A beginner's guide to Yoga: Some tips to get started
Yoga is a practice with a rich history that is rooted in teaching the tools and foundation to empower yourself by combining breathing, movement, and meditation. When you are new to yoga, all the terminology and complex looking asanas may feel intimidating and confusing. But, worry not! Here is a beginner's guide for people who want to take up yoga.
The first rule of any form of exercise is to wear clothes that don't restrict your movements. Since yoga needs you to be flexible, wear comfortable and loose clothes while going for the yoga class or when practising yoga at home. Avoid wearing belts or excessive jewelry as they may get in the way of your exercises. And, don't wear shoes.
Gentle warm-up exercises help loosen up the body and prepare it for the yoga asanas. Here are some of them: 1. Massage your head, brows, nose and cheeks. It is helpful for blood circulation in the brain. 2. Rotate your neck, both clockwise and anticlockwise to relieve any stiffness. 3. Pump your shoulders and shake those hands to shrug off the lethargy.
In the beginning, go for simple yet effective yoga asanas, like the tree pose, Vrikshasana. Place your right foot high up on your left thigh. Keep your left leg straight and rooted. Raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together, while ensuring that your spine is straight. Slowly bring your hands down and release your right leg. Repeat with right leg.
Some other asanas you can initially include in your routine- Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Naukasana (Boat Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) and Child's Pose. However, since everyone's body type and condition differs, it is best to seek a qualified yoga teacher who can lead you through the correct way of doing each technique. Given current conditions, you can opt for online classes too.
Although it's best to practise yoga asanas early in the morning, any time of the day is fine as long as you are regular with it. Don't feel pressurized and over-exert right in the beginning. Your flexibility and efficiency will improve with regular practice. Always end with Yoga Nidra (sleep meditation) for a few minutes, as it helps to cool down the body.