What exactly is a yoga training course? You can start practicing yoga with a yoga training course at a yoga studio, or with a yoga DVD, CD, or book for beginners; some people prefer a combination to get started.
History of Yoga
Yoga, a form of spiritual technique from more than 5,000 years ago, was designed to integrate your mind, body, and spirit with the aim of achieving a state of oneness with the universe or spiritual enlightenment. Yoga increased in popularity in the West starting in 1957, when Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India, traveled and taught yoga throughout the United States. Yoga is not a religion, but a practice of exploration and personal inquiry through breathing, meditation, and exercises. There is broad cultural and religious diversity among Yoga practitioners, and yogic philosophy speaks to universal truths from any belief system. It is not necessary to travel to an ashram in India to learn yoga.
There are many different paths of yoga-from Ashtanga Yoga and Yoga Nidra to Hatha Yoga-which emphasize different approaches and techniques, but lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment. What we often refer to as yoga in the West is actually Hatha Yoga. The aim of Hatha Yoga is the union of mind-body-spirit. Modern Hatha Yoga does not the esoteric practices, and focuses primarily on the physical yoga postures.
What You’ll Need to Start Practicing Yoga
All that you need to start practicing yoga are comfortable, loose clothing that aren’t too baggy and a yoga mat with a non-slip surface.
If you have a medical condition, be sure to check with your doctor before practicing yoga. Certain postures should be avoided, or modified, if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, or if you have any injuries to your knees, shoulders, or neck.
Tips for Yoga Beginners
When you are ready to start your yoga training course, remember these basic tips for beginners:
- Do try frequent yoga practice sessions: You should practice yoga between 15 and 90 minutes per day, one to six times per week while you are a beginner. Brief, frequent practices are recommended for beginners in order to learn the yoga positions.
- Do not eat or drink while practicing yoga. Wait at least one hour after eating or drinking before practicing yoga. This will help with your digestion while you practice yoga.
- Do not breathe through your mouth while practicing yoga. Instead, learn how to breathe through your nose and into your belly when holding the yoga postures. Proper breathing will help with your focus and relaxation.
- Do meditate while you practice yoga to center yourself and to bring your focus inside.
- Do not try the most challenging postures when you are a beginner. Instead, use basic poses and simple postures for beginners that look easiest for you such as the seated twist, forward fold, triangle, cobra, and the mountain. Postures for the floor are usually easier than standing postures because they do not require as much strength or balance. As you learn more yoga postures, you can add more challenge by holding postures for longer periods of time and learning more advance postures.
- Do experiment with different positions and alignments to make the yoga postures work for your body.
- Do end with a relaxation pose. Relax your body and rest in this pose and relax your body for five to fifteen minutes. This will leave you feeling refreshed.