Yoga is different than other exercises in that breathing is the most important component of the activity. In fact, how you breathe separates the practice of yoga from other types of exercise. Each posture in the exercise is connected to an inhalation and exhalation. As a result, moving and breathing set the pace for the practice. Deep breathing is necessary as it helps you move more completely into each pose. The long full inhales and exhales also oxygenate and energise the system.
How to Get Started
If you are a beginner then, you need to inhale through the nose. Fill the stomach, upper chest, and ribs with air so they expand in front of you. Following by exhaling through the nose, then tuck in your belly button while the air is released.
What You Will Need
To get started with a yoga routine, you need to have the following items on hand:
- A yoga mat – A mat is used as a barrier between the practitioner and the floor, and prevents the feet and hands from slipping.
- A blanket – A blanket is used for padding to make each pose more comfortable. Select a cover that is made from a nubby textured material, which folds readily.
- Blocks – Blocks help novices practice yoga in Swanbourne, and experience poses they may not be able to otherwise do. If you cannot touch your toes, for instance, you can use a block to cover the distance between the hands and feet. You can also try to touch the toes, but only going as far as you are able. With time, you will develop the needed flexibility.
- A strap – Straps can support a stretch or bridge gap for a pose, just the same as blocks. If you cannot keep your feet together, for example, wrap a strap around them to do a pose.
- Comfortable clothing – Wear clothes that moves with you so you do not have to constantly adjust the apparel. Lycra and cotton tops and bottoms cling to the body, but are comfortable.
Preparing for Yoga – Two Types of Warm-ups
In order to gain flexibility for yoga activities, you need to warm up. One way you can do so is by practicing a neck roll. A neck roll is typically used for both warming up and stretching the neck. When you practice this warm-up, sit up in a cross-legged pose, then inhale. As you exhale, slowly tilt the head to the right, feeling the stretch in your neck. Take three deep inhalations while you hold the stretch. Bring the head back to the starting position and do the same thing on the opposite side. Repeat the warm-up three times per side.
Practice a Shoulder Roll
Another yoga warm-up is the shoulder roll. This particular exercise opens up the back and chest. When practicing this warm-up, hold your arms out to the sides and place the fingers on the shoulders. Inhale while bringing the elbows forward. Then lift them upwards. Exhale when returning to the beginning position. Do the same in the other direction. Repeat the movement three times.
If you are a beginner in the practice of yoga, the above information can answer some basic questions and get you started down a path of well-being that is both challenging and satisfying at the same time.