The commercialization of yoga has led to the opening of many health spas. It has probably also led many people to believe that yoga as a workout need to be done in a spa or a gym. Yoga, in fact, since times immemorial has been a course of training that requires the least artificial accessories. All it needs is the body, earth and air. However, there are some simple rules that form the underlying basis for yoga. Follow these six simple rules of yoga within the confines of a home or in the open and see how it RENEWS the body and mind.
R is for Regularity
Perform yoga daily. Believe it or not, a 30-minute yoga session daily will be more beneficial than a two-hour session once a week. Also, try performing yoga at the same time every day. Early morning is usually best.
The Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a great way to start the yoga practice. It is not a mere coincidence that the name of the pose is derived from the rising sun.
E is for Empty Stomach
Never practice yoga on a full stomach. Let three or four hours go by after a large meal and two hours after a snack. It is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. Early morning before breakfast is ideal.
N is for Non-Restrictive Clothing
Being comfortable is key to practicing yoga. Wear comfortable, loose and non-restrictive clothing. Practice on a surface that is clean and non-slip. A yoga mat is helpful for many of the yoga postures. But remember, the ancient mendicants of India who performed yoga did not have fancy mats to practice on A clean non-skid floor is usually sufficient to do most asanas.
E is for Exercise Constraint
Yoga should ease, not give pain. If at any point of performing yoga, there is pain, one needs to stop immediately. During practice, find the deepest point of stretch, while it still feels comfortable. The body should never be pushed beyond its limit.
If one has a health condition or is injured, do not practice yoga without the advice of an experienced yoga teacher.
For example, when running fever, do not practice the postures or breathing exercises. Women should avoid inverted positions like Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand) and Halasana (Plough Pose) during menstruation. Instead exercise constraint and practice restorative poses like Sapta Buddha Konasana.
W is for Whole Mind with Body
Concentration in yoga is probably the most difficult to manage. But it is critical to control the mind and not let it escape. One needs to absorb oneself in both breath and body sensations. If one senses that the mind has wandered away, bring it back.
Breath is the mirror of the mind. Alteration in one will affect the other. Good breathing is like balm to the body and actually heals. Exercise the breathing poses suitable for one’s constitution.
S is for Savasana
Finish the yoga practice always with Savasana. One can use blankets propped for support or lie flat on the floor. For every 30 minutes spent on yoga asanas, Savasana should be done for at least five minutes.
The renewal of the body and mind through yoga is rewarding. Gain a new perspective on life with the complete mind and body workout. It is an experience that is exhilarating to say the least.