How to Practice Yoga
Starting with a simple routine of yoga will not overwhelm the novice. The ancient art is indeed complex and wholly rewarding, cleansing mind, body, and soul. The following article aims to introduce this holistic health routine in four easy steps that will help all enthusiastic beginners develop a love for the ancient practice.
1. The First Step is to Learn Proper Breathing Methods
Breathing is the most important aspect of yoga, the correct technique is especially important when holding the various postures. The basic is Dirga Pranayama a breathing practice to be used when holding postures in yoga. Practise by breathing in and out via your nose, and through the stomach. Read plenty of articles on yoga breathing techniques and you will learn the correct art in no time. Proper breathing will get your blood pumping well, replenish your system with oxygen and give you the stamina to hold those long postures for prolonged periods of time.
2. Start with Short Meditation Sessions
Calming the mind is a core factor in yoga. Start by sitting in a comfortable pose; any pose will do while ‘the easy pose’ and ‘accomplished pose’ are two of the established sitting positions in yoga, you can learn the correct posture by checking online. Take a few minutes to calm your mind, settle into the pose and centre your body. Before sitting down focus on a prayer or intention or goal you wish to achieve and begin your meditation. Centre your thoughts on this one prayer or goal and block and free your mind of other inhibitions. At the start, it may seem difficult, but with practice, you will learn to centre your mind on one core thought. One trick that works is to focus on a specific sound; the gurgling of a nearby stream for instance. For instance, you could plan to start your meditation sessions while on holiday; there are plenty of healing retreats across the globe. Countries like Sri Lanka have been practicing Ayurveda and yoga for over 2,000 years, and a luxury resort in Balapitiya facing the river and not too far from the ocean will be just right for soothing mind body and soul.
3. Start off with Basic Postures
If you are at a yoga retreat, the guru will teach you basic warm-up postures as an introduction to yoga. As guests at The River House by Asia Leisure and similar resorts will learn, one cannot rush into complex poses in one go; your body needs to be centred, toned and prepared before attempting the more intricate poses of yoga. If you are at home follow a DVD on basic postures. There are plenty of online tutorials too that explain basic poses such as the cobra, seated twist, cat, dog, child, forward bend, mountain, and triangle. Yes! They are as interesting as they sound and will help ease your body into a more supple form.
4. Finish Off with a Relaxation Pose
In yoga, Shavasana is the ending pose. This pose involves resting while lying flat on your back. Do so for about 5 to 15 minutes and consciously relax your body. Once you are done with Shavasana, do a short bout of meditation, as a means of amalgamating the yoga you practiced as you switch back into the world. In other words, the brief meditation session will help your mind to settle down and absorb the calming ritual you just took your entire being through; this practice will then follow you as you get about your daily routines with a calmer more relaxed persona. Also, understand that although initially, you may feel clumsy and awkward, practicing yoga with patience and persistence you will start to master the art and feel the benefits in mind, body, and soul.