Saturday, March 3, 2007

Beginning Yoga Guidelines

By William Sonia

Among practitioners of Hinduism and Buddhism, yoga is practiced as a means on enlightenment; while in the West, yoga is now practiced as both an effective physical and spiritual routine.

However, contrary to popular belief, yoga is not considered a form of exercise because unlike the the speedy motion required in an workout, yoga involves very slow and steady movements. But still, regular practice of yoga provides great health benefits, as it tones the muscles as well as relieves stress, strengthens concentration, and reduces the aging process. There are prerequisites to yoga that you should follow to attain its maximum benefits. Please follow our guide to attain maximum benefits.

Practice yoga everyday – Make yoga a habit for at least 30 to 45 minutes.

Know your body limits – Try not to overextend your stretches. If you push too hard, you could hurt yourself in the process.

Consult your physician first – People with certain medical conditions should practice yoga minimally to avoid worsening of their ailments.

Yoga is best practiced during early mornings – If you have to do yoga in an afternoon or evening, remember to have an empty stomach. Consume solid foods 3 ½ hours before yoga, while liquids should be drank one hour before practicing.

Choose the right yoga space – Practice yoga on a spacious, clean, airy, and bright area, away from much disturbances. And don't forget your yoga mat or other comfortable mat that you can use during postures that require lying down.

Wear comfortable clothing – Make sure your garments are loose and clean. Undergarments are necessary.

Pregnant or menstruating women should avoid practicing yoga – This routine involves several body bends and pressures on the back, which could affect pregnancy and menstruation.

If you can, follow a vegetarian diet – Most practitioners of yoga are also vegetarians since yoga slows down the metabolism. If you have difficulty venturing to vegetarianism, try consuming lesser foods.

Begin by breathing deeply – The yoga poses (or asanas) usually start in breathing slowly and deeply as you concentrate your mind and make yourself centered. Remember that your body movements and breathing must be coordinated until such time that they are united. Your breathing also serves as your guide on when to start or stop the yoga position.

Move gracefully – In yoga, movement flows like air. Come into a pose slowly yet gracefully, hold that pose for several minutes, and come out of it with the same graceful and continuous movement.

Visit for more information about yoga, diets and weight loss by Sonia William

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