All About Yoga a Beginners Guidebook
Our lives are full of torments, frustration, and grieve. And it is because of these reasons and so many more, that we are not even sparing a glance towards our health. Taking regular medicines or having a healthy diet isn’t enough to establish a proper coordination between your body and mind.
No matter how much you deny, health isn’t something where you will have a toned figure or where all your test results will come normally. If you are not smiling at someone’s joke, that is a sign of being mentally ill. If you are crying a lot, that too is a sign of being unhealthy. So, it’s clear, that being healthy means being physical, mentally, and spiritually healthy.
Now that’s something Yoga can answer.
In fact, it is the only exercise, which will cure not only your physical problems but also your mind and spirit. Descending from the lands of India, it is a primeval form of exercise which the saints and the monks used to practice. Even considering the time of two decades back, we can say that the elderlies only knew Yoga. However, now, the scenario has changed. Now, you won’t find only the elder people doing yoga. Rather, many young people too are getting involved in this form of exercise.
For a beginner like you, let’s discover some hidden facts about Yoga!
HOW WILL YOGA BENEFIT MY PHYSICAL BEING?
Yoga is mainly about stretching yourself beyond the limits. Overall, yoga helps your organ systems to open up completely, and thus making you healthier with each passing second.
Following are the few health benefits, which you can easily see, in those practicing yoga for years!
As the various poses of yoga need your body to be stretched, twisted, and bend, in the long run, the exercise increases your flexibility too much.
- IMPROVED MUSCULAR STRENGTH
As you will be taking on the various poses, you will be utilizing the muscles in different ways. Be it twisting the legs or standing on tiptoes, the different shapes strengthen the muscles and make them tolerant.
- PROTECTS THE BACKBONE
The various bending exercises make sure to improve the pressure tolerance level of your backbone. This further improves the life of the spines, and hence, increases the inter-disc movement too.
- IMPROVES THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
In the case of the circulatory system, yoga plays an important role in improving the blood flow. As your rib cage opens up, the lungs take in more oxygen, which further improves the oxygen content of the blood. Also, the upside down postures will help your heart to pump blood easily in the upper parts of the body.
- IMPROVES YOUR POSTURES
With more practice, one thing that you will definitely notice is the change in your postures. Yoga does make the postures correct, thereby preventing unnecessary bone and muscles pains, which are a result of poor posture.
HOW WILL YOGA BENEFIT MY MENTAL BEING?
Now, coming to the mental benefits of yoga, this form of exercise is said to establish a proper link between your body and mind. How? Let’s have a look!
- RELIEVES YOU OF STRESS
Involvement in yoga makes you forget about the other depressing and stressful events of your life. In fact, this exercise form is said to be the best mood lifter, as it helps you to concentrate on good things and eliminate the negativity from life. As you breathe in more oxygen while doing the exercises, your brain becomes active, thus helping you to cope up with the increasing stress in a pretty good way.
- MAKES YOU HAPPIER
When you are doing some sort of relaxing exercises, you are giving your mind a peace. And perhaps that’s the reason why you always feel happier after each yoga class. Though you might not feel this change in the first go, as you will embrace the calmness of the exercises, you will start feeling happy.
- REFINES YOUR CONCENTRATION POWER
Meditation is an integral part of yoga. And this is responsible for increasing your concentration power, thus allowing your mind to think about one single thing at a time. Also, as you will be stimulating your nerve cells through the various Yoga poses, you will develop a proper co-ordination between them.
- REDUCES THE LEVELS OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
The reason behind this is not known, but the result is certain. People suffering from anxiety or chronic depression do get relief from yoga as they allow themselves to be surrounded by positivity.
- HELPS THE INSOMNIAC PERSON
Yoga helps a person to sleep properly. If you are suffering from insomnia or any kind of other sleep disorders, the best way to get a good sleep is to practice yoga on a daily basis. As it improves your blood circulation and more oxygen reaches your brain cells, you will get the sleep.
WHAT IS THE RELATION BETWEEN YOGA AND SPIRITUALITY?
Yoga has always been a huge comforter when it comes to spirituality. The exercises are named in different ways, one is called tree pose while some other one is known as the warrior pose and so on. These poses do hold a deep meaning other than the physical benefits it will have. Each pose is said to develop some part of your spirit, some calming you down while some increasing your self-esteem.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS I WILL BE NEEDING FOR MY FIRST CLASS?
When you will be preparing for the yoga, make sure you are gearing up for the first class in a proper way. You do need to carry certain important things that will help you in dealing with your first time.
- Make sure your yoga attire is comfortable. It should be body hugging to allow you the freedom of movement, but it should be loose enough not to constrict you and cut off the oxygen supply.
- A water bottle is must because you get thirsty easily. Don’t drink too much water in a go. Allow the cold water only to wet your throat.
- Have your own yoga mat. Keep it clean and long enough so that you can do the poses properly.
- Keep a towel in your backpack. You will need that for wiping off the sweat and keeping yourself clean.
- Be sure to stack a change of cloth. This will help you in becoming more comfortable if your one pair gets drenched in sweat.
WHAT ARE THE FAMOUS TYPES OF YOGA?
When you have made up your mind about doing yoga on a regular basis in order to become healthy, you need to know which type of yoga suits you the most. in general, yoga has many classifications, each depending on the type of results you want.
- ASHTANGA YOGA
Ashtanga yoga is a means to detoxify your breaths, blood, and muscles. This helps in establishing a proper synchronization in your health. The results of the Ashtanga yoga is quite beneficial for those who are suffering from severe mental depression as it helps in calming down your nerves and improving the blood circulation.
- ANUSARA YOGA
Emphasizing the principle of “Universal Principles of Alignment”, this type of yoga makes you more graceful and allows you to let go of everything plaguing your mind. You will learn how to keep the three pillars of survival in line- mind, heart, and spirit.
- IYENGAR YOGA
Emphasizing on both breathing and postures, this yoga is a type of Hatha yoga which focuses on detailing the mobility and stability. The main factor of the Iyengar yoga is the usage of the props for completing the asanas. You will have to learn the eight limbs of yoga to sustain the goodness of this form.
- BIKRAM YOGA
Bikram yoga is popularly known as Hot Yoga, because it is literally practiced a furnace room, with temperature more than hundred degrees. And according to the rule, the twenty-six postures and two pranayama must be completed within ninety minutes.
- VINYASA YOGA
Vinyasa establishes a flow from one pose to the other, thereby increasing fluidity in your movements. It increases your flexibility, quick body response, and also the adaptability.
IN WHAT PLACES I CAN PRACTICE YOGA?
Yoga can be practiced both in the professional centers and in your home too. Nowadays, so many online yoga guides are there, including the videos available on youtube which will help you to get the yoga under your precision control. Also, you can buy the professional guides so that you can practice yoga in the comfort of your home. Nevertheless, make sure you are using the optimum gear for your yoga.
HOW SHOULD I GET READY FOR MY FIRST CLASS?
When you will be going to the first yoga class, you are going to feel jitteriness and that’s normal. This is the reason, preparing yourself beforehand is better than to embarrass yourself.
Following are the tips, which will help you in getting ready for your first class!
- Take an extreme light meal at least half an hour before yoga class. You cannot do the twists or the bending postures with a full stomach.
- Be sure to arrive early on the first day. This will give you a chance to prepare yourself according to the surroundings.
- Arrange your own things properly so that you won’t have to rummage through your bag in times of need.
- Don’t wear the socks or gloves as they will restrict your movement which couldn’t be allowed in yoga.
- Breathe! And that is what your mantra should be when you are doing the poses.
WHAT ARE THE BEGINNER YOGA POSES?
Tadasana or the mountain pose is said to be the premium of every other single yoga poise. This is the prime thing that you should learn to do properly, if not impeccably.
1. Regular practice of the asana will improve the knees, thighs, and the ankles.
2. The pressure in the back and the inner thighs will help in lowering the sciatica pain.
3. Standing on the feet and keeping your posture upright will improve the balance.
4. If you have a petite figure, this yoga will be extremely beneficial for increasing your height.
5. As you will be putting pressure on your feet, you can alleviate the symptoms of having flat feet.
Plank is the next posture that you will learn as a beginner. Here, the maximum pressure is put on your hands and arms, as you have to support your entire body weight on your upper limbs.
1. The yoga poses greatly strengthen your wrists and hands, along with the flexor muscles.
2. Regular practice of the same will make the triceps stronger, along with making them bulkier.
3. You have to keep the head straight, with eyes staring in the front. As a result, the pressure on the neck muscles will increase the strength of both the bones and muscle fibers.
4. When you are having a heavy pelvic area, you might go down, due to the gravitational pull. This is why you need to tighten the pelvic muscles to keep the plank posture erect. This in reduces the fat stored in the buttocks.
3. ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
In this pose, you will form a perfect ‘V’ with respect to the ground. As you need to keep your feet straight and flat, the pressure is generated on the calf, thigh, and the pelvic muscles.
The benefits of this yoga pose are incredible!
1. As you have to keep your head down, it increases proper blood flow to your brain.
2. This pose helps in strengthening the chest and the back muscles and also in the lengthening of the spine.
3. It helps in strengthening the calf muscles, thigh muscles, and the ankle muscles in your legs.
4. It will help you to get rid of the flat feet symptoms if you include this one in your daily schedule.
5. With more blood flow to your brain, you will have reduced symptoms of the sinusitis pain.
4. VIRABHADRASANA I
The warrior pose I is said to develop focus, mental stability, and more physical strength. Named after a descendant of Lord Shiva, this yoga pose is fierce in itself.
1. Maximum pressure is given on the arms, calves, thigh, pelvic region and the shoulders. The pressure makes these areas stronger with regular practice of the pose.
2. The linear alignment of the pose will increase your stability and balance, thereby increasing your concentration power.
3. Deep breathes are necessary, and thus your breathing will improve a lot.
5. VIRABHADRASANA II
The second warrior pose is more complex than the first one and hence is more beneficial.
1. The pose helps in making the calf and the thigh muscles stronger.
2. As you have to put a pressure on your stomach, your abdominal muscles will improve in its structure.
3. The daily performance will increase the level of your stamina.
4. Warrior pose II is best known for alleviating the back pains, by improving the condition of the spine and the attached muscles.
5. Flat feet is another condition, which can be improved by this yoga pose.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF DOING YOGA?
Though yoga can be quite helpful, there are certain restrictions, or certain side effects, which you should know beforehand.
- Incorrect yoga posture can lead to ankle sprains, especially in poses where you have to stand on your toes.
- Muscle aches or strain in the muscle is very common, especially because every time you cannot make the postures correct.
- For people with knee pain or back pain, doing the complex yoga can be harmful.
Image Credits: Yoga from ZephyrMedia/Shutterstock