INTRODUCTION TO YOGA FOR BEGINNERS.
Yoga is simple and easy; but it takes a lot of work, patience and perseverance. You cannot run. It is a lot better to go slowly. The matter is to improve step by step without any hurry. Yoga encourages calmness and, being in a hurry is the opposite. Nowadays people want everything fast and easy; but nature takes time. No tree grows up in one day. Do not ever forget that. Please read the article: WHAT IS YOGA? (Link at the bottom)
Yoga goes with the flow of nature. The philosophy of yoga is founded in nature and its science too. Asanas are great; but they are not yoga. They are part of yoga. Please read the article: WHAT IS RAJA YOGA OR ASTHANGA YOGA? (Link at the bottom).
This article is to explain some basic tips and asanas for beginners. Let us get into the action!
YOGA TIPS AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE HEART.
There are many easy asanas to start. We do not need to push any student. We do not need to pretend anything. We need, as teachers, patience too.
I suggest reading my article: RELAXATION TECHNIQUES AND TIPS FOR BEGINNERS (Link at the bottom). That article tells you many things needed to start meditation and relaxation practices; but they are useful for yoga too.
If you read properly then you know I gave you some tips to start. Did you get them? Yes! Great!
If you read properly then you know I gave you some tips to start. Did you get them? Yes! Great! These were the tips:
PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, and HUMBLENESS.
Those are the three basic principles for any person who wants to become a yogi. One more: PHILANTHROPY! All yogis should develop the philosophy of the heart: GIVE, GIVE AND GIVE. The yoga path is not for selfish people. The philosophy of the heart develops the Kundalini, brings energy to the chakras, promotes love and non-violence, feeds the virtues of the soul, etc. In short: THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE HEART MAKES US REAL HUMANS!
Developing the heart does not mean becoming a fool. It means to learn how to help and do things for other beings.
One advice regarding asanas: Please take your time, do not rush. If you feel any pain or if you feel something weird then stop.
When bending over do it slowly and when standing up do it slowly too.
Doing yoga properly is totally safe; nevertheless accidents may happen. That is why a teacher is needed to guide you step by step and properly. Each person is different. What is great for some people might not be so good for others. We do not take any responsibility and we encourage you to get proper advice from a physician. The asanas that I will explain are easy; but take any precaution. If you have any pain then refrain from doing yoga and visit your doctor.
Let us talk about some asanas for those people willing to learn the science of yoga.
YOGA ASANAS FOR BEGINNERS:
There are hard yoga asanas and they are good; but the reality is this: You pick up the best for you. We all are different and we can choose what is best for us. Nevertheless, you have to start at some point and you need a guide. Later, when you have learned some asanas then you can choose. My point is simple: Start easy and then grow slowly.
A very important point is: How to stand up when your body is bent? This is a crucial point because you should avoid any injury. So, in order to avoid that I recommend following these simple steps:
1> Hold your ankle
2> Go up just a bit and hold just under the knees.
3> Stand up slowly.
Please watch the picture on the right and stand up this way every time you are bent. Your back will appreciate that. It is convenient to inhale long all the way up.
EASY YOGA ASANAS FOR BEGINNERS.
Stand up with the palms of your hands touching each other (Namaste). You might, if you wish, thanks for all you have: Health, a place to sleep, food, friends, family, etc.
1> Bend down, if possible touch the floor with the tips of the fingers or just bend as much as you can. Try not to bend the knees. Inhale, as long as possible, while you are bending down.
1.1> Exhale, when touching the floor.
2> Stand up following the way explained above. Inhale while standing up.
3> Bend your back moving your hands pointing behind yourself.
4> Exhale and go back to the Namaste position.
5> Repeat step 1 to 4 three, four or five times.
That is it. Simple? Yes. You can do the following set after you finish the set #1
Stand up with the palms of your hands touching each other (Namaste). After that you point the ceiling with both hands being together. Pull your hands up inhaling.
1> Bend to the right side while exhaling. Then go back to the center position (With both hands pointing the ceiling). Inhale while you are moving to the center and pulling your hands up.
2> Bend to the left side while exhaling. Then go back to the center position (With both hands pointing the ceiling). Inhale while you are moving to the center and pulling your hands up.
3> Repeat these steps three or five times.
Easy, right? Yes. Yoga does not need to be hard; especially for beginners.
EASY YOGA ASANAS FOR BEGINNERS: CAT-COW.
Kneel down on Namaste asana (Palms touching each other). Think about how lucky you are to have food or a job or a place where to sleep, etc. it is important to develop gratitude and appreciation. Now practice cat cow asanas.
1> Use your hands and legs to stand up as a cow. Now inhale long, deep and slow. At the same time push your spinal down and lift up your head (Fig. #1). Your tale should be lift up too.
2> Exhale slowly and then curve the spinal pushing it up. Your head goes right between the shoulders.
3> Repeat asanas 1 and 2 of this set.
You can do this at least five times each asana. Usually I count one to ten. Odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, and 9) for the cow asana and even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10) for the cat asana.
ASANAS: PLANK, COBRA AND DOWNWARD-FACING-DOG.
You can pass to the next set Just after the last set. Then you start with the plank asana.
1> The Plank (Fig. #1): Your body straight, your feet and palms will be touching the floor. There are other variants; but this one is ok. Inhale long, deep and slow to get into this position.
2> Now inhale doing the cobra. You push down your buttocks and bring up your chin, as shown on the figure #2.
3> Now exhale slowly doing the downward-facing-dog (Fig. #3). Then exhale again.
4> Repeat this set at least five times.
I think it is important to improve without killing yourself, especially in the beginning. Yoga is not rude and it is not tough.
Remember: Yoga is more than asanas and it can improve your health in many ways; but yoga go even farther than that. It depends on what you want. When teaching I focus on the need of the student. Some want just to have a good body, others health, others a spiritual development, etc. Yoga is so wonderful that it help you to reach your goal.
Having a good teacher of yoga helps a lot. A teacher guides you properly in person and he/she can answer your questions immediately. He/she can advice you in a better way whatever your goal is.