The health benefits of yoga are no stranger to most of us. Breathing is fundamental in yoga practice and if you master breathing the yoga way, your heart and circulatory system will perform better. Through stretching different body parts, you can also relax tensed muscles and ease those chronic pains in the neck, shoulders and back. But there is a common misconception that yoga is all about stretching. In fact, yoga also increases your muscle strength, boosts athletic performance and reduces the risk of injuries.
Realizing the advantages of yoga, you might want to start practicing it. But if you are a beginner, keep these 7 tips in mind:
- It’s not recommended to eat too much or, adversely, not eating at all for an extended period of time before practicing yoga. When you starve yourself, your blood sugar levels can get too low and you might feel dizzy as a result. When you overeat, on the other hand, the blood flow focuses its attention to the stomach to help with indigestion and reduces blood flow to the brain. The ideal time for yoga is 2 to 3 hours after a meal.
- If you have health issues such as heart disease, high and low blood pressure or blood sugar level, do consult your family doctor and talk to your yoga instructor beforehand.
- Do warm up even if you have a tight schedule. Warming up increases body temperature and blood flow to muscles and reduces the chance of muscle injury.
- Follow your body and don’t compare yourself to others. Every movement should be done in a gradual manner without too much difficulty, and it’s essential that you concentrate on your breathing. You will notice the results over time. Beginners should not practice advanced movements in the hope of slimming down quickly as injuries may be a step quicker.
- End your yoga session with muscle relaxation exercises, such as stretching, to help ease muscle ache and discomfort.
- Before taking a shower after your yoga session, rest for 15-30 minutes to let your body sweat out and cool down. Setting a comfortable water temperature is also important.
- Beginners are suggested to practice yoga every other day or every 3 days, simply because our body and muscles take time to adapt to those movements. Daily practice can be carried out after the adaptation period.
In short, yoga is a training for the body and mind. Beginners are not required to practice with a lot of equipment or gears. Just learn to listen to your body and enjoy the process!