Experiencing a new place or a new activity can often be stressful, especially if you don't know what to expect. Here are some very important guidelines that will help you get started.
Yoga is a complete scientific system that works your entire body from head to toe. With regular practice a student can see great benefits in many areas, be it physical wellness, boosting self healing, relaxation, balance, detoxification, mental calmness and many other benefits. (see the Benefits of Yoga page on this website). The principal elements to acquiring its benefits are consistency and patience- patience with the system and patience with yourself. Patience helps avoid injury, over-stretching and muscle and ligament tearing. With consistent practice the results over a period of time are outstanding and obvious; your friends and family will start noticing.
20 to 30 minutes of yoga on a consistent basis 3 to 4 times a week will take you much further than if you do 1 hour or 2 every now and then.
To start your practice I have outlined a few initial recommendations:
RECOMMENDATIONS AND GUIDELINES:
• Plan to arrive at the studio at least 15 minutes early to sign in and prepare for your class. Arriving late will create unnecessary stress. Our goal for every class is to de-stress the body and the mind.
• It is recommended that you do yoga on an empty stomach. Wait at least 2 hours after eating (a light meal preferrably) before your practice; 3 is ideal.
• If doing yoga during lunch hour, wait until after your practice to eat.
• It is highly recommended that you empty your bowels before yoga.
Do not drink any beverage before or during your practice. I personally recommend not drinking within the hour before practice.
The body has to be free of any fluids in the stomach and bladder for a safe practice. Some yoga poses massage your internal organs; depending on the pose they will be turned, twisted or put upside down. Some poses, particularly inversions, cannot be performed without discomfort if fluid is present in the stomach. So do not drink water before or during your practice. If your mouth is dry you can moisten your mouth with a little water, but do not drink a lot at a time.
• Wear comfortable clothing suitable for yoga that you can move in and that your teacher can see your posture.
• Yoga is practiced on bare feet – no shoes
• Use a non-sticky yoga mat. It is recommended that you acquire your own yoga mat if you will be doing yoga regularly.
• Women during their menstrual cycle should not do inversions, such as headstands.
• Women in pregnancy should consult their doctor prior to practicing yoga. Please advise your teacher before class (if in early pregnancy months).
• During yoga practice be mindful of your body needs. Do no over-stretch, over-exert or try poses beyond your level without prior preparation. If you feel pain, back down a little and find the limit or edge at which the pose feels enjoyable. Rest if your body needs it, then join the practice.
• If you have an injury, a physical or respiratory condition or challenge, mention it to your teacher so he can make adjustments to your practice as needed.
• And finally, yoga can be practiced on a daily basis, unlike other sports. The recommendation here is alternate your practice between forward bends and backbends, gentle and energetic. This way your body will have enough time to absorb the knowledge and recover from the previous exercise.