to Prevent Injury as a Beginner
Yoga is low impact with less injury risk than higher intensity exercises like running. Still, newbies can get hurt if they practice unsafely.
Here are some tips to avoid pain and injury as a yoga beginner:
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to physical sensations during yoga. Discomfort is expected as you gain flexibility. But intense pain means you've gone too far in a pose.
Modify or come out of any pose that causes sharp joint pain. And avoid movements that aggravate old injuries.
Over time, you'll learn the difference between stretch discomfort and dangerous pain. Respect your limits, especially as you're getting started.
Focus on Alignment
Proper alignment keeps joints stable and safe during yoga. Misalignment causes strain and risk of injury.
Your instructor will teach alignment basics like:
- Keeping weight centered over each foot in standing poses
- Engaging core muscles for lower back support
- Aligning knees over ankles and hips over knees in lunges
Try to apply these alignment instructions. But also listen to your body. Adjust poses to find good alignment that feels right for you.
Build Flexibility Gradually
It's easy to get over-eager and push too far into stretches as a beginner. But forcing flexibility quickly can cause pulls, tears, and damage.
Progress slowly out of competitive attitude. Ease into each stretch gently until you feel tension. Hold there, breathing deeply.
Modify poses to your current capability. Use props like blocks or straps to support you in poses. Over time, you'll gain flexibility safely.
Choose Beginner Level Classes
Look for yoga classes marked beginner, gentle, or level 1. These go slowly with clear instructions. Avoid hot, power, or advanced level classes early on.
Let your instructor know you're new before class. They may provide extra guidance on safe alignment and pose modifications.
Starting slow gives you time to learn poses correctly before adding difficulty. This helps avoid injury and soreness from attempting too much too soon.
Try Restorative and Yin Yoga
More passive, meditative styles are great for yoga beginners. These include:
Restorative yoga uses props to support the body in gentle poses. You'll hold each pose for several minutes while breathing deeply. This begins building mind-body awareness.
Yin yoga focuses on hip and lower body flexibility. You'll hold seated and supine poses for long periods, up to five minutes. This allows deep stretching of connective tissues.
Both restorative and yin classes relax the nervous system. They gently introduce beginners to holding poses longer with mindfulness. Starting this way helps prevent straining too intensely as you transition to more active yoga.
Why Yoga Hurts Less Over Time
It's common to feel some discomfort those first few yoga sessions. But you'll likely notice less soreness with consistent practice.
There are a few reasons yoga gets easier and more comfortable:
Your Body Adapts
Your muscles, joints, and connective tissues all adapt to regular yoga. You develop:
- Improved flexibility in areas like hips, hamstrings, and shoulders
- Increased joint lubrication and range of motion
- Stronger muscles to support each pose
- Better mind-body connection and body awareness
These physical changes allow you to move deeper into poses safely. Stretches that seemed impossible early on start to feel better.
Your Technique Improves
You learn proper alignment, safe transitions between poses, and how to use props. Mastering beginner basics helps prevent strain.
You also find efficiency and ease in movement. At first, poses take focus and effort to balance. In time, they start to feel more natural.
With experience, you expend less energy attempting challenging poses. This decreases fatigue and discomfort during class.
Your Mindset Shifts
Yoga begins retraining your mind along with your body. You may start class with expectations to push limits.
But yoga teaches non-competitiveness. You practice being present with your body and breath. Letting go of expectations reduces unnecessary strain.
You learn to appreciate subtle movements and release tension. This mindset shift reduces frustration that could lead to overexertion.
Consistent, mindful practice makes yoga feel rewarding rather than painful. Discomfort evolves into a sense of accomplishment and calm.
How Long Does it Take to Get Used to Yoga?
Everyone adapts to yoga at different speeds depending on factors like:
- Your initial flexibility and fitness level
- The style and frequency of your practice
- Your ability to relax mentally into each pose
It's normal to feel some discomfort your first 1-2 months. Within 2-4 months, yoga should start feeling better on your body.
Here is a rough timeline of what to expect as a yoga beginner:
After 1 Month
- Muscle soreness after class decreases
- You remember sequences better
- Balancing poses get slightly easier
- You experience less frustration about limitations
After 2-3 Months
- Standing and seated poses improve with better technique
- Twists and hip openers feel less intense
- Core and upper body strength increase
- Your mind is calmer during practice
After 4-6 Months
- Joints have greater mobility and stability
- Backbends become accessible with less strain
- Inversions like handstands feel safer
- You have a sense of unity between breath and movement
Of course, progress varies for each student. Consistency is key. Aim to practice 2-3 times per week minimum to start feeling yoga's benefits within a few months.
Making Yoga Comfortable as a Beginner
While some growing pains are normal at first, you want to minimize unnecessary pain. Here are some tips to make yoga more comfortable as a beginner:
Go Slowly and Listen
Follow the instructor's guidance on speed and depth in each pose. Flow through vinyasas slowly with control.
There's no rush - honor your body's capabilities in the moment instead of straining to keep up.
Support Your Body
Use props proactively. Yoga blocks, straps, and bolsters help adjust poses to your flexibility level. Don't be afraid to reduce range of motion with props.
You can also place blankets under tense areas for cushioning. If joint discomfort arises, come out of the pose.
Focus on Breath and Relaxation
Let deep breaths help naturally ease you deeper into each pose. Breathe into areas of tightness and gently relax those muscles on each exhale.
In challenging poses, focus on softening unneeded muscle tension from face, shoulders, and hands. Relax what you don't need to engage for the pose.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Yoga is non-competitive. There's no need to push aggressively or compare yourself to more advanced students.
Work patiently within your own limits. Avoid self-criticism about what your body "should" be able to do. Progress will come.
Don't hesitate to ask your instructor for assistance with poses or props. Tell them which areas feel tight or uncomfortable so they can suggest modifications.
Speaking up keeps your instructor informed and allows them to help prevent pain and injury. Most will be happy to offer adaptations.
Staying mindful helps make yoga an energizing practice rather than an agonizing one. Don't worry about keeping up. Find ease, work gently within your limits, and results will unfold.
How CBD Can Support Your Yoga Practice
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an active compound derived from cannabis plants like hemp. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won't make you feel "high" like marijuana.
These effects make CBD useful for athletes and active people - including yogis! Here are some of the top reasons to consider adding CBD to your routine:
Soothes Sore Muscles
It's common for yoga students to feel muscle soreness 1-2 days after class as the body adapts. While not extreme, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be uncomfortable.
Studies show CBD applied topically eases sports-related muscle and joint discomfort. CBD is also antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties to speed recovery.
Massaging CBD oil onto sore areas after yoga may provide relief while you strengthen muscles.
Lack of flexibility causes tight, stiff muscles prone to injury. CBD enhances mobility by reducing inflammation in connective tissue.
Animal studies reveal CBD increases collagen production in joints. CBD may also help repair connective tissue damage from exercise.
Using CBD oil helps yoga students increase range of motion and work toward poses with better comfort.
Yoga calms the mind, but fast-paced, active flow classes can sometimes feel stressful versus relaxing to beginners.
CBD engages the endocannabinoid system to lower anxiety levels and create whole-body balance. It puts you in a peaceful state of readiness before class.
After yoga, CBD continues reducing cortisol so you feel relaxed rather than wired from continual motion. This enhances the stress-relieving benefits of practice.
Improves Sleep Quality
Between exercise exertion, stretching, and mindfulness, yoga can leave students feeling pleasantly tired. CBD makes restorative yoga sleep deeper.
Research indicates CBD may boost REM sleep and increase total sleep amounts. Better sleep maximizes time for muscles to recover overnight.
Supports Injury Recovery
Minor strains and joint injuries sometimes happen in yoga, especially while gaining flexibility as a beginner.
CBD speeds up recovery by reducing localized swelling and relieving pain naturally. This helps you heal faster to get back to your practice.
While beginning yoga, CBD oil or balm can be applied before or after class. As you advance, using CBD regularly aids performance and reduces risk of injury - allowing you to progress safely.
Does yoga hurt at first? Some muscle soreness is common when starting a new physical practice. But joint pain or intense discomfort is a sign you’re pushing too far.
Stick to beginner-friendly yoga styles. Focus on safe alignment and breathing. Work patiently within your limits using props as needed.
Consistency will allow yoga to become an energizing and comfortable practice over time. Your body adapts as muscles strengthen and flexibility increases.
Use CBD oil from Cibdol to ease soreness, relax your mind, and speed recovery. With patience and proper technique, yoga's aches evolve into enjoyable new challenges on your health journey.
What if yoga is still really uncomfortable after a few months of practicing?
While some discomfort is normal at first, yoga should not remain intensely painful or aggravating if you've been practicing regularly for 2-3 months. Ongoing pain likely means something needs to change about your practice approach.
If certain poses still don't feel any better after several weeks of class, talk to your instructor. There may be alignment changes or different variations that can make them more accessible for your body. Don't push through sharp joint pain - ease up or modify the pose.
Also examine if you are practicing yoga frequently enough to adapt. Try increasing to 3-4 sessions per week if only going 1-2 times currently. Consistency is key for the body to gain flexibility and strength.
Check that you are caring properly for your body outside of class through diet, hydration, rest, and stretching. If certain areas feel chronically tight or weak, incorporate targeted stretches and exercises outside of yoga. Poor recovery habits can stall progress.
Finally, a more passive style like yin or restorative yoga may help if vinyasa flows remain too intense. Try alternating between active and gentle classes during the week.
How do I know if muscle soreness after yoga needs medical attention?
Most post-yoga muscle soreness doesn’t require medical care. It’s typically delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from exertion, concentrated in large muscle groups like legs, back, shoulders and arms. This normal soreness is diffuse, dull, and subsides within a few days.
See a doctor if soreness is accompanied by:
- Severe, sharp pain in joints or localized injury sites
- Noticeable swelling or changes around a joint
- Inability to move a joint through its full range of motion
- Visible bruising, redness, or inflammation over a muscle
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Pain that persists longer than a few days or intensifies
These symptoms may point to a muscle strain, ligament sprain, pinched nerve, or other injury needing medical diagnosis. Don’t try to push through pain that worsens or fails to improve.
How soon after starting yoga should I expect to see results?
It depends on your goals, but most yoga students notice some benefits within the first 1-2 months if practicing consistently. Beginners often see:
- Increased mind-body awareness and ability to breathe fully
- Improved flexibility in hamstrings, hips, and shoulders
- More ease and stability in foundational poses like plank and down dog
- Decreased stress and anxiety levels after class
- Better sleep quality
After 2-3 months, standing balances like tree pose become steadier. Twists and backbends open up more. Core and upper body strength increase allowing more advanced poses. Mental clarity and focus improve both on and off the mat.
Posture and body awareness continue improving up to 4-6 months out. Emotional resilience builds with regular practice. Just keep in mind progress is gradual - try not to get discouraged if handstands or binds still feel far off as a beginner. Stay patient with yourself and simply notice all beneficial changes.
How do I build a home yoga practice for days I can't get to the studio?
Consistency is key for yoga progress and pain prevention. On days you can't make it to class, aim for 20-30 minutes of home practice with these tips:
- Follow recorded or streamed videos appropriate for your level
- Hold 5-10 poses for long holds of 1-3 minutes in yin or restorative style
- Flow through gentle sun salutations
- Spend 10 minutes in savasana for final relaxation
- Use towels, straps, or blocks if needed to modify poses
- Focus on breath, alignment, and stability over depth of stretches
- End with meditation or seated breaths if needed to lower stress
Even short home sessions keep you centered, flexible, and connected to your practice. Avoid overly advanced routines without a teacher present. Listen to your body and go slowly.
Yoga beginners often experience some discomfort at first, leading to the question: does yoga hurt when you first start? It's normal to feel muscle soreness or fatigue when your body adapts to new poses and stretching. However, sharp joint pain means you're pushing too far into poses. To avoid injury as a yoga newbie, listen to your body and come out of any pose causing true pain. Build flexibility gradually without forcing it. Attend beginner level classes and let the instructor know you're new so they can offer modifications. Try gentle styles like yin or restorative yoga initially. With consistent, mindful practice 2-3 times per week, yoga becomes more comfortable within 2-4 months as your muscles strengthen and joints become more mobile. Discomfort evolves into a sense of accomplishment. Make yoga more pleasant early on by using props, focusing on alignment cues, relaxing unnecessary muscle tension, and breathing slowly. Don't compare yourself to more advanced students. Building a home practice on off days will help you progress faster. CBD oil or balm can also ease soreness after yoga while helping you manage stress and sleep better. While some growing pains are inevitable when learning a new physical practice, yoga should not remain intensely painful. Listen to your body, be patient with yourself, and you’ll soon experience yoga’s transformative benefits.