General Guidelines for Yoga Practice

A Yoga practitioner should follow the guiding principles given below while performing Yogic practices:
BEFORE THE PRACTICE 
  • Śauca  means  cleanliness  -  an  important  prerequisite  for Yogic  practice.  It  includes  cleanliness of surroundings, body and mind. 
  • Yogic  practice  should  be  performed  in  a  calm  and  quiet atmosphere with a relaxed body and mind. 
  • Yogic practice  should  be  done  on  an  empty  stomach or  light stomach.  Consume  small  amount  of  honey  in  lukewarm water if you feel weak. ·Bladder  and  bowels  should  be  empty  before  starting  Yogic practices. 
  • A mattress,  Yoga  mat,  durrie  or  folded  blanket  should  be used for the practice. 
  • Light  and  comfortable  cotton  clothes  are  preferred  to facilitate easy movement of the body. 
  • Yoga should not be performed in state of exhaustion, illness, in  a  hurry or in acute stress conditions. 
  • In case  of  chronic  disease/  pain/  cardiac  problems,  a physician  or  a  Yoga  therapist  should  be  consulted  prior  to performing Yogic practices. ·Yoga  experts  should  be  consulted  before  doing  Yogic practices during pregnancy and menstruation.
DURING THE PRACTICE 
  • Practice sessions should start with a prayer or invocation as it creates a conducive environment to relax the mind.·Yogic practices shall be performed slowly, in a relaxed manner, with awareness of the body and breath. 
  • Do not hold the breath unless it is specially mentioned to do so during the practice.
  • Breathing should be always through the nostrils unless instructed otherwise.·Do not hold body tightly, or jerk the body at any point of time. 
  • Perform the practices according to your own capacity.
  • It takes some time to get good results, so persistent and regular practice is very essential. 
  • There are contra-indications/ limitations for each Yoga practice and such contra-indications should always be kept in mind.
  • Yoga session should end with meditation/ deep silence / Śhānti paṭha.
AFTER PRACTICE:
  • Bath may be taken only after 20-30 minutes of practice.
  • Food may be consumed only after 20-30 minutes of practice. 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT :
A few dietary guidelines can ensure that the body and mind are flexible and well-prepared for practice. A vegetarian diet is usually recommended, and for a person over 30 years, two meals a day should suffice, except in cases of illness or very high physical activity or labour. 

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