Yoga isn’t just a fitness regime,it’s a way of life. Beginners shouldn’t start off a course looking to lose weight or get into great physical shape. The most important thing for beginners is that they should keep an open mind and be ready to experience positive changes in their mind and body. Never feel discouraged by lack of flexibility or other health issues. Any specific medical issues should be discussed with the teacher prior to beginning the class. This will help the teacher tailor the lessons to suit the medical condition and specifications of the student. Here are some tips they should keep in mind:
As Swami Sivananda once said, one doctor gives you a prescription, the other gives you an opinion and the third gives you your cremation. It is not advisable to jump between different schools and styles of yoga or even different teachers as this will create instability in the self and nullify the benefits.
Progress is not immediate but gradual – beginners should not expect results immediately and keep moving on even if the progress is slow. It is imprudent to compare one’s own progress with that of others as every person is at a different stage in the practice and in life.
Find the right guru
Choose a good teacher who is knowledgeable about the subject in order to gain the maximum benefit from the practice.
Wear loose clothing and maintain proper hygiene
Beginners should preferably wear loose, cotton clothing as it aids the circulation of pranic energy within the self. Lycra material, tight clothing and dark colours constrict the flow of energy and do not allow one to benefit fully from the practice. It is advisable to shower before the class as it cleanses the body and makes it more receptive to positive energy. If there is no time to shower before the class, there should be a 30 minute gap between the end of the class and the shower.
Some other pointers include:
- Only fruits can be consumed 30 minutes prior to the class or 15 minutes after the class.
- Avoid wearing perfume disturbs the breathing exercises and is therefore not advisable.
- Cell phones and other electronic devices should be switched off or on silent and kept at a considerable distance so as to avoid distractions.
- Preferably, one must not practice under an electric fan.
- Every person should carry his or her own mat. This is not only for hygienic purposes but also to avoid mixing one’s personal vibes with those of another student.
- Students should make the most of every minute in the yoga class by arriving on time to avoid disturbing the teacher and the students. They should always be thankful to the teacher at the beginning and end of each class.
Like I mentioned before, yoga is not a fitness regime. It’s a way of life, a spiritual quest to find oneself. Try to realise that and don’t think of it as an alternative to gymming. When a person practises yoga, he or she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth and experiences both physical and mental changes over time.
Also read: India.com Health’s exclusive interview with Yoga Sadhak, Mamta Aurora.