As a middle aged woman, I’ve been practicing Yoga for over three years already. When doing yoga for the first time, it’s a good idea to head down to the local bookstore and pick up a book on basic postures and poses. You’ll get a good feel for what’s required of your body and what it will entail to fully immerse yourself in the practice of yoga. Ideally, the book should be divided into stages for beginner, intermediate, and expert practitioners.
You can also go down to the local gym and see if they’re offering any free yoga classes. This is a great opportunity to practice some basic postures because the classes are usually for beginners. You can also network with other yoga people and perhaps learn from them or find a buddy that can help you with your poses one-on-one. Many of the exercises require a partner to help you with it.
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different elements of yoga before you delve into the exercises themselves. Yoga is a complex discipline that doesn’t just consist of simple exercises. There is moral discipline, self-discipline, postures, breath control, sensory withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and transcendence. Each of these has corresponding names in the native language. There are sub-divisions of each area of yogic discipline as well.
There are also several different branches of yoga, and each offers specific benefits to the person doing them. It is a good idea to investigate each form before you dive into one and devote yourself to it. There is Ananda yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Integral yoga, Iyengar yoga, Kripaluoga, Kundalini yoga, Sivananda yoga, Viniyoga, Yoga College of India, Choudhury yoga, and Bikram yoga.
There are standing postures, seated postures, prone postures, and supine postures. Some people have preferences for one or another. Each will stretch a different part of your body and help you concentrate on different things that are important to your mental and physical wellbeing. These are not just different muscular stretches. Each will have a specifically different effect on all aspects of your emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical health. There are reclining postures, forward bends, back bends, side bends, twists, inverted postures, and balancing postures. It may make your muscles relax just thinking about them.
When, where, how, and what to practice are guidelines that will instruct your daily progress in yoga as your progress to yogic master. Learning when to stop and go can only be done with the help of a licensed professional.