By Robert Elias Najemy
Without doubt one needs to learn yoga from an experienced
teacher. On the other hand, because some attempt to perform
exercises guided only from a book, these general guidelines
might be useful.
1. DO NOT FORCE YOUR BODY under any circumstances. No matter
how many times we say this to people, they just keep on doing
it. They try to push their bodies into the exercises, whether
the body is ready or not. This is a great mistake which does
more harm than you can imagine. Work slowly with your body.
Respect its limits. These limits will gradually extend and you
will gain flexibility if you work regularly and sensitively at
stretching your limits. The body will get the message and the
tension which is preventing you from proceeding will gradually
2. BE REGULAR in you practice. A few times a week is not enough
if you really want to heal, transform or develop your body.
3. DO NOT CONTINUE ANY EXERCISE WHICH CAUSES PAIN. Check with
your doctor or exercise instructor what you should do. Pain is a
message from the body which must be listened to. In some cases
it may simply be the body?s process of changing. In such cases,
you simply need to bear with it and continue (without forcing)
and it will gradually pass. In other cases you may be doing harm
to some part of your body and may have to stop and do some other
preparatory exercises before returning to that one.
4. EXERCISE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH at least three hours after
5. REMOVE ALL JEWELRY AND TIGHT CLOTHING. Let your body be free
of any restrictions. Find some loose, comfortable clothing or
body-hugging dance tights for exercising.
6. BE CONSCIOUS AND CONCENTRATE on what you are doing. Keep your
mind on feeling what is happening in the body and concentrate on
your breath and position. Do not think about other things or
talk to anyone while exercising. If possible, it would be best
if you were alone in the room, without distractions such as
radio or TV, so that you can concentrate. If this is not
possible, just try to concentrate on yourself and ignore what is
going on around you.
7. GIVE IMPORTANCE TO YOUR BREATHING. Each exercise has a
specific way of breathing. This is an extremely important aspect
of the exercise. In many cases, it is even more important than
the physical movements themselves. By conscious of your
breathing and breathe slowly and deeply, according to the
instructions for each exercise. In general (with some
exceptions) we inhale when we stretch upward or backward and
exhale when we bend downward or forward.
8. COMPLETE YOUR EXERCISE SERIES WITH DEEP BREATHING and, if
possible, with DEEP RELAXATION.
9. AVOID EXERCISING AT LEAST THREE MONTHS AFTER SURGERY, unless
you have specific permission from your doctor. Some exercises
should be resumed only 6 months after surgery, unless you have
your doctor?s permission to start earlier. Also, avoid all
exercises at any time when you suspect internal bleeding or an
10. ALLOW YOUR ATTENTION to flow through the body as you become
aware of each muscle and the tension and energy stored there and
allow that energy to flow and the muscle relax.
More Information on Yoga can be obtained by Visiting Holisticonline Yoga Infocenter.