Yoga for Beginners
If you are planning to start yoga or recently started the yoga practice, I am sure that reading this column ‘Yoga for Beginners’ would provide you with some useful information about yoga and its practice.
“Yoga”, the word seems quite familiar. I am sure this word ‘Yoga’ must have come across in each one of your mind one of the other time. But we are not fully aware of what it actually means. Is yoga an exercise ? Or is it something different from what you actually assume.
As a beginner, we often misunderstand yoga with some tough twisting poses. And aren’t we sometimes concerned that “I can’t even touch my toes, how can I do yoga?”.
Yoga is not about touching your toes, or stretching your body 90 degrees.
Also yoga is not only about lying on the mat and just moving your body parts. It is always not that you need to sweat on doing any exercise. Instead Yoga is a simple process of uniting with yourself – using your breath, body and the mind. And it’s easy and effortless.
So, never mind if you’re not fit and in good shape or are venturing into yoga at an old age, or you have secret love handles that are stressing you out. Just remove all those thoughts before you begin your yoga practice. The only one watching you is yourself – so just relax. The journey will be enjoyable and relaxing.
I request you to go through the below given tips on ‘Yoga for Beginners’.
- Begin a new Journey of Life :
Yoga is all about connecting your mind and soul with your body. It is a physical, mental and spiritual practice and discipline.
Yoga is one of the original concepts which today would be called as holistic. It means that the body is related to the breath; both body and breath are related to the brain; in turn this links with the mind, which is a part of consciousness.
By practicing yoga you shall find answers to profound questions like “Who am I?”, “Where do I come from ?”, “Where should do I go ?”, and “What must I do ?”.
- Good to Have a Guru:
It is always good to start learn yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher (Guru) who can show the correct way of doing each technique. This would help you learn yoga asanas (postures) properly and avoid possible injuries.
Some of the techniques taught in yoga may be new but it is a good idea to keep an open mind, as it will help broaden your vision and enhance your yoga experience.
If you have a medical condition, inform your NLiTN Yoga Guru prior to the commencement of your yoga training. It will help the Guru customize your yoga asana practice and avoid any complications or injuries.
- Dress at your Comfort :
Wear comfortable cloths when you go for the yoga class or when practicing yoga at home.
Avoid any accessories or excessive jewelry as it could get in the way of your yoga practice.
- Keep Light and Fit :
It is an advise to practice yoga on an empty stomach or at least 2-3 hours after your last meal.
Also, it’s advised to have at least 3 to 4 liters of water during the day as it will help you to flush out the toxins out of the body that are released during your yoga practice.
- Warm-up before Getting on the Yoga Mat :
A gentle warm-up exercise will help loosen up the body and prepare it for the Yoga Asanas coming ahead.
- Be a Regular Yogi :
Although it’s best to practice yoga asanas early in the morning, but any time of the day is fine till you are regular with your practice. If mornings don’t suit your schedule, don’t let it be an excuse to give up practice yoga at all! Something is better than doing nothing.
- Smile Will Take You through the Miles:
See the difference for yourself. Keeping a gentle smile relaxes the body and mind and helps you enjoy the yoga asanas much more. Embrace the pain what you get in the initial stages of practice.
With a calm mind, you can push your body’s limits further and stretch more than usual.
- Challenge Your Limits – One Step at a Time:
Do only as much as you comfortably can and then just stretch a bit more (to improve body flexibility). Remember to use the breath as a reference point – when it is light and long, then the muscles begin to relax; but when the breath is jagged or uneven, it means you have over-exerted.
Going slightly beyond your comfort zone will keep the yoga practice interesting and will add a spark of challenge as you progress and adopt new yoga asanas.
- Every Yoga Asana Is Unique, Just Like All of Us:
Wherever you are in the yoga asana, be happy with it and don’t compare yourself to other students in the yoga classes. Remember that each body type is unique and different people are at different levels of expertise. Some might easily perform a particular yoga asana, while the others may need a little more time and practice to get there. Therefore, don’t feel pressurized and stress yourself.
Do not worry if you experience some soreness in the muscles during the initial days of the practice. But if there is any pain, inform your instructor immediately. The point here is to be regular with your yoga practice and have patience. Just like any other discipline, it will take some time for the body to get used to the yoga asanas.
- Relax to Recharge Yourself :
As you complete your yoga asana practice, don’t be in a great hurry to get up and start moving about with the tasks lined up for the day. We are aware that it is a busy day waiting and time is less but it is a good idea to lie down in Shavasana/Yoga Nidra for a few minutes, as it helps cool down the body and consolidate the energy produced through yoga asana practice. Shavasana/Yoga Nidra is also beneficial in completely relaxing the mind and body after the yoga workout.
You will be able to experience deeper benefits of yoga in due time only if you stay regular with your practice. So, give yourself some of your valuable time and be patient for the results that will make you more flexible, healthy, calm and efficient.
Good Luck to all the Yogis!