As you now know (if you didn’t know it when you started reading, that is!), yoga is a very interesting and ancient approach of uniting the body and the mind. It has proven health benefits, including emotional and physical improvements.
The chances therefore are, if you’re on the verge of starting a yoga program (perhaps at a local center or you’ve purchased a video or DVD and want to try it at home), you’re excited, optimistic, and anxious to get going!
Yet it’s wise to note that, before going into yoga practice, you should ask yourself some important questions. These questions don’t have a right or wrong answer.
They are merely meant to stimulate your own thoughts and give you the mindset that you need in order to succeed as a student of yoga for the long term.
Here are the basic questions that you should ask before starting any yoga program:
- What are my reasons for starting a yoga program? Are they realistic?
- If my yoga program involves some degree of physical strain, such as certain postures in hatha yoga, have I received medical clearance from a qualified and certified health professional to ensure that I don’t injure myself?
- Are my goals for pursuing a yoga program (or programs) clear and positive? Do I know what I want to achieve?
- Am I prepared to commit the time necessary to really get the most of out of my yoga experience?
- Are there people around me who might negatively try and talk me out (or mock me out) of pursuing this path of personal development? Should I either avoid such people, or ask them to respect what I’m choosing to do?
Please note that these are just basic questions; and this isn’t an exhaustive list. The point here is really that you should be clear and confident about your choice of experiencing yoga.
And remember, please: there are many different kinds of yoga, and many different kinds of yoga instructors. Most of them are great; a handful of them may be well-intentioned, but may lack some of the foundation that they need in order to teach.
Remember always: no yoga instructor that you work with should ever humiliate you, degrade you, insult you, or make you feel inferior.
If you encounter the 1 in a 1000 who has not yet achieved the personal development that he/she needs in order to effectively teach, then remember: there are always other teachers!
The goal here is to make you happy, healthy, and confident. These criteria should be a part of all of your yoga experiences from day one.
For you to enjoy every benefit of your commitment to practicing yoga, please note that consistency and regularity are keys. You can’t go into one session and skip three or four just because you’re sore, had an unexpected engagement, or were too stressed out.
For the body and mind to change, you need to practice yoga consistently. Remove all obstacles, real or imagined and stay committed. Your rewards will be better health, better emotional balance, and a happier, more fulfilled life!