Health is one of the most talked about topics of everyday life. But a recent survey revealed that most of the Indian youth are not worried about their health. They neither exercise regularly nor do they take care of their diet. It is estimated that around 70% of people do not exercise on a regular basis and about 62.5% do not monitor their diet. This can be dangerous as a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for a healthy body.
Although yoga has become a trendsetter today, the survey revealed that 80% of people do not value its benefits.1 It is generally considered as a fancy form of exercise, often taken up by celebrities. But yoga is much more than this. Practicing it can have phenomenal benefits on the body and brain. Many people look at it as a light form of exercise that may not benefit them much. However, yogic asanas stretch every part of your body and centralise your brain to give you numerous health benefits. But before you start, there are certain things you must know about this form of exercise.
Here’s everything you should know before starting yoga
Dress appropriately: Although no fixed dress code is required to practice yoga, loose and comfortable clothes are best as they allow easy movement. Yoga consists of stretching exercises that involve every part of the body and calls for a lot of bending. So, wear something comfortable that will not put you in an embarrassing situation. A comfortable yoga mat is another essential item for you to perform different yogic asanas. In addition to this, yoga needs to be performed barefoot, so set aside your footwear before stepping on the yoga mat.
Avoid eating just before yoga: Yoga should not be performed on a full stomach. A gap of 2-4 hours is essential between yoga and your last meal so that your stomach is empty. A full stomach will make it difficult to perform yoga comfortably. So, give food ample time to digest before starting this ancient form of exercise.
A quiet environment: Yoga is not only about body stretching but is also about focusing your mind. It requires a calm and quiet environment to concentrate on breathing. Anything that can disturb your concentration should be put away. A ringing phone can distract you as well as your yoga partners, so either turn it off or put it on silent mode while you practise yoga.
Don’t push your abilities: Yoga involves a lot of stretches that may require you to push yourself more than usual. But this push should not be to such an extent that it brings you pain. Listen to your body and give it time to adapt to the stretches. You will see a gradual progress in the level of stretches for each asana.
Take time to master it: Every human being is unique and so is their body. What you can do easily may not be easy for another and vice versa. So, do not compare yourself with anyone in any stream of life. Additionally, avoid comparing your level of flexibility with someone else. Just concentrate on whatever your body allows, and you will benefit from it.
Tips for women: Although menstruation is a normal body process for females and it is perfectly fine to do most of the yogic asanas, avoid any inversions that may exert your body and cause pain during your period.
Yoga and meditation are highly recommended during pregnancy. But the level of stretches may be completely different. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, share it with your instructor so that your stretches are made milder. Moreover, your trainer may introduce other yogic asanas that should be performed during the prenatal period for a healthy pregnancy.
Relax after the session: The final step of yoga is Shavasana. This is a relaxing asana that is most important for your body and mind after a strenuous session of yoga. So never leave before doing Shavasana as it helps the body restore lost energy after every yoga session.
It is essential to inform your instructor about your present health, including any disorder or injury. It may require you to change the intensity of asanas or perform some specific asanas for better management of your condition. So always keep a check on your body and share the information with your instructor for healthy yoga practice.
Everyone needs time to perfect their tasks, and so does yoga. You and your body may take some time to get used to yogic stretches, or you may not feel any difference for the first few days (or even weeks). It may be difficult initially, but this does not mean that you quit yoga impulsively. Give yourself time to become proficient in yogic asanas and give yoga time as well, to prove its health effects on your body and mind.
Improved bone health, increased blood flow, enhanced cardiovascular function, etc., are only a few health benefits of yoga that ensure you live a happy, healthy life. So, start doing yoga today and feel the difference!