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The Right Way to Yoga
A Beginner's Guide.

Almost everyone practices yoga now and then as it has become an extremely popular form of exercise.

However yoga performed without basic knowledge can prove to be harmful rather than beneficial. Wrong breathing technique while doing yoga can cause blackouts and hernias.

The practice of yoga is thousands of years old, with innumerable techniques, breathing maneuvers and asanas. The role of the instructor becomes important while learning yoga. Major determinant of injury in the beginner is the skill and experience of the instructor. Many universities and organizations in India train yoga instructors. Unqualified instructors tend to offer misleading advice to beginners with special needs and health problems. So make sure you learn yoga only with a qualified instructor.

Do warm-up exercises before doing yoga especially in winter. Cold tissues are prone to injury.

Wear the right kind of clothes - loose fitting cottons are best.

Learn to breathe correctly. Breathing right is more important than learning asanas and movements. Maintaining a position with the wrong breathing technique can cause blackout sand hernias. On the other hand, if you are breathing correctly you will find exercises easier to do, you can maintain a position for longer and you can stretch further.

Yoga is not a competitive sport. Do not try to match your instructor or out - do your colleagues. Doing a full movement with bad form or incorrect breathing is dangerous because repetition will increase your risk of injury.

If you suffer from back or spine problems, discuss with your doctor about what exercise and postures you should avoid. Let your doctor be the final judge of what is safe or unsafe exercise for you.

Stop exercise when you develop pain. Avoid that particular posture or movement in future sessions.

Drink lots of water during and after a session. Remember that yoga may make you sweat but it is not a substitute for walking and other aerobic exercise. It is not an aerobic exercise and is poor at burning calories.

The good news is practicing yoga will make you feel better than any form of exercise.
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