Now that you have decided to practice yoga, you need to understand a few things before you start. You should not do yoga on your own, especially in the beginning, as the yoga master should be with you top correct the pose, breathing, asana sequence and for observing you. Some yoga poses are difficult and a trainer will help you with hints and corrective steps. Once you have mastered the basic asana poses, say after a month of practice, you can do it on your own. The first aspect of any yoga program is correct breathing. No amount of stressing on this vital point is enough. You will derive the maximum benefits out of yoga simply when you observe the correct breathing techniques.
Learn how to Breathe : The most important thing to do in yoga is to breathe, especially when holding the postures. Most importantly, breathe through the nose into the belly.
Start with a Meditation or Prayer : Start in easy pose with a short mediation to center yourself and bring your focus inside. Use Basic Postures: Start with these simple postures: The seated twist, cat, dog, down dog, child, cobra, mountain, triangle, forward fold. End with Shavasana : Always end your yoga practice with Shavasana, resting and consciously relaxing your body for 5-15 minutes. Yoga is best practiced early in the morning at the same time, in the same place, continuously without a break for at least two months.
Know when to avoid practicing yoga : Please read the contraindications for each posture before doing it. Menstruation, pregnancy, high blood pressure and injuries to the knees, shoulders, and neck are all conditions where certain postures must be avoided and special care must be taken in all postures. Check with your doctor before starting a yoga practice.
Modify the postures for your body : The instructions and pictures of the yoga postures are your goal, not where you need to be. Experiment and explore different positions and alignment to make each asana work for your body.
Moderate the level of intensity : It is highly recommend that you start slowly and get the feel and alignment of the postures. Stop when there is pain. There are three ways to increase the intensity of your practice: one, hold postures for longer and longer periods of time; two, slowly build your practice up to more advanced and challenging postures; three, move quickly between postures.
How to choose postures : Practice postures that you can do. Postures done on the floor are going to be easier than standing postures, as they do not require as much strength or balance. Also, postures that have longer recommended hold times (in breaths) are going to be easier to do.
Duration of practice : Your daily practice should be between 15 to 90 minutes long and done 1-6 times per week, depending on your schedule, goals and ability.
What you need to wear : Wear loose, comfortable clothing or tights, remember unitards work best. However you can choose loose and flowing clothes that do not restrict your movement.
Drinking and eating : It is not advisable to eat or drink right before a yoga practice. Exercise only after 1-3 hours of having a meal. Drink only small amounts of water before practice, and you should not drink anything at all during your practice.