Yoga imposes certain disciplines for a balanced and contented life.
These disciplines have scientific justifications. Unlike superficial, frivolous lifestyles without any do’s or don’ts, the regular practice of yoga helps by cultivating character, good eating, cleansing, proper breathing, ideal sex and relaxation. It is designed to awaken the characteristics of what it means in life to be human.
One should remember that
1. Practising yoga in the wrong manner can aggravate the negatives, rather than developing positive changes in the body and mind.
Therefore it is advised that yoga should not be practised without suitable professional guidance and knowledge. If you’re physically unwell, do not practise yoga.
2. Weak patients are warned against holding their breath (Kumbhaka) during pranayama.
3. People suffering from serious problems like heart trouble, high or low blood pressure or any serious organic disease should also avoid asanas (postures) which may prove dangerous.
4. Practise in the presence of a medical or yoga expert.
5. Sweating during practice.
Do not wipe the body with a towel, but rub the body with the palms.
6. Avoid strenuous physical exercises like gymnastics, weightlifting, jogging, tennis, swimming etc. after asanas and prayama. Allow at least 20 minutes after yoga before other exercise.
The sequence of yogic practices; Kriyas, Asanas, Pranayama, Chittashuddhi and Yoga Nidra should be maintained.
7. In attaining peace of mind, yoga should be practised in a quiet, secluded place, where fresh air envelops you for fresh breathing of the mind.
8. It is recommended that you either practise early in the morning, or in early evening on a relatively empty stomach.
You are allowed the flexibility of practising yoga four hours after a heavy meal and 20 minutes after a glass of juice or a cup of skimmed milk. After practice, meals after half-an-hour is optional.
9. Avoid tea, coffee, smoking, alcohol, zarda, pan masala, sweets, fried food and spices as they activate chemical toxins, which are harmful and lead to stress and illness.
10. Your diet should include raw food, salad and fruits.
Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday, irrespective of yogic practice. It helps in cleaning up the system.
11. A time schedule should be ideal capacity and to make it a regular practice. For instance, Pranayama can be started with a less duration initially and can be later increased gradually depending on one’s capability to concentrate.
12. Initially one may feel stiffness in muscles but it will ease out after regular practice.Physical comfort is as important as mental comfort while practicing yoga. Hence, clean, loose, free-flowing clothes; preferably cotton garments should be worn. In cold climates, a shirt or sweater can be worn. Jewellery and accessories should be avoided and practise with bare-feet to ensure contact with the ground.
13. As the body has to be stretched in all directions, yogic practice has to be done on a clean mat, rug, carpet or a blanket.
14. You should practise Yoga on the ground. Do not practise on sofas and beds.