Are you new to yoga? Are you also intending to self-learn yoga? Then surely you are going to have a lot many questions now and then. One of them would be, “Are there any prerequisites to doing yoga?”. This article is about the do’s and don’ts you need to take care of before, during, and after your yoga practice.
Before moving on, a caution to you! If you are a self-taught yogi, choose reliable resources to teach yourself. Some asanas, when done wrongly, can cause injuries. So exercise caution when you are self-taught.
Do’s and Don’ts for safe yoga practice
Before you start your yoga practice:
- Try to practise yoga in a well-ventilated space. There should also be enough space to open your arms and stretch your legs.
- It is best to practise yoga on an empty stomach. For some reason, you aren’t able to do it in the morning. Never mind. Practise on a light stomach. The ideal would be 2 hours after your meal when the food is most likely digested.
- Some may feel weak when practising yoga on an empty stomach. They may take warm water with honey 15 minutes before their session.
- If you feel thirsty, you must take sips of water before practice.
- Your bladder and bowels should feel empty before practice.
- Yoga is meant to be done slowly and mindfully. So always start with a silent prayer and align your body, mind, and soul to the exercise form.
- Wear comfortable loose garments which won’t hinder the movements.
- A firm yoga mat helps avoid injuries. Other yoga props are optional.
- Do not have any commitments or disturbances during practice.
During the practice:
- If you are a complete beginner, start with some gentle stretches to warm your body for the session. Otherwise, Sun salutation or Surya namaskar is a great way to start your session.
- Yoga must never be done in haste. Always perform the asanas slowly. Also, get into and out of poses slowly. Avoid jerk movements.
- Always start with easy asanas. As you gain strength and flexibility, attempt advanced poses.
- Focus on your breath and movement.
- Do not hold your breath unless a certain asana needs you to.
- Always breathe through your nostrils unless otherwise instructed.
- End your session with meditation or deep silence.
- Do not eat, drink, or bathe for 30 minutes after practice.
- Strenuous exercises after yoga are not advised.
Don’ts for a safe yoga
- Never practise yoga when exhausted.
- Menstruating women can certainly practise relaxation poses, pranayama, and meditation. However, they must avoid doing the following:
- Inversion asanas such as Sarvangasana
- Deep twists that may involve your pelvic regions, such as seated twist pose
- Deep backbends, such as Dhanurasana
- Poses that engage your core muscles, such as the boat pose.
- There is evidence that practising yoga asanas during pregnancy helps build strength and endurance, relieves fatigue, and improves sleep. However, pregnant women should not attempt all poses. Also, they must do yoga under expert guidance.
- Refrain from yoga during illness, fractures, and surgeries.
- Do not practise under extreme weather conditions (too hot or too cold).
- Do not self-learn yoga if you have any medical condition.
Yoga is a wonderful way to awaken your mind, body, and soul. Regular practice enables you to have sustained mental and physical health. If you are a beginner or a self-learner, remember the dos and don’ts to make your practice safe.