The Basics of Yoga.
It is the millennium of Yoga. It is a miraculous science, most of which is still poorly understood, yet it continues to yield surprising results. It is the complete package that heals the body, the mind and the spirit.
You must have come across pictures of many people who are bent in seemingly impossible postures or you might have seen a few people doing head stands at the park. How do you feel looking at them?
While you ponder upon this question, let’s take a peek into the world of Yoga. Yoga is grossly divided into 3 parts, the ethical practices, the physical practices and the meditative practices. The ethical practices are the self-disciplinary measures where you need to have control over your preferences and desires. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is also an integral part of it. The physical practices are yoga postures, breathing exercises and abstaining from the external preferences. And lastly, there are meditative procedures that give you a glimpse of eternity and may eventually lead you to it.
Coming back to the question, what do you feel when you look at the people stretching, twisting and bending? You must have noticed that people who practice yoga are fit with toned bodies. I bet you’d also want to be in great shape too. The yoga poses slowly increases muscle tone and elasticity, and increases blood supply without making you feel fatigued. Yoga also affects other body systems. For example, the inverted postures are good for the thyroid gland and thyroid related disorders and the cat pose is good for hypertension. Yoga is also very useful in pacifying the turbulent mind. It is used as an adjunct treatment for many psychological disorders.
I am pretty sure that you would want to try yoga by now. So continue reading to know the ABC’s of yoga.
The first and foremost task is to set a schedule for Yoga. For most of us, the day is for working and the night is for sleeping. The best time you can devote for yoga is either at dawn or dusk. Out of the two, the morning hours before the sun rises are the most suitable. The mind and the body are raw and receptive after a good night’s sleep. But if you have little or no time to spare in the morning, you can do yoga during your free time.
Sit close to nature.
“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”
– Lord Byron
When you marvel at the beauty of the blossoming flowers, or when you listen to the rustling of the dried leaves on the footpath…you are already meditating. Try doing this on warm summer nights; go to the lawn and lie down on the grass. Look at the vast sky studded with the twinkling stars. Close your eyes and feel the fresh cool breeze rubbing your cheek. You will feel free, calm and one with nature. Nature has this innate effect of soothing the troubled mind. When yoga is practiced in the heart of the nature all the desired effects are achieved faster.
However, if you live in a bustling neighborhood and there are no nearby parks, look for a room that is quiet, distraction free and well ventilated. A temple or a place of religious value is also good choice
Wear comfortable clothes that are light and stretchable. Your body can reach dimensions that lie beyond its limits with the help of comfy clothes.
The twofold physical yoga
Listed below are the two parts of the physical practices in Yoga. Although there are many practices that are used, these two are simple and are recommended for beginners.
1. Standing poses
The first posture to be practiced during yoga is the standing posture. Among the standing postures, the tadasana or the tree posture is practiced first. Standing poses predominantly stretch the muscles of the limbs and the back.
2. Sitting poses
Nest we have the sitting poses. You need to sit in the correct posture before you get started. Sit cross-legged and your back should be ram rod straight. This can be initially uncomfortable and your back muscles get tired and sore. Don’t worry though, with time your body will be able to adjust.
The sukhasana(sitting cross legged) and the padmasana(the lotus pose) are the most fundamental of the sitting poses.
Pranayama is the practice of controlling the breath. Breathing exercises allow oxygen to enter the body thereby making you feel alive and calmer. You can do breathing exercises to calm yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed by life. For starters, find a comfortably chair to sit on and both feet should be flat on the ground. Close your eyes and inhale deeply and slowly. Breathe in and breathe out through your nostrils. Do this for about 20 times and you will feel instantly better.