Yoga for beginners at home

Yoga (v. योग, IAST: yoga) is a concept in Indian culture that broadly means a combination of various spiritual, mental and physical practices developed in different directions of Hinduism and Buddhism and aimed at controlling the mental and physiological functions of the body in order to achieve an elevated individual spiritual and mental state. In a narrower sense, yoga is one of the six orthodox schools (darshan) of the philosophy of Hinduism.
The main areas of yoga: raja yoga, karma yoga, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga and hatha yoga. In the context of the philosophy of Hinduism, yoga refers to the system of raja yoga as set forth in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and closely related to the fundamental principles of Sankhya. Yoga is discussed in various Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Shiva Samhita and Tantra. The ultimate goal of yoga can be completely different: from improving physical health to achieving moksha. Outside of India, the term "yoga" is often associated only with hatha yoga and its asanas - physical exercises, which does not reflect the spiritual and spiritual aspects of yoga. One who studies and practices yoga is called a yogi or yogi.


The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root yoj or yoj, which has many meanings: “connection”, “unity”, “connection”, “harmony”, “union”, “harness”, “exercise”, “curb”, and etc. It is first encountered in the Rig Veda, the oldest surviving monument of Indian literature, but not in the meaning of yoga practice, but as a designation of harness. The meaning of yoga as a practice of the word yoga is described in the text of the Katha Upanishad in line 11 of the third chapter. The Latin word “religare” has a meaning similar to the word “yoga”, from which, according to one version, the word “religion” came from.


The history of yoga is rooted in ancient times. Several seals found in the Indus Valley and related to the period of Indian civilization (3300-1700 BC) depict figures in meditative or yoga poses. These archaeological finds indicate the possibility that the population of the Harappan civilization practiced one of the ancient forms of yoga or a related ritual. It is believed that yoga evolved from the ascetic practices (tapas) of the Vedic religion, which are mentioned in the early commentaries on the Vedas - the Brahmans (dating from the period from the 10th to the 6th centuries BC). In the Brahmanas, in particular, in the Shatapatha-brahmana, there are ideas of the unity of the mind, body and soul with the Absolute. In the Upanishads, the earliest mention of yoga and meditation can be found in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of the oldest Upanishads dating from scholars from the 10th-9th centuries BC. e. and in the Katha Upanishad.


Yoga for beginners at home

What is the difference between yoga and physical education? What do beginners need to know to do yoga at home?
Yoga classes have their own characteristics. There are a number of nuances that distinguish yoga from other types of training.

  1. Mindfulness. Yoga usually starts with five minutes of meditation. Sit with a straight back as you feel comfortable, you can in Turkish, in the lotus position or on the heels. Close your eyes. Tune in to practice, make a decision the next half hour to devote your attention to your development without being distracted by anything. When thoughts about problems and everyday activities come to you during yoga, calmly promise yourself that you will pay attention to them in half an hour, but now your attention belongs to the training. To train mindfulness, yoga classes are usually combined with meditation. Read also a detailed article on what meditation is and how to learn to meditate from scratch.
  2. Work with breath. The basis of yoga is breath control. When you become aware of your breathing and begin to control it, normal physical training becomes yoga. The breath should be deep and calm. The basis of yogic breathing: full breath and full exhale. Respiratory cycles are measured and equal in time. Beginners in yoga can use the metronome. Download any application with a metronome to your smartphone, set the frequency to 1 second. Choose the appropriate frequency of inspirations and exhalations. For example, inhale by 4 counts, exhale by 6. Exhale is usually longer than inhalation, or exhale is equal to inhalation. Choose the appropriate breathing pattern for yourself so that there are no discomfort or shortness of breath during the performance of the asanas. During training, try not to stray from the originally set rhythm. Respiratory control is an essential part of yoga. Without conscious breathing, asanas will be ordinary exercises without much effect. Even stretching will not improve much. But work with breathing in asanas is a complete psychophysical training. Regardless of whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, improve stretching - learn to control your psyche and body through breathing, and the effectiveness of ordinary physical exercises will increase markedly.
  3.  Relaxation or lack of unnecessary stress. Classical hatha yoga is an alternate finding in various unusual poses called asanas. Each asana lasts 2-3 minutes. From the side it may seem that the practitioner simply holds the pose and that’s all. But in fact, external work is only a small part of yoga training. You already know that a person doing yoga is not just standing, sitting or lying in an asana. At this time, he at least tries to keep his attention on the training, not allowing the mind to go into thoughts of problems and everyday affairs. And plus the practitioner controls his breathing by making equal deep breaths and exhalations.
  4. Now add another element of practice without which yoga will not be yoga. When we are in the asana, we very closely monitor the sensations in the body. What is it for? Our task is to learn to control the tension and relaxation in the body. Our muscles should be tensed exactly as necessary to maintain the position of the body in the asana. All excess dressing needs to be removed, all parts of the body that can relax in the asana should relax. The fact is that we very often hold unnecessary stress due to stress, fears, unpleasant emotions. Over time, this stress becomes chronic and leads to illness and poor posture. By doing yoga, we gradually find such unnecessary tense areas in the body and release the tension. As a result, mental clamps, phobias, insecurity, and depression go away. Thus, yoga improves not only the body, but also the psyche, improves mental health and emotional background.

By combining these four elements of inner work, you will turn ordinary physical postures into yoga asanas and achieve your goals much faster, whether it is losing weight or simply improving your physical condition and health.


5 rules of yoga for beginners, which will increase the effectiveness of classes by 10 times

  1. Exercise on an empty stomach. Yoga masters often say: the effectiveness of an asana depends on how empty your stomach is. And the point here is not only in the physiological component. When the stomach is empty and there is a slight feeling of hunger, sensations intensify, and perception becomes clearer and cleaner. Therefore, in the yoga system it is generally not customary to overeat excessively. But always keeping your stomach in mild hunger is considered an excellent prevention of many diseases.
  2. Better to do yoga in the morning. “The morning of the evening is wiser,” the famous saying goes. Remember how evening passions and thoughts seemed stupid and funny in the morning. In the morning, the mind is calmer. From an energy point of view, the energy of the morning is rising, it is the energy of youth and prosperity. But in the evening the energy goes down, this is the energy of old age and wilting. Therefore, in yoga, one of the main practices is Surya Namaskar, which in Sanskrit means Bow or Salutation to the Sun. Yogis get up early to meet the sun, see how it rises, and absorb the energy of sunrise, novelty, youth and growth.
  3. Never rush to get a result. The two most important principles of yoga: gradualness and regularity. Do one small step a day, as comfortable and safe as possible for the body, but do it regularly, without missing a single day. Only such a path can be called the wise path of yoga. In this regard, yoga can be contrasted with the usual European sport, where each action is aimed at obtaining the maximum result. In yoga, the main principle is action without expecting a result.
  4. In yoga, the mood before practice is important. Yet yoga is not just physical exercise. And doing yoga it is important to go beyond the limits of self, devoting the practice to loved ones, and even to the whole world. Imagine when you become healthier and happier, you can teach other people that. Thus, you will gradually learn to do yoga, not only for your own gain, but for the sake of all mankind. Before doing yoga, it is customary to fold your palms in front of your chest and wish happiness to all living beings three times. This is the surest way to feel happiness yourself.
  5. Transfer the principles of yoga from practicing on the mat to everyday life. In work and communication with people, do not create tension more than what the situation requires, do not fuss in vain. Always wish happiness to every person that you meet along the way. Try not to harm anything living unless absolutely necessary.

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