These days, for those looking to practice yoga, videos, DVDs, pictorial representations etc. are very easily accessible. This help us in practising at the time and place our convenience. But one drawback is that most of these lessons/ videos start with the activities directly. Only occasionally precautions or special instructions for those particular exercises are stated explicitly.

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.

Here are the prerequisites, precautions and special conditions that we should be aware of :

 Age

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

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

Place

Yoga should be practiced in open and airy rooms. Avoid hot sunshine and cold drafts. Spread a mat or a chatai and cover it with a piece of cloth and then practice. Special yoga mats are also easily available which can be used. Also try using the same mat every time you practice. This helps build your aura and enhances the benefits.

Bathing

It is better to bathe before starting the exercises. If you perspires a lot during the workout, then bathe only after half an hour of practise. Generally cold water bath is preferable but if conditions do not permit then use luke warm water. An oil massage is a good toner and relaxant and can be taken after exercising.

Dress

Apparel worn should be clean, loose light and minimum. One must remove spectacles, wrist watches and ornaments. Women should wear firm fitting brasserie.

Special Awareness

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!

Banner image courtesy : https://www.flickr.com/photos/sanfranannie/4132351763/

About Author

I am a stay at home mom, having worked in the software technology services space for over 10 years. In my professional life I used to enforce quality standards like CMMi & Six Sigma to make developers and testers jobs easier & process oriented.In my current stint I am using similar techniques coupled with age old wisdom from my mom and grand mom to make our living healthier and medicine free. To start any new stint it helps if you read and train and so I got myself a diploma in Naturopathy from Mumbai.

1 Comment

  1. This is a very-very informative post for everyone who wants to start Yoga and want to know about all the pre-requisites before hand. Thanks for sharing this piece 😊

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