Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Beginning yoga

Beginners' Yoga-Stretch and release-
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The purpose of yoga is not to be able to contort your body into pretzel shapes but to go on a journey to learn more about yourself and create a union between your mind, body and spirit.

Yoga has many benefits for health and many people come to yoga because of health issues. In today's society, where stress is rife, many people also turn to yoga for stress relief.

Before you embark on this journey however, you need to talk to your doctor about taking up yoga.  There may be some poses that may not be right for you.  For instance if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis or migraine standing forward bends where the head is below the level of the heart may not be right for you.  Deep twists may also not be right for you if you have osteoporosis.  If you have any kind of neck injury, high blood pressure, glaucoma, or if you are menstruating, inversions should be avoided.  Straight leg seated forward bends should be avoided if you have sciatica. Knee issues also need some poses to be modified and poses such as Lotus pose should be avoided. If you are pregnant, you should practice prenatal sequences as many yoga poses may not be suitable especially in the first trimester or as your pregnancy progresses. As well as talking to your doctor, make your yoga teacher aware of any health issues.

Try to leave two hours after eating before you practice yoga, or practice in the morning before you eat breakfast.  Drink water before your practice and afterwards but not during your practice as the posture work lights the 'internal fire', that is the digestive fire and drinking will impede this.

Yoga is never competitive but you should always listen to your body, working to that place where you feel a stretch but not a strain.  In yoga this is called your 'edge'.  A good indicator that you may be straining into a pose is your breath.  If you start to hold your breath, you may need to release a little or come out of the pose altogether.  You will often hear yoga teachers reminding you, 'Don't forget to breathe.'  If a pose does not feel right for you, take a Child's Pose, which is a nurturing pose.

Once you start your practice try to do some yoga each day: a little each day is better than a longer session once a week. Don't be tempted to skip the final relaxation. This is the most important part of the practice where you receive the benefits of your practice.

Above all, enjoy your practice.


Janet x

Here is a link to my YouTube Beginners' Yoga series Playlist - there are nine videos in total that I recorded previously.

Please read the disclaimer on the blog before following these videos

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