Welcome to a new series of posts on yoga and meditation. These posts will help you to create a self-care routine.
If you are looking for one practice that provides flexibility, strength, endurance to the body and peace and calm for the mind, think of incorporating yoga in your life.
Yoga is a holistic approach to health that addresses body, mind and soul. It involves controlled, breathing, body movements and meditation.
Regular yoga practice helps you to attain optimum weight, improve skin and hair, boost immunity and increase energy. It reduces stress and keeps you away from lifestyle diseases.
6 Things to Know About Yoga
Here is a list of few concerns you might have before deciding to practice yoga.
Can I learn Yoga on my Own?
Yoga needs to be learnt from an instructor. You can opt for yoga classes or schedule personalise sessions with the instructor. There are many books and DVD’s available on yoga, but it is always good to learn from an expert.
Which style of yoga should I learn?
There are many schools of yoga, mainly Iyengar School, Isha Yoga, Art of Living and Shivananda Yoga. You can find information about these yoga practices on the Internet. Visit the different yoga centres and speak with the instructors before deciding on the style of yoga. Find out if they offer a beginners class to get an idea.
Some styles of yoga gentle while some are active so benefits may depend on the style you choose.
What to expect?
If you practice yoga with curiosity and open to discovery you will reap rich benefits in terms of flexibility, weight loss, and muscle strength. It will help to decrease anxiety, depression or fear, increase focus and become mindful.
What to wear?
Comfort is the crucial factor while planning your yoga wardrobe. Tank Tops with boat necks are a great choice. You can wear sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses. Leggings, track pants and capris can be included.
The fitting of your clothing should not restrict any movement. T shirts need to be tucked in while doing some asanas, so check the length before buying. Avoid baggy and tight clothes as they may make movements difficult. White or pastel shades in cotton or its blends are an ideal choice.
Dressing also depends on the climate of the place where you stay. If you have cold winters then opt for long sleeved dresses and leggings.
A good yoga session will make you sweat so choose accordingly. Having three sets of these clothes is good.
How many times to practice?
Here lies the beauty of yoga, even if you practice once a week for an hour, there will be immense benefits. Two or three times a week is great for beginners. You can start with 20-minute sessions and increase to an hour as you progress.
How does Yoga differ from other fitness practices?
Patanjali’s Ashtang yoga addresses the physical, mental and emotional bodies. It connects our body, mind and breath to draw attention inward, thus helping to recognize and observe habitual thought patterns without judgement. This awareness leads to mindfulness and calms the mind.
Though yoga offers great benefits to the body and mind, it is not a substitute for medicine. If you have any medical conditions do consult a doctor before beginning the yoga practice.
However, yoga can be done by anyone, at any age and with any physical condition; you just need to find a practice the suits.
From my experience, I can say that the benefits of yoga are so powerful that once you start practicing you never want to leave it.