Some will tell you that yoga exercise is too slow and boring instead it is an intense and holistic exercise. This ancient form of fitness with roots in India focuses on developing balance, strength and flexibility. Don’t let anyone misguide you as these are all consequences of practicing yoga and not prerequisites. No one expects you to master the asanas on the very first day. Yoga is all about pushing past your body's limits over time. To begin, it’s helpful to keep the following things in mind, suggests Zubin Atré, founder of AtréYoga Studio in New Delhi.
- If you have a history of a chronic disease or are recovering from an injury, consult your physician before commencing. Let your yoga teacher know of any injuries or pains.
- Do what you easily can. There is no competition. You are expected to move at your own pace. Listen to your body and do not push yourself.
- Many benefits of the yoga practice will unfold progressively. Be regular in your practice and don't give up because you can't touch your toes in the first go.
- Don't get discouraged by the initial lack of flexibility or strength, it improves over time. Be patient and give your body the time to respond.
- Focus on the breath, right from the beginning.
- Understand that every body is unique. Everyone has different levels of strength, stamina, and flexibility. Your lifestyle and goals may also vary. Find a style of yoga that suits your needs.
Your yoga practice can do much more than lend muscle power and reduce stress. A study conducted at University of Illinois indicates that short 20-minute sessions of yoga can help your brain work better and keep your mind focused. A lot depends on the kind of asanas you perform – some of them are energizing like back bends while forward bends have a calming effect. Standing asanas build stamina and balancing asanas cultivate concentration. Twists will help you detoxify the body and release tension. If you’re new to yoga, start with these basic asanas.
“Each pose can be held for 3 to 5 long breaths. You can practice these twice a week and gradually make it a part of your daily routine,” recommeds Zubin.
1. Tadasana (Moutain Pose)
2. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
3. Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog)
4. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
5. Kursiasana (Chair Pose)
6. Naukasana (Boat Pose)
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
9. Child's Pose
10. Sukhasna (Meditation) - centering - all the other asanas (poses) are done to eventually be comfortable enough to sit in this position for meditation.