These are the common yoga questions that are being asked, especially the novice or beginners, who want to have that basic idea about yoga.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a set of physical, mental and sometimes also spiritual practice. It had its origin from India and even dates back to the one of the earliest civilizations in the world, the Indus valley civilization back in 3000 BCE.
Yoga (/ˈjoʊɡə/; Sanskrit: योग; ISO: Yōga , pronunciation), Sanskrit for “yoking” or “union”, is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox philosophical schools of Hinduism. There are a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and there are four paths or types of yoga: Karma yoga, Kriya yoga, Bhakti yoga, and Jnana yoga. Research studies have shown that traditional yoga systems that include breathing exercises and asanas or postures, chants, and meditation can reduce stress and improve immunity and lung functions. Traditional forms and modern methods of yoga are practiced worldwide. Wikipedia
In one sentence, yoga brings balance to your body through undergoing into the physical exercises to experience meditation.
What kind of yoga is appropriate for a beginner?
There are several forms of yoga currently being used worldwide. However, upon scrutiny of each of them, you can notice that Hatha yoga has all the basic movements used and applied also by other forms, types, or kinds of yoga. Thus, it would necessarily be appropriate to learn this form of yoga first.
How can I know if I am doing my yoga right?
Most of the people nowadays are practicing yoga at the comfort of their homes, especially now that COVID prevention closed all the gyms and imposed a lot of lockdowns. This means that most of the yoga practitioners do not have teachers or coaches in doing yoga.
First and foremost, we must understand that each and every human being are not scientifically identical with each other. Hence, our body might be different from one another.
It would mean that our way of doing the exercise might be a little different, compared amongst others. Yet, it may still be correct.
Consequently, we should find what is appropriate and adaptable for, and to, our own body.
It is also a good way to enroll in online yoga classes so that there may still be an instructor that can check [or you can pattern] if you are doing the position in the correct manner.
One of the signs that we must keep in mind is that: yoga must not make your body hurt. Therefore, if a body part of yours hurt while doing the routine, it might be a warning that you are executing yoga poses too much or performing the yoga form wrongly.
What is the Advantage/Benefit of doing yoga
At the outset, when one embarks on yoga practice, the primary goal is to give its practitioner the peace of mind, to have inner tranquility, and to meditate in the hope of reaching utopia.
It was made by the followers of Hinduism in India and bearing in their mind that this exercise would make them more aware and understand their environment and the society they live in, let alone attaining inner peace.
Awareness and lessening the burden
Even today, that is still being observed. Yoga makes you aware of what is happening in your body and also outside your reach. With this, you grasp what is within your control and what is not.
Therefore, practicing yoga may eventually give you less stress and anxiety over problems that should not really be yours, thus, lessening your burden.
In short, yoga makes you mindful of the things and the situations around you. It gives you peace of mind and teaches you stress management in a whole different way.
With this, yoga can then make you happier and more contented with what you have. Yoga can make you realize that you are happier than before, therefore giving you a great mental health and self-confidence about yourself.
Form of Exercise and Fitness Workout
Aside from these mental and spiritual side, yoga is also a form of exercise. The extreme stretching that yoga makes you do is not a form of torture.
They body executions and movements designed for humans to attain your full and optimal being; it is for your benefit.
More often than not, the “superhuman” poses in yoga executions benefits the yoga practitioners by developing their flexibility they need in the long run.
Aside from this, yoga also gives its practitioners the toned body that they are dreaming for. Due to the stretches that yoga does, it rips the muscles and gives growth to new one, thus would give you a toned body after a few sessions.
Yoga also improves your breathing. Yoga is characterized with doing a long breathing, specifically, long inhales and exhales. This long breathing trains your lungs to breath more slowly, thus, gives you a better pace of breathing.
You can notice this when you do other cardiovascular exercises like running or cycling and you can see for yourself that you can do more laps without getting exhausted.
Yoga also improves your heart health. Is yoga heart-healthy? Yoga being an exercise also gives you the cardio that you need. That long lap of cycling can easily be attained in yoga and still achieving the same heart rate.
After a few sessions, some of the practitioners may notice that they already have attained, and that their muscle strength had already improved after a few weeks. This is one of the first things that a practitioner may get for doing yoga.
What is the recommended frequency of doing yoga?
Most yoga instructors recommended at least once a week for beginners. After a while, when you become more familiar with the routine, you may do it as often as your schedule would allow. Just put in your mind that a quick 10-minute yoga session is better than no yoga session at all.
Always bear in mind that you are doing this for the betterment of yourself and not for anyone else. Necessarily, you should always allot even a miniscule time for developing yourself. Do it whenever you can.
What are the needed equipment for yoga?
One of the most interesting things about yoga is that it is one of the cheapest exercises to learn in terms of equipment. Generally, all you need is just a yoga mat.
You can even do away with the use of a yoga mat. Just find a suitable flooring cushion or any other things to be comfortable when lying down on the floor. Have something that will provide cushion, without buying overly priced yoga mats in the market.
In yoga, what is important is that you perform the required movements of the body. Most of its routine do not use any kind of equipment.
This particular exercise focuses on the removal of any mental problems in you. Hence, if buying expensive yoga equipment gives you more problems even before doing yoga itself, think again.
During these times, most of the practitioners are doing this inside the comfort of their homes due to COVID-19 pandemic, thereby, removing the need for expensive yoga apparels like yoga pants and upper garments.
Most yoga practitioners even do yoga just wearing their casual outfits that give them still the flexibility to do their yoga.
What time do you recommend doing yoga? Morning or Evening?
The final denominator here is your availability. It still boils down to when can you do the exercises as you also have other things to do in your life.
But most yoga practitioners suggests to do yoga in the morning. This is for the fact that, when we sleep, our muscles tend to stiffen.
Thus, doing yoga would relax and would give you a sort of starter, and it will energize you for the day ahead.
We do also recognize that some of our readers are also nocturnal or stays late at night. It may be for the reason of work or something else, and doing yoga can give you the relaxation that you need after a long days’ work.
In short, it is still up to you to when you perform your yoga exercises. You can mix and match according to your schedule the appropriate time that you can do the same.
Do you recommend eating before yoga or after doing yoga?
Experts suggest that it is better to do yoga with an almost empty stomach. It is because food needs to be digested for it to be utilized as energy when you exercise.
Therefore, doing yoga after eating would divert the energy needed for digestion, and may result to indigestion.
Experts recommend eating at least two hours before your yoga session for better digestion. A small snack would be recommended if you are still hungry. It may be a slice of banana, some biscuits, or even a half cup of milk.
I am menstruating, can I still do yoga?
Most women do not engage with yoga exercises when they do have menstruation.
Nonetheless, when you are not part of that demographics, experts recommend not doing any poses such as doing any upside-down postures i.e. headstands and the like.
These poses prevent the normal downward flow of the menstruation. Perforce, it is still upon the person if doing yoga is amenable to her. In short, listen to your body.
Can pregnant women still do yoga?
First and foremost, consult with your doctor if you can still do with your yoga. It is for the reason that you may already be at the late stages of your pregnancy, and it might do more harm to you and your baby, than save you the benefit.
Generally, the first three months of the pregnancy is still a safe period In doing yoga. Nevertheless, this would only apply to long time yoga practitioners.
But if you would only try yoga as a newbie to this discipline, it might not be a good suggestion as your body might not be familiar or be shocked with the movements that you would be doing.
Even if you are a long time yoga practitioner, being pregnant, you still have some movements that you should not do, like twists and core exercises. Hence, a caveat: be careful and listen to your body.