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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.
  • Yoga mat, sheet, 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, 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 the 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 contraindications/ limitations for each Yoga practice and such contraindications should always be kept in mind.
  • Yoga session should end with meditation/ deep silence.

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

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.

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