Practicing yoga regularly is very rewarding because of the numerous benefits, such as improvement in posture, flexibility, full-body strength, core control, balance and endurance, enhanced feelings of relaxation, stress reduction, and health management. You become more aware of your body by mindfully incorporating proper breathing with the yoga moves and poses. Most of all, you develop a strong sense of self-discipline that can always be practiced on and off the mat.
The right type of yoga for you
Just like any other fitness program, yoga will always depend on your personal preference, personality, fitness level, current physical condition, goals, and lifestyle. If you want a more challenging yoga practice that can increase your heart rate while improving full-body strength, try Ashtanga, Bikram, Power, or Vinyasa yoga. If you prefer a more relaxing type that focuses more on breathing and flexibility, try Yin, Hatha, or other forms of therapeutic yoga.
If you have any special condition like vertigo or hypertension, or have any injuries on the back, neck, shoulder, knee, or hip, then your yoga practice should be more focused on managing your current condition while preventing further complications. See your doctor to get clearance and recommendations. Look for an experienced and certified private yoga teacher to give you a more personalized yoga experience. If you are physically fit to try different exercises, visit yoga studios near your area, then observe and try various classes and teachers before committing to your new yoga lifestyle.
Things to prepare
Wear comfortable exercise clothing. Prepare your water bottle, towel, non-slip yoga mat, and props like a yoga block and/or strap for modification of poses. Most yoga teachers discourage the students to drink during a class, so drink enough water several minutes before the class starts. However, if there’s a great need to take a sip during class then feel free to do so. Always listen to your body. You can practice yoga on an empty stomach in the morning. But if you prefer to have extra energy, eat a light snack an hour before the session.
Committing to your practice
Always prioritize how your body feels while doing a particular pose. Avoid comparing yourself with others. You cannot just push your body and stretch to the point of pain. Respect the current body type and structure that you have right now. You may also want to try other physical activities like Pilates, strength training, and cardio workouts that can be effectively integrated with your yoga practice. As you become more consistent in your yoga practice, you will notice significant positive improvements in your body, mind, and lifestyle.