YOGA POSE FOR BEGINNERS


Yoga is the ancient science, originated from India. Yoga. Yoga, an ancient science, aims to bring about functional harmony between body and mind through 3 main practices.

1. Asanas

2. Pranayama

3. Meditation.

One prevalent definition comes from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” compiled before 400 A.D. In the second verse of the first book, yoga is defined as the “cessation of mind wandering.” The sutras also provide an eight-limb system that guides the practitioner to transcend beyond the mind and attain yogic freedom.

The eight - limb system of yoga includes following points ;



  • Yama: Moral Restrictions ( contentedness and truthfulness)

  • Niyama: Moral Practices ( Orderliness and generosity)

  • Asana : Physical Postures

  • Pranayama: Breath Control

  • Pratahayara : Sense withdrawal

  • Dharana: Concentration

  • Dhyana: Meditation

  • Samadhi : Enlightenment

The eight-limb system is an integral and highly regarded part of yoga. Today, we practice asana, the physical postures, the most. These were developed in the early 20th century by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Then, three of his most well-known students further developed particular styles of yoga, each with something different and beneficial to offer.

Many styles that are practised today are developed by the students. The styles that have been developed and are popular are as follows;

  • Ashtang Yoga

  • Iyengar Yoga

  • Viniyoga

  1. TYPES OF YOGA

There are several types of yoga which are practised by individuals globally. Following is the list of yoga which is popular around the globe.


Through different styles of yoga, you’ll notice a common, consistent theme: self-healing. Whichever type you choose to practice, its going to help the body , mind and soul. The massive benefits of Yoga are always appreciated.





2. BENEFITS OF YOGA:

2.1 Stretching: Yoga postures or asanas are effective in maintaining the proper body position as well as help in stretching the tight structures like muscles, fascia etc. Many studies have proven the effect of yoga on providing effective stretching to tight structures in the body. Regular performance of yoga is very beneficial for the same.

2.2 Strengthening : Strength is development of force optimum to perform the movement in any muscle. Regular performance of yoga has been found to be effective in improving the strength of muscles. The different forms of yoga when performed in a proper way are help in improving the strength and endurance of individual.

2.3 Relaxation : Relaxation is very essential aspect of any exercise program. Overall in day to day life, stress and other lifestyle disorders have overpowered health and fitness of a individual. Various poses and pranayam have been shown very god results in relaxing mind and body. Studies have shown that yoga and pranayam and meditation have effect on mainitaining health and fitness and relaxing mind and body.

2.4 Mobility : If one performs yoga on regular basis, it improves the range of motion of joints and mobility of the joints.

2.5 Balance : Performing regular yoga and maintaining the yoga poses helps in improving the balance of the body and ultimately helps in building health and fitness of the individual.


3. PRECAUTIONS:

Yoga is beneficial for all the age groups and most of the conditions, however, it is very important to consider few things before starting the yoga. These points are as follows;

  • Any medical history or any recent trauma or injuries have to considered, There are alternate positions in any form of yoga , but it is always advisable to seek physician check before starting the yoga.

  • Prenatal yoga has gained lot of popularity recently, however, it is important to consult gynaecologist before starting the exercises.

  • Yoga for general health and fitness are famous , but its essential to start yoga for obesity of people who are out of shape with proper supervision and consideration.

  • Medications and any past surgeries, diet also need to be considered before planning the yoga program.

  • Pranayama, Meditation is found to be beneficial in relieving stress, anxiety and other psychological conditions, but the past history to understand the scope and extent of damage is very important.

  • Teenagers and school going children can follow yoga as regular practice but with supervision and considering the growth related changes occuring the body.

4. HOW TO START?

To start with yoga, there are few points that need to be considered;

4.1 Position: Yoga can be performed in sitting, standing , lying position. It depends on the pose and the individual performing the yoga.

4.2 Materials: Yoga is performed over a sticky mat or popularly known as yoga mats which are available in different colors. Various props can also be used if needed. Props like bolsters, blocks, blankets may be used depending upon the type of yoga and purpose for which it is done.

4.3 Time: Yoga can be done at any time of the day, but morning is considered as better time to practice yoga.

4.4 Clothes: It is very important to wear comfortable clothes while performing exercises, especially for yoga, it is necessary to have comfortable loose clothes.

4.5 Food: Yoga should be avoided immediately after having food. Yoga is usually done after having light foodstuff.





5. YOGA POSES FOR BEGINNERS :

There are different types of yoga poses, But to start with, there are few poses which should be started and followed. The poses can then be further progressed to difficult ones. Following are the yoga poses which can be started by individual when planning to start yoga program;


5.1 MOUNTAIN POSE:

Mountain Pose is the base for all standing poses; it gives you a sense of how to ground in to your feet and feel the earth below you. Mountain pose may seem like "simply standing," but there is a ton going on.

How to do it: Start standing with your feet together. Press down through all ten toes as you spread them open. Engage your quadriceps to lift your kneecaps and lift up through the inner thighs. Draw your abdominals in and up as you lift your chest and press the tops of the shoulders down.

Feel your shoulder blades coming towards each other and open your chest; but keep your palms facing inwards towards the body. Imagine a string drawing the crown of the head up to the ceiling and breathe deeply in to the torso. Hold for 5-8 breaths.


5.2 DOWNWARD FACING DOG POSE:

Downward Dog is used in most yoga practices and yoga classes and it stretches and strengthens the entire body. I always say, “a down dog a day keeps the doctor away.”

How to do it: Come on to all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck under your toes and lift your hips up off the floor as you draw them up at back towards your heels.

Keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight, otherwise try and straighten out your legs while keeping your hips back. Walk your hands forward to give yourself more length if you need to.

Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other. Hollow out the abdominals and keep engaging your legs to keep the torso moving back towards the thighs. Hold for 5-8 breaths before dropping back to hands and knees to rest.





5.3 TRIANGLE POSE:


Triangle is a wonderful standing posture to stretch the sides of the waist, open up the lungs, strengthen the legs and tone the entire body.

How to do it: Start standing with your feet one leg's-length apart. Open and stretch your arms to the sides at shoulder height. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left toes in about 45 degrees.

Engage your quadriceps and abdominals as you hinge to the side over your right leg. Place your right hand down on your ankle, shin or knee (or a block if you have one) and lift your left arm up to the ceiling.

Turn your gaze up to the top hand and hold for 5-8 breaths. Lift up to stand and repeat on the opposite side. Tip: I like to imagine I’m stuck between two narrow walls when I’m in triangle pose.


5.4 TREE POSE:


Tree is an awesome standing balance for beginners to work on to gain focus and clarity, and learn to breathe while standing and keeping the body balanced on one foot.

How to do it: Start with your feet together and place your right foot on your inner left upper thigh. Press your hands in prayer and find a spot in front of you that you can hold in a steady gaze.

Hold and breathe for 8-10 breaths then switch sides. Make sure you don’t lean in to the standing leg and keep your abdominals engaged and shoulders relaxed.


5.5 WARRIOR 1 POSE:


Warrior poses are essential for building strength and stamina in a yoga practice. They give us confidence and stretch the hips and thighs while building strength in the entire lower body and core.

Warrior 1 is a gentle backbend; and a great pose for stretching open the front body (quads, hip flexors, psoas) while strengthening the legs, hips, buttocks, core and upper body.

How to do it: For warrior one, you can take a giant step back with your left foot coming towards a lunge, then turn your left heel down and angle your left toes forward 75 degrees.

Lift your chest and press your palms up overhead. Step forward and repeat on the opposite leg.





5.6 WARRIOR 2 POSE:


Warrior 2 is an external hip opener and opens up the inner thighs and groin. It's a good starting point for many side postures including triangle, extended angle and half moon balance.

How to do it: Stand with your feet one leg’s-length apart. Turn your right toes out 90 degrees and your left toes in 45 degrees. Bend your right knee until it is directly over your right ankle while keeping the torso even between the hips.

Stretch your arms out to your sides and gaze over your right hand. Hold for 8-10 breaths before straightening the right leg and turning your feet to the other side to repeat on left side.

5.7 SEATED FORWARD BEND:

It’s important to incorporate a forward bend in yoga practice to stretch the hamstrings, lower and upper back and sides. Seated forward bend is the perfect fold for everyone to start to open up the body and learn to breathe through uncomfortable positions.

If you feel any sharp pain, you need to back off; but if you feel the tension when you fold forward and you can continue to breathe, you will slowly start to loosen up and let go. You can also keep your knees bent in the pose as long as the feet stay flexed and together.

How to do it: Start seated with your legs together, feet firmly flexed and not turning in or out, and your hands by your hips. Lift your chest and start to hinge forward from your waist. Engage your lower abdominals and imagine your belly button moving towards the top of your thighs.

Once you hit your maximum, stop and breathe for 8-10 breaths. Make sure your shoulders, head and neck are all released.





5.8 BRIDGE POSE:



A counter pose to a forward bend is a back bend. Bridge is a good beginner’s back bend that stretches the front body and strengthens the back body.

How to do it: Lie down on your back and place your feet hip width apart. Press firmly on to your feet and lift your butt up off the mat. Interlace your hands together and press the fists down to the floor as you open up your chest even more.

Imagine dragging your heels on the mat towards your shoulders to engage your hamstrings. Hold for 8-10 breaths then lower your hips down and repeat two more times.


5.9 CHILD POSE

Every one needs a good resting pose and Child’s pose is an awesome one not just for beginners but for yoga practitioners of all levels.

It’s good to learn child’s pose to use when you’re fatigued in Down Dog, before bed at night to work out the kinks, or anytime you need a mental break and stress/tension relief.

How to do it: Start on all fours then bring your knees and feet together as you sit your butt back to your heels and stretch your arms forward. Lower your forehead to the floor (or block or pillow or blanket) and let your entire body release. Hold for as long as you wish to.


6. PRANAYAMA:

Pranayama or breathing exercise is an important component of yoga practise.' Prana 'means life and ' Ayama' means control. Regular practise of pranayama bring in major difference in the functioning of body, mind , soul.

Here are some of the basic pranayama practices to start you off in your yoga journey:

6.1 Ujjayi pranayama:

Ujjayi pranayama is most commonly used in Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. An ocean sound is created with this breathing technique by contracting the epiglottis, the leaf-shaped flap of cartilage located behind the tongue at the top of the voice box. This sound aims to anchor the mind during your practice.

Ujjayi technique:

  1. Breath in and out through your nose.

  2. Breathe in for 4 counts and breathe out for 4 counts. Complete 4 rounds of this.

  3. On your fifth breath, slowly breathe in through your mouth, as if you were sipping through a straw but with your mouth closed.

  4. As you breathe out, see if you can slowly exhale, as if you were steaming up a mirror but with your mouth closed.

  5. Continue this breathing all the way through your yoga practice.




6.2 Nadi Shodhanam pranayama:

Nadi Shodhanam refers to alternate nostril breathing to slow down inhalation and the exhalation. This technique balances the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system to cultivate a state of internal tranquility, stability, and peace of mind, while balancing and regulating energy through the left and right side of the body.

Nadi Shodhanam technique:

  1. Find a comfortable seat on the ground or on a chair. You can also be standing still or lying down.

  2. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths in and out through your nose.

  3. Using your thumb on your right hand, close your right nostril.

  4. Inhale through your left nostril for 5 counts, then remove your thumb. Using a different finger on your right hand, close your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril for 5 counts.

  5. Now switch, inhaling through your right nostril for 5 counts and exhaling through your left.

  6. Repeat for 3 to 9 rounds.

6.3 Viloma pranayama

This breathing technique aims to calm the brain and your nervous system. It can be practiced at the start or end of your yoga practice, or on its own.

Viloma technique:

  1. Lie down, or sit comfortably.

  2. Place one hand on your belly and the other hand on your heart.

  3. Close your eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths in and out through your nose.

  4. On your next inhalation, sip in a third of the breath through your lips, like you’re drinking from a straw, into your belly and pause for a moment.

  5. Sip a third more into your side ribs and pause for another moment.

  6. Sip the final third of your breath into your chest.

  7. Exhale slowly through your nose.

  8. Repeat for 3 to 9 rounds.

7. MINDFUL MEDITATION:

Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and is the most popular meditation technique in the West. In Mindful meditationou pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns. This practice combines concentration with awareness. You may find it helpful to focus on an object or your breath while you observe any bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings. This type of meditation is good for people who don’t have a teacher to guide them, as it can be easily practiced alone.




8. How to improve after starting

Repetition and consistency are the keys to moving forward. After you’ve found a style, teacher, and location that works for you, try these tips:

Improvement tips

  • Begin a home practice once you feel comfortable in the foundational yoga poses.

  • Attend local workshops where teachers can break down certain aspects of the yoga practice in more detail.

  • Notice the effects a consistent yoga practice has on you by observing how your body feels, and how interactions and relationships outside of your yoga practice feel.

  • Take note on how you feel during times away from practice. This can help you recognize yoga’s benefits more.

9.What to expect from a yoga class or routine The typical length of a group class is 60, 75, or 90 minutes. The teacher will guide you through breathing and moving your body into the poses. Some teachers may even demonstrate the poses, although larger classes tend to rely on verbal cues. Yoga classes end with several minutes of lying down on your back with your eyes closed in a pose called Savasana. It’s a time to let your body and breathing completely relax. Savasana is an opportunity to feel the physical effects of the practice integrate into your body. After Savasana, the word “namaste” is said by the teacher, and the students repeat. Namaste is a word of gratitude and a gesture of thanking the teacher and students for coming to practice. Always feel free to talk with your teacher after class if you have specific questions about certain poses and how you can make them more accessible for your body. 10. How to improve after starting Repetition and consistency are the keys to moving forward. After you’ve found a style, teacher, and location that works for you, try these tips: Improvement tips

  • Begin at home practice once you feel comfortable in the foundational yoga poses.

  • Attend local workshops where teachers can break down certain aspects of the yoga practice in more detail.

  • Notice the effects a consistent yoga practice has on you by observing how your body feels, and how interactions and relationships outside of your yoga practice feel.

  • Take note on how you feel during times away from practice. This can help you recognize yoga’s benefits more. The positive effects will highlight the value of the practice and serve as motivation to keep returning to your mat.

11. CONCLUSION

Yoga is an ancient science that focuses on making mind, body and soul fit. It improves health and fitness . Yoga also helps in relieving stress and anxiety.

However, it is very essential to practise yoga on a regular basis. It has to start from somewhere, So here is the guide to start regular yoga practise and how to go about the routine. Follow the steps and perform yoga regularly to avoid any health issues.

The yoga poses and other techniques are mentioned for the knowledge. However, it may be important for the individual to start a yoga program under supervision, which may be essential at the moment.



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