Yoga can be really beneficial if included as a part of the daily routine. It may help you to get rid of illness and stress but only if performed in the correct way. There are certain rules to practice yoga, if you follow them diligently, they will surely benefit you and give you the best results.
Before the practice
- This means cleanliness. It is an essential prerequisite of performing yoga. This means that you need to have a clean environment to perform yoga. Your body and mind also need to be clean enough to perform yoga. Empty your bladder and bowel before starting a yoga practice.
- Apart from cleanliness, a quiet and calm environment is also required.
- Light cotton clothes should be preferred while performing yoga asanas as they are more comfortable and facilitate body movements.
- It is recommended not to conduct yoga practices if you are ill or exhausted.
- People with certain illnesses like high blood pressure, glaucoma, sciatica and pregnant ladies should consult an expert before performing any asanas.
- Also, some yoga asanas should be avoided by females during menstruation.
During the practice
Yoga timing: The best time to practice yoga is 1 or 2 hours before sunrise. If practising it in the morning is not feasible for you, you can also do it in the evening. Apart from this, the following points should be taken into consideration for maintaining a regular yoga practice:
- Pick a particular time for your yoga sessions. Gradually your body will adapt and be prepared for the workout in advance.
- Practice yoga on a yoga mat only. Too hard or too soft surfaces are not considered good for yoga practice.
- You can practice yoga in a park or even at home. However, you must keep in mind that the environment around you should be clean and well- ventilated.
Mental state for yoga: Yoga has the potential to improve your physical as well as a mental state. It has proved to be really effective in decreasing anxiety and stress levels and may even help reduce depression. For better results, here is how your mental state should be before you start your yoga practice:
- Think positive and optimistic thoughts.
- Try to disconnect yourself from the outer world and focus more on your inner self.
- Remember, that you should not be mentally exhausted before practising yoga or else you won’t be able to focus on the exercises. And even if you feel tired, try and practice relaxing positions and exercises first.
- Try to focus your mind on the exercise that you are practising. Also, concentrate on the part of the body for which you are practising that particular exercise. It will not only help you to stay present in the moment but also it makes you aware of any physical issues in your body.
- It is very important to maintain a breathing pattern while you exercise. Along with improving oxygen supply to your body tissues, this increases mindfulness and overall brain function.
- And finally, stay hydrated and have patience while practising yoga. It takes some time and a lot of practice to master some of the asanas. This is not a race so don’t push yourself.
Physical state for yoga: Apart from the mental state, one should also focus on the physical requirements of yoga. Different yoga techniques demand a different physical state. Follow the yoga protocol properly for this. Along with the protocol, also remember the following points:
- Start the yogasana with a prayer to relax your mind.
- Do simple asanas in the beginning so your mind can focus on your breath and body.
- Do not hold your breath unnecessarily. Note when you need to breathe with nostril and when with the mouth. You need to trust your body to learn the breathing technique properly.
- While performing yoga, do not hold your body too tightly. Also, do not give any sudden jerks to your body, instead, try to ease your body into all the movements slowly and gently.
- Know your capacity and do not push or overexert your body.
- Sankalpa or meditation should be done at the end of the entire practice.
- Take a bath 20-30 minutes after finishing your yoga practise.
- Have your food after taking a bath.
Yoga tips for beginners
If you are new to yoga and are planning to learn it, here are some points you should keep in mind.
- Do not force your body to do certain exercises. Maintain your comfort levels.
- Practice only those asanas which are easy for you. At all times, maintain a rhythmic breathing pattern.
- Try to maintain a break between two asanas. Rest for a few seconds after every asana. However, you may cut short the duration once you become well trained.
- Most yoga asanas have easy modifications for those who lack flexibility or are new to it. You can check them out to ease your body into the asana with time.
- Instead of doing random asanas, make a series of asanas that merge into each other, for example, the Surya Namaskar series of asana. This way every previous asana would prepare your body for the next asana, making it seem easier.
Precautions to take for good yoga practice
- It is usually believed that females should not practice yoga during their periods. However, there is no hard and fast rule regarding this. Talk to a yoga teacher to know the right asanas you can do during your periods as per your physical fitness and capability.
- If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you practice yoga under the guidance of trained personnel or guru.
- Children who are less than the age of 10 years should only practice easy asanas.
- Maintain a balanced diet and eat healthy and nutritious food.
- Smoking should be strictly avoided.
- Take at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Along with nutritious food and exercise, the human body also requires proper rest. It is important that you get sound sleep and avoid staying up late at night.