It is much easier and more enjoyable, to learn yoga, with all its detailed and subtle physical and mental aspects, from an experienced, qualified, real-three-dimensional-living-breathing person, rather than from a book or video. Especially at the beginning, a teacher’s presence and ability to actually see you and respond to what you are doing is essential for building your confidence that you are doing yoga properly.
Don’t push yourself to do anything that feels dangerous or wrong for you. This is ‘Ahimsa’, the practice of non-harm, which is essential to the skilful and beneficial practice of yoga. Talk to your teacher and a health professional if you are pregnant or have particular injuries such as to the knees or spine, or any serious medical condition. Find out which poses to avoid at certain times, and which will be beneficial for you. Be aware of contraindications relevant to your specific circumstances: for example, some poses are not to be practiced during early pregnancy, with certain injuries, or during menstruation, whereas other poses may be very helpful.