8 Tips For Getting Started With Yoga
There are a few essential principles to keep in mind to maximize the benefits of yoga. Follow them to get better at your practice and stick longer with yoga.
- Being Committed to Regular Practice Will Help you Get Better Results
It takes a lot of discipline to stick to yoga practice. A good way to be consistent is to choose a designated place and time for your practice – preferably a quiet area where there is solitude and peace. Once you commence your daily practice of yoga, give yourself some time to get used to it. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It may take more than a month for you to get used to a regular practice. Remember, it’s important that you feel good and enjoy your yoga session.
- Focus On Your Breath
Focusing on Your Breath will Help Ensure Unity of Body and Mind
Remember to synchronize your body’s movements with the breath at all times. There are four ways that your body can bend: forwards, backwards, side bends, and twists. Make it a point to move gracefully between poses and pay attention to your breath. Align your breath with the movement so that your body functions as a single whole. Inhale when the yoga asana opens up your body and exhale when you fold. For example, if you are doing a regular forward bend toe-touch asana, you must inhale as you lift your arms upwards, and exhale as you bend forward.
- Function Tops Form
Concentrating on Your Own Limitations Will Help You Improve Your Practice
You may have seen hundreds of pictures and videos of yoga practice that is perfect in every detail and form. Truth is, there’s no such thing as a perfect yoga pose. The most important thing to remember is function and not form. Never try to force yourself into an “ideal” posture that you have seen others in your class performing or one you might have seen in pictures and in videos. Your form will gradually improve over time.
- Dynamic and Static
Both Movement and Stationary Poses Are Advisable
Moving postures are called dynamic postures; the ones where you are holding a pose are static. Yoga routine should involve both dynamic and static postures. Usually you will move in and out of yoga postures before you hold them. Dynamic movements increase blood circulation and prepare your muscles and joints for the holding phase, also allowing for a deeper stretch. For many yoga asanas, it is common to create dynamic movement at least three times before doing a static pose.
- Focus on The Spine
Remember to Remain Focused on Your Posture and Your Spine
Ever heard the saying – you are as old as your spine? Well, that is 100 % true. You can see the truth behind this maxim when you observe people who have aged beyond their years due to the inflexibility of their spine. The World Health Organization reports studies that estimate about 70% of adult population worldwide suffering from severe or mild backache. It is crucial to ensure that your spine is the focus of your yoga practice. The longer you are on this planet, the more the gravity affects your body, and your spine is often the first to suffer. Yogic postures create a way to decompress the spine and enhance the postural alignment. This, in turn, reduces stress on the musculoskeletal, digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems.
- Slow and Steady
Take it Easy and Relax at All Times
Yoga should never be done in haste – no matter how little time you have on any particular day. When you hurry through your sequence of asanas, you are going against the very core of the idea of yoga, which is to slow down! Most parts of our lives are governed, ruled, and indeed rewarded by the idea of speed. Yoga takes that rule and flips it around. The slower and the more mindful your practice of Yoga is, the bigger the benefits. Do not try to rush through postures. Also remember that resting poses are as crucial as the active ones, and warming up is also as important as cooling down.
- Yoga is Not Competition
Do Not Push Yourself Beyond Your Limits
Yoga is not meant to be a competition – even with yourself! Yoga is meant to help you move with the flow and rhythm of your body, and not hold your body to ransom. Even if you are an advanced practitioner of yoga, there may be times when you’re recovering from an illness or injury, or you may be just plain tired. In those times, there is absolutely no harm if you simply go back to practicing like a newcomer. Your body may also be affected by many factors such as hormones, hydration, moods, stress, levels of activity, and emotions. Ancient Indian yoga tradition always stresses the fact that where your mind goes, your circulation goes.
- Use Correct Sequencing
Always Practice Your Poses in Sequential Order
There is logic in the way that postures are sequenced in Yoga. The art of sequencing involves placing the postures in a specific order to maximize the benefits. A proper yoga therapy program takes into account your final goal and the most effective and safest way to reach it. If you are new to yoga or pressed on time to practice yoga, it is best to stick to a sequence in a group class, or as advised by personal yoga teacher.
Whether you are planning to start doing Yoga or whether you are already practicing, it helps to keep the above points in mind. If you make an effort to integrate them into your yoga practice, you will find yourself progressing steadily towards the ultimate goal – being at one with yourself.