hints and cautions for doing yoga
Regularity is the key. It is not necessary to have a long practice. Decide if you want to do a morning practice or an evening practice. You could divide up your practice into both a morning session and an evening session if that suites your needs. Whatever you decide it should be something that you can fit into your life style. Remember to choose a time when your stomach is empty. Your body will quickly let you know if you forget and try to do something on a full stomach.
Beginners should start by picking just a couple of poses and practicing them
for a week to see what sort of effect a home practice will have. For instance,
you could pick a couple of standing poses and viparita karani which would mean
that you would be doing two active poses and one relaxation pose. As the course
progresses you can add more or different poses into your practice.
Take care not to over-do but not to under-do either.
You work with lots of sensations but pain should not be
one of them. Gradually increase the time you spend in
a pose as your body gains flexibility and strength. In
the beginning repeat the pose 2 to 3 times staying for
only a very short time. Once you become more adept at
doing the pose your body will let you know how long to
stay in the pose. Remember that Yoga is a subject that
requires some self study on your part. Ask yourself how
the pose makes you feel. Where should you be soft in the
pose and where should you be strong in the pose. Learn
to keep your eyes and tongue relaxed as you are working
in the pose.
Remember to come out of a
pose as slowly and carefully as you went into the pose.
Be kind to your body. If you experience sharp pain immediately
come out of the pose. However, some pain can be very instructive.
Often when we start a new pose we can feel the affects
afterwards on our muscles. This sort of pain should not
last for more than a day. If your pain continues ask your
teacher about it.
Remember to spend 5-15 minutes doing relaxation at the end of your practice. A good relaxation will help you to face your daily life from a quieter and calmer perspective.
The benefits that you receive from the yoga asanas are determined by how much and how regularly you practice them.