Thinking about starting a yoga routine? You'll be happy to learn that the hardest part is taking that first step. Your two first steps are to see your family health practitioner
to insure that your health conditions allow this. The second is to sign up to attend a class taught by a professional.
After you've attended several classes and understand the importance of the postures, you can begin to practice some on your own. Whether you attend a class or you're practicing yoga at home with a DVD or a book, you want to wear either loose, comfortable clothing or a pair of tights or a unitard. You do not want to wear clothes that will restrict or inhibit your movements in any way.
Just as with any exercise, you shouldn't eat or drink directly before a yoga session. You should wait an hour after eating to practice yoga, and preferably three hours. Drink only a little water before your practice and none at all while you are performing your postures.
Before you even begin your first posture, you'll get the most benefits from your yoga exercise if you start with a short meditation. Sit with your spine straight and close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Focus on your breath. Do this for several minutes to get your body slowed a little.
As you practice your poses, remember that yoga is not a competition. Your goal is not necessarily to complete the posture perfectly, but just placing your body into the position as best as you can at this moment. Remember that your instructor has been practicing yoga for many years to achieve the capability of performing those postures. Similarly, the books show photos of the ideal pose. You can't expect to attain that level of completion during your first several attempts. But if you continue, you'll slowly find that you attain more flexibility with each session.
Your session, especially either from a book or a DVD, will have you hold your pose for a certain length of time. When you first start you may find that it's all you can do to hold the posture for the minimum recommended amount of time. As you progress, though, you'll soon be holding them for the maximum period. And if you stay with the practice of it, you may even find you'll want to extend that a little longer. Be sure to increase this time slowly though.
Along the same lines, don't expect to be able to perform the more difficult postures. Yoga receives a lot of attention because many of the poses seem like they are humanly impossible. Certainly as a novice, these are not the ones that would do you much good. But the good news is that there are many very simple poses and moves that will not only help your blood flow more freely through your body, but will help stretch those muscles.
You may find that your back problems slowly disappear first and then slowly you'll notice an overall improvement in your well-being.
Yoga is a great investment of your time and energy.
Note: Some statements in this article may not be
approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and
should not be taken as professional medical advice.