Yoga has become extremely popular among the new generation. The ancient practice of Yoga is a practice to discipline the mind, body and soul. Yoga is an excellent enactment to set up a peace of mind. It keeps the mind clean, calm and balanced. A regular Yoga practitioner gains a significant mental, physical, as well as spiritual health.

If you have also been reading articles on Yoga and considering taking it up, here are basic Yoga guidelines. People of any age can take part in Yoga, provided it is performed after right planning and under an expert supervision.

 

1. Age Limitations:

Yoga has no age limitation.It can be performed by people of all age groups, irrespective of their sex.

Consult with your Yoga instructor if you are suffering from any chronic ailments, have fractured bones, or have diseases like hernia, stomach ulcer or tuberculosis.

 

2. Time of Yoga Practice:

You can schedule your Yoga sessions at any time of the day, but not after meals.

The best benefits, can however be achieved in the early morning, just after sunrise. Mornings are pure and calm and our minds remain free of any thoughts during this time. Our stomach and intestines are at rest during this time and so are our minds. A Yoga practitioner is supposedly gaining more benefits from Yoga as the muscles are stiffest during the morning than in any other time of the day.

The first two hours from the sunset is also a convenient time for Yoga Practice.

 

3. Place of Yoga practice:

It is advisable to practice Yoga in a quiet and properly ventilated room. You can also practice Yoga at outdoors, amidst trees and flowers.

Avoid practicing Yoga during colds, strong winds, smoky or dirty atmosphere. Make sure your Yoga mat is surrounded by much space to avoid any sort of accidents while practicing Yoga pose like Sirshasana. Refrain from practicing under an electric fan, if not it is too hot.

 


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4. Clothes for Yoga:

Wear loose, light and comfortable clothes during yoga practice. ( Check out these Yoga Clothes  )

Remove your spectacles, watches or any jewellery before starting the Asanas.

 

5. Yoga Mat:

Use Yoga mats made of natural materials. You can also use folded blankets for this purpose.

Blankets work as good insulators between your body and earth. Avoid spongy or air-filled mattresses as they do not provide the required support to the spine.

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6. Diet:

There is no specification or dietary rule for Yoga. Eat natural food filled with nutrients.

It does not require one to be vegetarian to practice Yoga.

However, in the advanced level of yoga, it is recommended to lead a vegetarian life. It is advised to fill half of the stomach with food, one-quarter with water and to keep the remaining quarter empty. This practice keeps the body fit and active.

 

7.  Emptying the Bowel:

Make sure you have empty bowel before you start the asana program. An empty bladder and intestine are required for a relaxed body. Choose a fixed time of the day to go to the toilet. Thus, you will grow a regular bowel clearing habit.

Drink 2/3 glasses of warm water if you have constipation issues. It creates the pressure in the bowel and cleans the system.

 


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8. Empty Stomach:

Keep your stomach empty while performing Yoga. Hence, early morning Yoga is highly recommended. It should be practiced at least 3 or 4 hours after food.

 

9. Breathing Exercise:

Yoga basic rules say that a practitioner shall breathe through the nose, if not there are specific instructions from his/her instructor.

The correct coordination of the breathing and asana is necessary to gain real Yoga benefits.

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10. Consciousness:

Consciousness is a basic Yoga rule to follow. Yoga is performed through physical asana that have an effect on all emotional levels of a human being. Apparently, It may seems to be a physical practice, but it has countless effects on the well-being of the practitioner, combined with consciousness.

Consciousness has multiple implications. The right synchronization of body posture, breath control and mental counting, releases energy in the body or chakra. Here, consciousness has to play an important role, as it analyses the good and bad energies or thoughts that arise in the mind.

Greater consciousness is essential to gain optimum benefits of Yoga.

 

11. Relaxation:

The body has to be in utmost relaxation while performing the asana.


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12. Counterpose: 

Counterpose is important while you are in the middle or advanced stage of Yoga practice. It is essential to perform any Yoga programme on both sides of the body to maintain a balanced state of the body.

For example, backward bends should be followed by forward bends and vice versa. That means Asana practiced on one side of the body should be performed once more on the other side of the body vis-à-vis.

However, a counterpose may not be required  in some cases, when practicing a specific  asana for therapeutic reasons.

 

13. Bathing:

It’s good to take a cold shower before the Yoga session. This ensures more benefits in each session.


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14. No force exertion:

Do not exert any sort of force on the body while practicing asana. In the beginning stage you may find your muscles to be stiff, but after regular practice, the muscles will tend to become flexible.

15. Stop performing Asana:

Immediately stop practicing Yoga if you feel an excessive pain in any part of your body. Seek medical advice if required. Do not continue in any Yoga pose, if you feel discomfort.

 

16. Inverted Asana:

This is for female Yoga practitioners. Refrain yourself from performing any inverted asana during menstruation or pregnancy ( You can read Complete Pregnancy Fitness with Erin O’Brien). This is to ensure that no toxin reaches the brain or enter the fallopian tubes during menstruation.

 

17. Sunbathing:

Yoga should never be practiced after sun-bath as the body remains overheated at that time.

 

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The United Nations has announced June 21 as the International Day of Yoga

Image Credit : Flickr by  Matt Madd