Practice Yoga for Excellent Health

Yoga originated more than five thousand years ago in India, where it was seen as a complete mental and physical training to help one reach spiritual enlightenment. In recent years yoga has become extremely popular. There are many different types of yoga, and regardless of your age and fitness level, there is a type of yoga you will enjoy, whether it is a gentle exercise or a fast-paced, aerobic, sweat-filled workout. Yoga combines physical exercise and positions with breathing techniques and meditation. It can sharpen your mind and improve your emotional outlook.

In a yoga class, you are led through different poses, called asanas, and guided as to how to breathe throughout each series of poses. Don’t be intimidated if ht eposes look difficult or if you don’t think you are flexible enough to do them; with regular practice, your strength and flexibility will improve.

Here’s some general advice if you are interested in practicing yoga:

• Start in a beginners’ class, even if you are fit, because you will learn the basic yoga concepts and poses and proper alignment. What you learn from those beginning classes will carry you through your years of doing yoga and prevent you from getting injured.
• Find an instructor that adjusts your pose rather than just barks orders at the class. However, if the yoga teacher adjusts you in a position that feels unnatural and hurts, tell him or her to stop: you are in charge of your own body and you know its limits.
• Do not compare yourself to others in the class and force yourself beyond what you are capable of achieving. Be patient with yourself, because your body will loosen up over time. Remember that all great journeys begin at the beginning!

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