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Getting Started with Yoga
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Getting Started with Yoga - How to Get Started with Yoga

The important thing to get started with Yoga is the attitude - a big heart and a small ego. Some loose fitting clothes or stretch clothing, and a small secluded spot in the house or a nearby garden will be enough to start with. A balanced diet (sattwik) also aids a great deal in Yoga practice. A four hour interval between meals is advised.

Practicing with a mat, a blanket and a pillow is recommended. Wearing a stretch suit or something similar will be o.k. The information on the Basic Yoga Postures or Asanas may be received from this website. An Introduction to Yoga book, video or DVD which are available in a good store may be bought. There are lots of Yoga information sources available in the market and on the internet.


Where and What to Wear for Yoga

One of the advantages of Yoga is that it can be practiced almost anywhere, without special equipment, and by people of all ages. While doing it indoor, one should choose a place that is relatively free from distractions. The place should be quiet, clean and well ventilated. Using a mat, a blanket, or towel will provide support and added comfort when lying or sitting positions are performed. It's best to wear loose or stretch clothing, such as shorts, sweat clothes, or leotards. Yoga is traditionally practiced barefoot. It is also best to practice Yoga on an empty stomach or at least about four hours after a full meal. But the best timing is morning hour. Stomach should be emptied, nostril and throat should be cleaned, and a glass of warm water should be consumed 15 minutes before the start of practice. One may eat fruit, energy bar, drink a glass of juice or water an hour before practice to avoid getting really hungry during practice.

When and how long Yoga should be practiced?

Yoga should be practiced in the early morning. Practicing first thing in the morning is an excellent way to revitalize the mind and body. Practicing Yoga, Breathing and Meditation Exercises at night helps induce a deep, restful sleep.

  • You should always start with easy poses (as you do in regular exercise) to condition your body for the more difficult exercises that follows.
  • Do not strain yourself. Pause when you feel pain or fatigue.
  • Relaxing in between difficult exercises is also beneficial.
  • Yoga Sessions need not be lengthy, but should be done daily.
  • As little as 15 minutes of exercises and 15 minutes of breathing and meditation each day can yield benefits.

Yoga Equipments

As mentioned earlier, basically nothing is needed in order to practice Yoga. All one needs is the ATTITUDE - the desire to expand the self awareness. Taking help of some equipment helps the practitioner. These equipments help in achieving the proper alignment, balance and make the pose a bit easier. The use of equipments also minimizes the strain and it supports the muscles, thus allowing to save energy by exerting less effort on a pose. Yoga equipments help people with medical ailments and the elderly to cross their limitations. The equipments provide support, enabling them to do the poses that their ailments or old age prevent them from doing.

Only equipments you require to start practicing Yoga are: non-slip mat and cotton or wool blanket.

But even if there is no equipment available, one may just start practicing on a carpet or woolen blanket spread on a flat ground.

Basic Yoga Session

A basic Yoga session need not take too long. A basic session usually follows this order:

  • Warm-up Exercises – These exercises condition the body for safe transition into asana practice. The beginners may just use the warm-up poses as the entire practice. Warm-up exercises open the shoulder muscles, the spine, the hips, the lower back, and the groin.
  • Standing Poses – Standing poses are required for alignment of the feet and the body. It also helps in opening the hips, stretching the legs, adding strength to the back and increasing the range of movement. Standing poses facilitate digestion, blood circulation and are good for those who want to lose weight.
  • Sitting Poses - Sitting poses allow to infuse with the breath and prana, and to revitalize from a pose by giving a calm and quiet feeling. These poses greatly contribute in shaping the buttocks and legs. It also helps in adding vitality and suppleness to the spine.
  • Twists - Twist exercises release the tension in the spines, relieve backaches and make the shoulders more flexible. They also facilitate in the circulation of blood and nutrients in the body making it necessary for the health of the inter-vertebral discs.
  • Supine and Prone Poses - These poses release tension in the abdomen and increase the mobility of the spine. They restore strength in the back, arms and legs, and release the hips and groins.
  • Inverted and Balance Poses - Inverted and balance poses defy gravity and develop coordination, increase stamina and strength, and improve grace, agility and poise. These poses also improve the concentration and focus since being quiet is necessary to be able to do these poses.
  • Backbends - Backbends are the poses that benefit the adrenal glands and the kidney. These poses also release tension in the front body and in the shoulders and pelvic girdle, and improve the flexibility of the spine.
  • Finishing Poses - These are the cooling-down exercises for Yoga and they must be performed.

Yoga practices and cautions

When performing the asanas, one should try to concentrate on each movement - the process of moving is just as important as attaining a given position. Remember NOT to strain or continue holding any Yoga posture if it causes pain.

Always remember:

  • Yoga is not a competitive sport, and the extent of the stretch is less important than the technique.
  • Each asana may be repeated up to three times, but it is better to perform a posture once correctly than repeating it three times quickly and sloppily.
  • Try to perform the poses in the prescribed order, since the routine is meant to help balance the different muscle groups.
  • Performing a pose in wrong order may cause injury to your health also.



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