Yoga is becoming a more
and more popular activity in the Western world today.
The number of places holding Yoga classes is on the
increase and there is a plethora of different types of
Yoga. With a choice of Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Power
Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and many
more it can be easy to get confused
will help you to understand the difference between the
most popular types of Yoga so you can choose which type
is right for you
Once you have decided to practice yoga for better living and spiritual
health, you need to take care of the following points so as to prevent injuries
to your physical self:
of the individual:
it is recommended that people with normal health do yoga practice. But if you
are suffering from some physical problems and are using yoga to cure it, you
need to follow certain precautions since performing yoga practices without
proper precautions may lead to harmful effects on the body. This is because the
internal organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys etc. are involved and may get
harmed if you do not practice yoga properly. Hence it is recommended that you
follow the yoga techniques under expert guidance.
Right advice: it is
important for you to get the proper instructor to teach you the yoga techniques.
Usually, people who choose the profession of a yoga teacher do not understand
the scientific basis behind the yoga practice and just impose their opinions and
likes and dislikes on the students. They bring an element of mystery, charge
exorbitant fees and introduce rites and rituals which are not a part of yoga.
Age and sex: yoga can be practiced by anybody irrespective of age and
sex. However it is important to note that certain yoga techniques should not be
followed under certain circumstances. Women, who are pregnant or menstruating,
should avoid the poses which lay a great stress on the abdomen. Children below
eight years should not practice any yogic technique but yogic breathing should
be introduced only after twelve years. Very young and old should avoid the poses
with the intense twists. After a certain age, avoid strenuous practice but you
can practice pranayam, dhyana and simple postures.
surroundings: The place for yoga should be well protected from, animals, rodents
and insects. If you choose the indoor room, keep it well lit and it should be
airy. If you choose the outdoors, the surroundings should be quiet. But avoid
the outdoors if it is cold, rainy or very hot. The ground chosen should be
plain and flat.
Time: Morning is the ideal time for practice since it
incorporates regularity, but evening time can also be chosen since the body is
already warmed up. Your stomach should not be completely full. So if you have
had a meal, you can perform yoga after five hours.
Diet: Take simple
and nutritious diet. Do not overeat. Keep chillies and spices to the minimum. It
is not important to be vegetarians but do not eat more than your body?s
Interval: it is advisable to be regular but if for some
reason like a lot of work in office or sickness or any other reason you need to
skip a day or two, it is fine. But once the reason is over, go back to your
original routine. Avoid taking long and frequent gaps.
Choose light and loose fitting clothes. If you live in a hot climate, you can
opt for the sleeveless shirt or a vest. However, in temperate climate, your
clothing should offer protection against the cold weather but at the same time,
they should not hinder your movements.
The seat: Always perform the
yoga practice on a mat or a carpet but never on an uncovered floor.
The order of different techniques: When you are combining different techniques
like surya namaskar, weight training etc. with yoga, keep a rest period of
fifteen minutes between the two. Within the yoga practice, start off by postural
techniques, followed by breathing techniques and the techniques of mental
concentration in the mentioned order.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the most authoritative scripture of hatha yoga,
opens by telling us that for those who cannot practice yoga (means raja yoga and
implies those who cannot meditate successfully and therefore cannot control
their mind) should practice hatha yoga. The "raison d'etre" for this practice is
to enable the practitioner to control his mind through techniques aimed at
controlling the physical body and the prana or vital force.
Yoga defines yama and niyama as the positive and negative aspects of
behavior respectively. Traditional texts mention ten yamas and ten niyamas but
Patanjali's Yogasutra, which is considered the original treatise on yoga,
defines five yamas and five niyamas.