Inner self, happiness, awe, contentment; these are just few words highly associated with the practice of yoga. The concept of yoga could be understood in various perspectives. In terms of spiritual practice, it means the art of reversing negative energy flow and a way to gain inner consciousness. In itself, it means union. In this paradigm, the mind becomes the center of direct perception, independent of the judgment of our senses. As an exercise, yoga is all about breathing techniques aided by specific body postures for health and relaxation. Yoga traces itself from a long line of Hindu ascetic disciplines.
As our schedules become more hectic and our activities become more routine, more people have also started practicing yoga. For most people, yoga has become an emotional vent; an activity where they could reach maximum relaxation. Others even romanticize the practice as the calm in the storm, providing refuge for the tired mind and body.
If you are one of those people who thinks of enlisting in yoga classes or whose interest has been recently caught, here are some tips that you could master as a yoga beginner.
- Reach your flow; yoga does not require contortion. It is a common perception that yoga means limb-twisting positions. You might have even considered it from the very beginning but you fear enlisting because you can’t touch your toes. These misconceptions have to be corrected first before you begin yoga practice. You have to reach your flow to this meditation. Practice relaxed breathing for starters and stretch at your own pace. Remember, yoga is about relaxation.
- Follow the tradition with high thinking. If you want to learn the best, be mentored by the best. Contact a reputable yoga instructor and join in a yoga class. Be taught with the correct way of doing each yoga technique to avoid possible injuries. Keep an open mind to the philosophy of yoga to broaden your meditation experience. And an important note: always wear comfortable and simple clothing.
- Wake up early and maintain a light stomach before yoga. Mornings are the best time for yoga since you still have a fresh mind and a rousing body. It is then advisable that you wake up early for yoga practice. Nonetheless, not being able to wake up early must not be made as an excuse to skip yoga altogether. You can always practice during your most convenient time. To allow greater flexibility, it is also necessary to practice yoga on an empty stomach or 2-3 hours after your last meal. Also, you have to take in at least 3-4 litres of water before yoga so that body toxins will be released during the yoga practice.
- Familiarize yourself with the yoga postures. There are always available online materials where you could read and try common yoga postures. While in class, avoid comparing your posture to your mates’. Uniqueness is a core value that yoga is fostering. This means that your posture is your own interpretation of consciousness and inner peace.
After every yoga practice, it is suggested that you take at least ten minutes of toning down under complete silence. Do not immediately rush to your lined up chores for the day. Doing this will not give you the relaxation you want to achieve. Rather, you will ultimately defeat the purpose of the meditation you have just gone through.
[…] Most of us past the age of 40 experience some weakening in our mental function. But emerging science indicates that we may be able to slow down and mitigate the decline in mental function, particularly by practicing yoga and meditation. […]