Originally published March 10 2009
Ten Tips to Get on the Yoga Mat
by Brian Swift
(NaturalNews) Yoga is a great way to relax your body and mind. It provides many benefits and is a cost-effective exercise that can be practiced anywhere. Through different stretches and Yoga poses you can find greater control over your spirit, body, and mind. Yoga is quite effective in relieving stress and with proper breathing is a great way to relax and release tension. Continued practice of Yoga poses increases flexibility, helps fitness, and promotes a healthy and natural lifestyle. There are many different variations including Bikram Yoga, Yoga Pilates, Hot Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and more. Below you can find tips for starting or enhancing your Yoga experience.
1. Free Yoga Instructional Videos - Buying a ton of Yoga DVDs is not necessary. A simple search on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&...) and other similar video web sites returns thousands of free instructional Yoga videos. Many of them are entire Yoga workout sessions. Select entire play lists and those videos with the highest ratings and most views. You can also check with your library for Yoga instructional videos. Remember to listen to your own body first over the advice of any instructor or video.
2. Pick a Good Yoga Mat - Make sure your Yoga mat isn't slippery. It should be comfortable and maintain a good temperature. It should also be flexible enough to work for both sitting and Yoga poses where you will be lying down. Use anti-slip inserts or an anti-slip material for your Yoga mat. Experiment with different combinations and get recommendations from your friends and Yoga instructors.
3. Pick the Right Yoga Poses - Beginners should start with more basic Yoga poses. Even those experienced in Yoga should first warm up with simple Yoga poses and slowly move to more advanced ones during the course of the workout. Become comfortable and confident with those Yoga poses. As the flexibility of your body increases you can then advance. Then learn specific poses that fit with your body or strengthen desired areas. Some of the more basic Yoga poses include:
-Downward Facing Dog Pose
4. Find Detailed Descriptions and Pictures of New Poses Online - Many web sites offer free detailed pictures and instructions on individual poses. You can find many in the categories on the Yoga Journal web site (http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/). The subcategories include common and traditional names of the poses and a step by step guide of each. Photos and sometimes videos are also included for that particular Yoga position.
5. Take Free Yoga Classes - Many different organizations including community colleges, your local gym, community centers, hotel staff, and more frequently offer free beginner Yoga classes with experienced Yoga instructors. Take advantage of these free Yoga classes.
6. Listen to Your Body - Make sure to never strain or force positions in Yoga. You should listen to your body and avoid Yoga when feeling ill, menstruating, during pregnancy, or other major body changes or conditions. If your body is getting tired then rest.
7. Choose a Time Before Meals - Never perform Yoga on a full stomach or right after eating. Your body should not be distracted or using energy to process food. Your flexibility and breathing can also change on a full stomach.
8. Find a Quiet Place - Your Yoga exercise should be a spiritual and meditative time. It is important that you be able to hear and concentrate on your breathing. To do this you must be in a place free of distractions or stress. Although communing with nature is important, the unpredictability of the outdoors might force you to choose someplace inside.
9. The Right Yoga Clothing - Wear comfortable clothing that is loose but will not interfere with Yoga poses. Many options and fabrics are available but your Yoga outfit should be something that breathes well. It should also not interfere with your movement and allow for your body to feel comfortable and flexible.
10. Proper Yoga Breathing - There are many ways to breath. Breathing properly during your Yoga poses can increase flexibility and relax your body. Concentrate on breathing through your nose. Breathe from your abdomen or diaphragm. A Yoga instructor or instructional video will often cover the proper way to breath in Yoga. Learn specific techniques and Yoga breathing exercises.
About the authorBrian Swiftly is an experienced writer and blogger with a great joy for the internet and technology. He is a father and husband with a love of sports, living an active lifestyle, independent green living, and more
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