General Guidelines for Yoga Practice


     A Yoga practitioner should follow the guiding principles given below while performing Yogic practices: 

    Before the Practice

  • Sauca means cleanliness - an important prerequisite for Yogic practice. It includes cleanliness of surroundings, body and mind.

  • Yogic practice should be performed in a calm and quiet atmosphere with a relaxed body and mind.

  • Yogic practice should be done on an empty stomach or light stomach. Consume small amount of honey in lukewarm water if you feel weak.

  • Bladder and bowels should be empty before starting Yogic practices.

  • A mattress, Yoga mat, durrie or folded blanket should be used for the practice.

  • Light and comfortable cotton clothes are preferred to facilitate easy movement of the body.

  • Yoga should not be performed in state of exhaustion, illness, in a hurry or in acute stress conditions.

  • In case of chronic disease/ pain/ cardiac problems, a physician or a Yoga therapist should be consulted prior to performing Yogic practices.

  • Yoga experts should be consulted before doing Yogic practices during pregnancy and menstruation.


    During the Practice

  • Practice sessions should start with a prayer or invocation as it creates a conducive environment to relax the mind.

  • Yogic practices shall be performed slowly, in a relaxed manner, with awareness of the body and breath.

  • Do not hold the breath unless it is specially mentioned to do so during the practice.

  • Breathing should be always through the nostrils unless instructed otherwise.

  • Do not hold body tightly, or jerk the body at any point of time.

  • Perform the practices according to your own capacity.

  • It takes some time to get good results, so persistent and regular practice is very essential.

  • There are contra-indications/ limitations for each Yoga practice and such contra-indications should always be kept in mind.

  • Yoga session should end with meditation / deep silence / Shanti patha.


    After the Practice

  • Bath may be taken only after 20-30 minutes of practice.

  • Food may be consumed only after 20-30 minutes of practice.


     Food for Thought

    A few dietary guidelines can ensure that the body and mind are flexible and well-prepared for practice. A vegetarian diet is usually recommended, and for a person over 30 years, two meals a day should suffice, except in cases of illness or very high physical activity or labour.


     How Yoga Can Help

    Yoga is essentially a path to liberation from all bondage. However, medical research in recent years has uncovered many physical and mental benefits that Yoga offers, corroborating the experiences of millions of practitioners. A small sampling of research shows that:

  • Yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculoskeletal functioning and cardio-vascular health.

  • It is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many lifestyle related disorders.

  • Yoga helps to reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and stress.

  • Yoga regulates menopausal symptoms.

    In essence, Yoga is a process of creating a body and mind that are stepping-stones, not hurdles, to an exuberant and fulfilling life.

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