I hear this question all the time. “Could I really do yoga?” “I’m not flexible enough.” “I have a bad back.” “I don’t think I have the patience.” And the answer is yes, yes and yes.
For beginners who are just starting to learn yoga, what really matters is perseverance and patience. It is the person’s attitude towards learning a new subject and the determination to see it through. Everything else will come naturally.
For yoga, there is no need to run out and get anything new to practice. Just some loose fitting clothes, a yoga mat, and a quiet practice place is enough to start with.
There is no right or wrong way to practice yoga, however yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach or about one or two hours after a full meal. It is important to use the bathroom, clean your nose and drink a glass of warm water 15 minutes before your start. (I mean nothing worse than finding a great yoga position and then realising you have to sneeze or go to the bathroom to pee right?) However, to avoid getting hungry during practice, grab something light such as fruit, or an energy bar and consume it one hour before you start.
Yoga is an exercise that does not require sports equipment or anything extravagant. It’s about you, your mind & the mat. It can be practiced virtually anywhere by people of all ages, shapes & sizes. It is advisable to practice in a quiet, clean and well ventilated place. A mat, blanket, or towel could be used to provide support or give comfort when doing lying or seated positions. Loose or stretchy clothing is important to give freedom to your body and not restrict any movement.
Similar to regular exercise, start with simple, easy poses to familiarize your body and prepare it for much difficult exercises later. Do not strain yourself. If there is any pain or fatigue, give yourself a break. Yoga is all about you, your pace, your practice. Try relaxing in between difficult exercises to give your body a rest. Yoga sessions can be done first thing in the morning to rejuvenate the mind and body. It is best done daily. Even as little as 15 minutes of practice and 15 minutes of breathing can contribute benefits.
Yoga session can be broken down to warm up exercises, standing poses, sitting poses, twists, spine and prone poses, inverted and balance poses, backbends and finishing poses.
More information can be obtained online or by joining a yoga studio. However it is important to keep in mind that the most important thing is the desire to expand self awareness and the attitude of persevering.