22 Oct Things to consider before and after practicing Asana
Think twice before you act to avoid consequences! This goes for Yoga too.
It’s no secret that Yoga is a blissful and holistic journey for your mind, body, and soul, but there are several things one must consider before practicing Asanas. Every individual has a unique mental & spiritual health; hence no matter how curious or excited you are about learning a new form, one must take precautions. Also, first thing – You must have an open mind before learning anything new! And here are few things you must look into before practicing Asanas:
1. Age: Yoga is for all, period. However, practices may differ depending on your age, especially when it comes to advanced Asanas, there are a few restrictions. Make sure you consult an expert or a Yoga teacher before starting your Yogic routine.
2. Health issues: If you are suffering from a health condition, it is advisable to let your Yoga teacher know beforehand. Also, if you don’t have the proper knowledge about limitations and benefits, we’d recommend that you avoid indulging in self-practice.
3. Clothes: Believe it or not, but a lot of people have questions about what to wear to a Yoga class? The basic idea is to be as comfortable as you can be! Lose and light clothes that’ll help you with movements are deemed perfect for a Yoga class.
4. Loosening exercises: Remember, pre-Asana exercises are a must to loosen up your body. It is advisable to practice Sahaj Bhava Asana (loosening exercises) before practicing Asanas. The movements should be slow, with proper breathing, and shouldn’t be repeated more than three times.
5. Food: An empty stomach is recommended for practicing any kind of Asana. Ensure that there is a gap of 3-4 hours between your meal and your practice. If that doesn’t work for you, remember to do it before any of your meals because your stomach is empty and it is the perfect time to practice the Asanas.
Moving on to the post Asana phase – Here are a few things that you must keep in mind after your practice:
1. Relax: Yes, your body needs it the most post Asanas too! Give it the time to cool and calm down after performing rigorous poses. Relaxation is one of the important parts of practicing Yoga. You need to relax in-between the Asanas too, as well as after the practice.
Try to turn inwards during this little break that you give yourself from the daily hustle-bustle. Understand what you are feeling after practicing a particular pose and learn to let your body relax as and when it feels tired.
2. One step at a time: Yoga is all about taking a retreat from your fast-paced life and slowing down. So naturally, when you are practicing Asanas, there is no need to hurry. Give your body and mind the time to get accustomed to the basics. Remember, a building is only as strong as the foundation is. The process may be slow, but it’s making you stronger – mentally, physically and spiritually.
3. Stretch-it-out: Let us burst the bubble for you – Your body is not going to get super flexible after your first class itself! Flexibility requires time, patience, and consistency. You don’t want to injure yourself in an attempt to jump directly to the advanced Asanas. Feel every stretch, and let your body open up slowly.
4. Talk to your teacher: It is essential to keep your teacher in the loop about how you are feeling. If an Asana made you feel good, let your teacher know. If you are having trouble understanding an Asana? Ask your teacher! If something didn’t go right, inform your teacher. You need to maintain a healthy relationship with them. After all, only a teacher can help you through your doubts and difficulties.
5. Take it easy: Yoga is a beautiful journey, wherein you must experience every moment. You shouldn’t compare your practice to that of someone else’s. Everyone is working at their own sweet time and pace. Find yourself on this journey. Yes, one can do that even while practicing Asanas. You would be surprised how many new things you get to know about yourself, just by practicing Asanas.
To sum it all up, enjoy your practice and the holistic journey. Yoga indeed has the power to transform your life. So let the Asanas do their job and you do yours. Listen to your teacher, practice daily, practice safe and listen to your body.