Yoga training: how and where to practice and the tools to have
To start practicing yoga , the ideal is to enroll in a course to learn how to perform the positions correctly (asanas) . But if you do not have time to take a collective yoga course, a good solution is to practice yoga at home . There are many books and yoga classes online but also Youtube videos that can help you get started in the business.
In addition, there are many advantages to practicing yoga at home , such as the possibility to choose the time of practice or to work on yoga positions at your own pace.
But is yoga training for everyone at home? What are the sine qua non conditions to be able to train well?
Why start yoga
Yoga helps to relieve stress, focusing on your breathing and listening to your feelings. Yoga is a very complete discipline suitable for everyone: men, women, children and elderly people. Just don’t try to overcome yourself at the beginning and give yourself a gentle start, practicing it according to your abilities and goals.
The yoga is a gentle exercise that works deep : works on all the muscles, tones and stretches the muscles.
Moreover, yoga is a discipline that excites and does not get bored because there are so many positions and many different types of yoga.
Questions to ask yourself before you start doing yoga
If you have never practiced , the advice is to inform you or even better to try some lessons: what do you intend to do on your yoga mat?
The first question to ask is: what do I need?
If you aim to lose a few pounds and tone up , the advice is to watch some videos of ashtanga yoga or vinyasa, types of yoga where fast sequences follow one another.
Instead, if you want to relax and start a meditation course , you should watch hatha yoga videos.
If you do not have a specific goal but intend to start yoga anyway, choose a style that inspires you.
The more you practice, the more you will feel what your body and mind need . You can even take some private yoga classes at home to get off on the right foot.
How to prepare yourself for your yoga sessions at home
Whatever your level , the practice must be constant and aware. Do not be discouraged if you are unable to perform all positions immediately. It is only with the practice that you will improve. For example, if you can’t make a position one day, forget it and try again tomorrow. Sometimes, a little tiredness or nervousness does not favor the execution of an asana.
Allow yourself at least half an hour a day during which you will not be disturbed. The concentration in training yoga is critical to perform to the best positions and techniques. Most lessons last between 60 and 90 minutes, but if you start practicing regularly, even 30 minutes are good. The important thing is to stay focused and centered on yourself. In a short time, you will be able to extend the duration and intensity of the sessions .
The best times to work out are in the morning when you wake up or in the evening before dinner but you can choose a different time. The important thing is that it is not immediately after a meal, so as not to interfere with digestion.
Turn off your cell phone and spread out your yoga mat. You can put on some sweet music if you feel the need to isolate yourself and relax. The advice is to prepare a 30 or 60 minute “special yoga” playlist.
Finally, remember that breathing is an integral part of yoga . It is essential to inhale and exhale deeply during all the sequences.
Yoga at home: recommendations
Always listen to your body and vulnerable areas such as:
If you feel any pain, try to correct the position or stop it. You must never force.
Before starting to practice yoga at home, it is advisable to pay a visit to your doctor who will tell you if your joints, your muscles and your circulation are in the best condition to face positions.
Organize your space
The practice of yoga at home must be a privileged moment to find yourself and refocus yourself, a way to get away from the stress of everyday life.
So to practice, you need to provide a space that allows you to be quiet, a room large enough to lie down, stand up, make sure you have enough space to perform both standing postures and ground postures.
Yoga and nutrition
Body care is a very important aspect of yoga practice . As a result, eating healthy is essential for maximum benefit. A simple rule is the invitation to moderation.
Limit the quantities and portions so as not to slow down digestion. Prefer light and nutritious foods such as:
cooked and raw vegetables
fish and meat: 2 or 3 times a week.
Yoga mat: mandatory both at home and in a yoga center
The yoga mat is the ultimate accessory if you want to practice yoga. It is the number 1 tool on which you will do warm-up , asana and meditation. Whether you decide to do it in a yoga center or at home, whether you choose hatha yoga or bikram or prenatal yoga, you must have a mat.
At the beginning, you can use the school ones but if you practice regularly the advice is to invest in this accessory for several reasons:
you will be more comfortable on your personal carpet. The thickness of the foam rubber you need is specific to your morphology
it’s more hygienic!
As a rule, the yoga mat is rectangular and measures 1.80 m, but you can also find XL models (200 cm), has a width of 70 cm and a thickness of about 3-5 mm.
Factors to consider before buying the yoga mat.
Thickness : the thicker the rug is, the more comfortable it is
Weight : evaluate the weight of the rug especially if you go to a yoga center
Material : carpets made of PVC are generally the ones that adhere better and are also the cheapest ones. Otherwise you can find yoga mats in Thermo Polymer Expanded (TPE) that are totally free of latex and are very resistant and hypoallergenic and are obviously more expensive. Ecological carpets in natural rubber are very fashionable lately, they absorb sweat well and are light
Price: it is an important criterion. There is a real business on this yoga accessory and prices can range from 10 to 100 euros.
Yoga: clothes and accessories useful for practicing
How to dress for your yoga session
Depending on the type of yoga you practice, you have to dress differently. If you practice a gentle yoga , it’s fine to choose loose-fitting clothes, such as jogging pants and a wide shirt with long sleeves.
If instead, you think of doing a dynamic yoga , wear leggings to be comfortable in your postures. It must have a high waist so that it supports the belly well, the center of your emotions, while above you can wear a cotton vest.
Accessories for your yoga practice at home
There are many models, with a great variety of shapes, sizes and colors and manufactured with different materials.
Your height plays an important role in choosing the pillow. The higher you are, the more thickness you need . A zafu (round shape pillow) is about 15 cm and is perfect for those who are tall or have problems with their knees.
Before buying it, take into consideration the height, the material, the fabric, the padding (some are stuffed with spelled and / or buckwheat) and obviously the price is very variable (on average between 20 and 50 euros)
Color is not fundamental and has its meaning because the basic colors influence the energy of each :
The yoga brick is a useful accessory that can help you complete and maintain your position. It also helps you keep your body aligned in the most complex positions. Finally it is a cheap accessory, the cost is around 10 euros.
Yoga training at home: how to proceed
Breathing to relax body and mind
Before starting to perform asanas, it is very important to relax the body and the mind.
Pranayama breathing is based on rhythmic breathing control to achieve relaxation of body and mind. Furthermore, it helps to lower the heart rate.
Prana means breathing and Ayama control , therefore: rhythmic control of breathing.
You choose the best position to practice 5 minutes of breathing. You can decide to:
stand in the mountain location (Tadasana)
sitting in a half lotus position (Ardha padmasana)
lay on your back in the corpse position (Savasana or Shavasana)
Lying on the mat, feel the progressive relaxation of your body, remain still without doing anything. Don’t fall asleep but listen to your breath.
With your eyes closed, perform a conscious breathing , feeling the breath that circulates, expands, fills you and gives you a sense of peace and well-being. Breathing ensures that every cell in the body has the necessary oxygen and cleans the body of carbon dioxide.
Complete the breath sequence, in a sitting position, with neck rotations to develop spinal column mobility and to tone the neck muscles.
As in all sports, warming up also in yoga is essential .
If you have been practicing yoga for some time, the advice is to perform the sun salutation 2/3 times. If, on the other hand, you have never done yoga, the advice is to choose 2 or 3 simple postures to prepare the body for effort. Here are 3 standing yoga positions to perform as a warm up.
Conclude each training session with Savasana (body position). This serves to promote total relaxation of the body and mind.
How to make Savasana
Relax on your back, with your eyes closed, your chin slightly lower, your back resting well on the mat.
Keep your arms along your body with your palms facing upwards.
Start by bringing your awareness to the present, try to put all thoughts aside. Focus your attention on what you are doing at that moment.
Put your hands on your stomach. Inhale and feel your belly expand slightly. Expire: the abdomen goes inward.
Benefits : this sequence promotes relaxation of body and mind. It is useful for lowering the respiratory rate.
How to choose and build your yoga sequence
The choice of asanas is made according to one’s level. If you are a beginner, the advice is to start with the positions on the ground and then gradually integrate them with the standing positions.
Choose 3 simple postures, which you can perform without difficulty.
Then, add 3 more complex and trained positions to your program by repeating them without getting hurt. Alternate the simpler postures to the more complex ones, taking breaks of Savasana every few minutes.
Over the weeks, add new postures as you progress. If you can, every now and then give yourself a lesson with the teacher to evaluate and perfect your practice, or get some videos or watch tutorials in order to understand the technique well.
Yoga at home: contraindications
Practicing yoga at home is not for everyone.
If you belong to one of these vulnerable categories, it is best to start with a private teacher or take group lessons:
you never played sports in your life
you are old
you have physical problems
For example, if you suffer from back pain, some positions are not recommended and therefore it is better, at first, to do yoga under the guidance of a teacher.