People are drawn to yoga for different reasons. You may wish to increase your suppleness and improve your health. You may wish to practice for spiritual reasons or to de-stress and calm the mind. Whatever your reasons, when you practice yoga, it’s important to do it right.
Practice Yoga – Start the Right Way
When you start to practice yoga, try to keep in mind that a regular daily practice works best. This sets up the foundations of change for you and you’ll notice real differences in how you think, feel, and look.
Morning vs. Evening
Ideally, practice yoga first thing in the morning so that you welcome in the day and are energized. If you can’t do this, don’t worry. Find a time that suits you and stick to it. Yoga is all about working with your body and enhancing your life. It’s not about forcing your body. When you start to see results, you will look forward to your session. In fact, you may feel ‘out of sorts’ if you miss a session.
Bring Yourself to the Mat
There are no expensive gimmicks required when you start yoga. Just invest in a good yoga mat and wear comfortable clothes. Remove any jewelry and make sure you have plenty of space to bend and stretch. Avoid anything that restricts movement as you will feel uncomfortable. Also, avoid yoga if you have just eaten. Allow yourself 3 hours following a meal.
It is important to focus on your breathing throughout. Some people hold their breath; don’t. The breath should be coordinated to the movements. Invest in a good book or a yoga DVD to start with so you can have a go. Attending a yoga class is obviously best as you will have personal instruction, which is vital in the early stages. If you don’t want to attend until you feel a little more flexible, invest in an online class or membership. It’s great fun and you’ll have all the instruction you need.
Listen and Enjoy
Importantly, you must listen to your body throughout. If any extension of pose is painful, relax the stretch slightly until you feel it but are not injuring yourself. Move into and out of the postures slowly and remain relaxed and focused throughout. Yoga will change your life on so many levels but one of the essential requirements is that you enjoy it. Yoga makes you feel good. Each stretch will work on a particular part of your body and tone and heal. Never force it or rush it, just relish it.