Short Intro to the Basics
When considering yoga practice, what general safety guidelines should I adapt?
You should start practice by preparing the muscles and joints by implementing a warmup. I want to highlight the importance of NOT over stretching to the point of discomfort or pain. If you bent the spine in one direction during practice, you should also bend it in the opposite direction in the next asana to create balance and release tension. Before practice address any pre-existing conditions, do a health history self-screening and in some cases, you may want to consult with a doctor. I will always offer modifications and advise so please reach out with any questions.
Routines in Yoga
Your daily routine influences your quality of rest and your habits affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being and energy level. It’s best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed. Better health is a result of just a little extra planning. Below is a suggested routine.
To eat or not to eat before yoga?
Though, the ideal is to practice yoga early in the morning on an empty stomach, considering today’s hectic lifestyle, people must squeeze in their yoga practice whenever they find the time. However, eating the right food and when to eat before and after yoga is key to feeling our best. Eating something very light an hour before class works well for most people, but your body may vary. If you’re hungry and planning to practice straight after work or are on a tight schedule, eating a few quick mouthfuls of a little protein or light carbohydrates is better than eating nothing and not having the energy to get through the practice. However, bending and twisting into yoga poses can be uncomfortable—and even nauseating—with a big meal sloshing around in your belly.
What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga is strictly speaking is Indian-Hindu branch of Yoga that serves as a foundation for other forms of yoga. “The word Hatha derives from two roots: “sun” and “tha” which means moon. The flow of breath in the right nostril is called the sun breath, and the left moon breath. The central of hatha is regulation of breath and balance between positive (sun) with negative (moon).” – The Complete Yoga Book by James Hewitt. Hatha Yoga is the best known in the West and practiced extensively for its practical benefits to:
- the health of the nervous system
- vital organs
- and is best-known feature is posturing
What is the objective of Hatha Yoga techniques?
To produce tranquility in the mind and body. It doesn’t matter if you can’t touch your toes or stand on you shoulders.
Why to practice Pranayama?
If you did not practice yoga and only meditated, or focused on your breath, essentially you are practicing yoga, but specifically you are practicing pranayama. Pranayama is not just the breath. Let us break it down, Prana: life force energy that keeps us alive • Yama: rest. Its not “just breathing”, it is connecting to the source of life. This doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of philosophy, or even most importantly the science behind its benefits. In eastern practices, there is no yoga without some pranayama techniques. In the west, sometimes pranayama is often dismissed, but is actually vital and essential to a successful yoga practice.
The reasons to practice pranayama are many including
- improvement of our overall health
- calming of the mind
- calming of the nervous system
- increased vitality
- improved memory
- regulation of heart activity and much more.
In addition, this practice allows us to prepare our mind for meditation. Some of the possible benefits include increased oxygen consumption, improved air processing, improved lung function and lung purification, and controlled breathing. Remember this: yogis count their lives in the amount of breath!
What are the benefits and rewards of asana practice?
Some of the most obvious benefits are:
- muscular toning
- improved balance
- improved concentration
- massage of the internal organs
- improved digestion.
However, a well-rounded asana practice can address every organ, muscle and gland – so the benefits are endless. Practicing asanas offers quite a few other rewards, including but not all: health and lightness of the body, steady posture, improved lung capacity and a calm mind.