I was introduced to Yoga in our school at a very young age. We were taught very basic stuff – breathing, aasanas and meditation. Inspite of we sticking to only basics we had almost 4 to 5 sessions explaining the pre-requisites and basic awareness – do’s and don’ts
We could end up adversely harming ourselves if we are not aware of the prerequisites and precautions we must take before practicing Yoga.
Yoga can be started at all ages and with all body conditions viz. stiffness, flabbiness, pains and aches. Difficult yogic practices like the kriyas and specific asanas should be avoided by children below 12 years.
Time most conducive for Yoga is the morning hours, when the stomach is almost empty. If the body is very stiff, either walk briskly for a while or perform surya namaskar at the beginning. A cup of mild tea or coffee or warm water can be taken half an hour before the asanas. Asanas may be practiced 3-4 hours after lunch. Only Vajra Asana can and should be done after meals
Apparel worn should be clean, loose light and minimum. One must remove spectacles, wrist watches and ornaments. Women should wear firm fitting brasserie.
Beginners: Beginners should not be in hurry and start with everything. They should gradually increase the difficulty level as well as newer practices. Those who have been practicing but have left the practice for more than 6 months should start again like beginners.
Patients: Those who have just recovered from an illness or have undergone major operations, those suffering from heart trouble or abnormality of blood pressure must seek help of a yoga therapist before commencing. In these cases even a small wrong practice can worsen the condition.
Women: Women should suspend all practices except Shavasana and Nadi Shuddhi during menstruation. It is unadvisable to start Yoga during pregnancy without guidance. After child birth depending on ones overall health women can resume asana practise after 3 to 4 months again after consulting a teacher/professional.
These pointers seem very basic but are very important to avoid damage to our body and gain as much as possible from practicing Yoga. The effects of not following these are not immediate but in the long run they could be really harmful. So as the saying goes it is better to be safe than sorry!
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