Yoga has been immensely popular with people all over the world for its holistic approach to physical and mental fitness. From celebrities to busy corporate executives, people from every walk of life have practiced Yoga for decades and the numbers are still increasing. Yoga is a highly effective means to maintain fitness if done properly. Fit is FIne decided to put down nine points that you should know before starting to practice Yoga.
1. Types of Yoga
Yoga has got three components- Asana ( postures), Pranayama ( beathing excersises ) and Vyayama ( exercises ). Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are two levels of Yoga. While Raja Yoga is a very advanced level of Yoga, Hatha Yoga is simpler and for common practitioners. Today, apart from classical Yoga there have been new variations of Yoga which are comparatively modern. So always do your research based on what exactly you are looking to get from your Yoga experience.
2. Right age to start Yoga
You can start Yoga at any age. However, certain Yoga postures are prohibited for children below 12. For adults no age is to early or too late to start Yoga.
3. Get a good Yoga teacher
Beginners should always start Yoga under the guidance of a proper teacher. Even if you are trying very simple Hatha Yoga poses, always get in touch with a proper Yoga teacher before you embark on the journey.
4. Always wear comfortable clothes
The right kind of attire fo Yoga is one that allows free movement. It should allow you to bend the body in all directions. Besides it should make you feel comfortable physically and emotionally. Keeping in mind the environment and weather you can choose your attire. If you are not comfortable with shorts and tank tops you can go for yoga pants and t-shirts as well.
5. Can you learn Yoga from books, videos etc ?
There are a number of books and videos available on Yoga. Some of these are of very high quality and can be helpful. However, it is a safe and wise idea to consult a genuine Yoga teacher before using those materials. Imitating Yoga postures directly from books or videos may cause you damage. It is always advisable to take guidance from a good teacher.
6. Always wrap up with Savasana
Savasana is a lying posture meant for relaxation. Sava in Sanskrit means corpse. Thus in Savasana you lie down like a corpse and control your breathing. Every Yoga session should be followed by Savasana. A lot of people have the tendency to skip this part but this is a vital part of the Yoga session and it is necessary for the effectiveness of the session.
7. Medical conditions, periods & pregnancy
If you have a medical condition talk to both your Yoga teacher and your physician before starting to practice Yoga. Certain Yoga postures are forbidden in certain medical conditions. Similarly, you should avoid certain postures during pregnancy and periods. Some Yoga postures are safe for pregnant women while some are prohibited. Always consult a professional teacher and your physician.
8. Is Yoga a Hindu religious practice ?
A lot of people have a fear. Will practicing Yoga make you renounce your faith and embrace Hinduism? Well, let me ask you this- Most of the martial art forms used today were devised by Buddhist monks. Does practicing these forms make you a Buddhist? Yoga was devised by ancient Hindus as a means to achieve physical and mental well being. But it is not a religious practice. The ancient Hindus believed that physical and mental well being is a must for both material and spiritual success. It is completely up to you whether you want to stick to a secular Yoga experience or a more spiritual one.
9. Do not cross the limit
You should feel relaxed and happy after a Yoga session. Some postures are difficult and it is okay if you take a long time to master them. Listen to your body and do not be impatient. Do not rush. If you are feeling fatigued or in pain after a Yoga session, you are definitely not doing it the right way.