Asanas can be performed by anybody but care should be taken during practice as it a disciplined synchronization of body, mind, and soul. If not practiced an individual may undergo some illness as rightly said by some experts that Yogi will become Rogi(diseased). The following points should be kept in mind before initiation of practice
Place and time of Practice
- Brahmamhururat (approx. two hours before sunrise) is considered as the best time to practice yogic practice as during this time atmosphere is pure with the maximum level of oxygen concentration in the air and there will be peace all around. Asanas are defined as a combination of a disciplined mind, body, and spiritual involvement that fits in this time perfectly. Before sunrise stomach and intestines also are in the resting phase without any major activities. Apart from this Asanas can be performed at any time but should be avoided after exhausted from work and also just after a meal. Just after meal blood supply is diverted to the abdominal region especially so if Asanas are practiced at that time there will no benefit of it and secondly, it will cause indigestion. The evening can be another suitable time around; two hours of sunset can be a second good time after Sunrise.
- Asanas should be practiced in a very well ventilated, peaceful room that is free from safety issues like furniture or some metallic object that can lead to an injury if fallen from an Asana like Shirshasan. Air from the fan should also be avoided if there is enough air naturally and should always be preferred over fan-generated air. It can be performed outdoor also in a hygienic, pleasant, fresh and pure air and greenery all around like a garden.
Age and Gender
There is no restriction of age or gender, these can be practiced by males or females of any age. Type of Asanas can be chosen for them according to their capacity.
It is good to practice in the first trimester of pregnancy as it increases abdominal muscle strength and provides mood stabilization. After 1st trimester Asanas can be performed only after the consultancy of a doctor or Yoga expert. During practicing session abdominal pressure is raised so some time may cause some serious consequences. Some selected asanas can be performed in the late phase also but excessive strain should be avoided in any condition.
Breathing plays a major role during the practice of asanas, it should be always with the nostrils, and breathing from the mouth should be avoided unless there is a specific instruction from a Yoga tutor or in a part of particular Asanas. Breathing in, out and its retention should always be in a rhythm and fully regulated according to Asana. The involvement of the respiratory system is a mandatory activity in Asanas as it the primary source of energy which decides the duration and capacity of the performance.
Side of focusing
Generally, some Asanas are performed in the left or right movement of the body part. Right-handed people find it easier to perform on right side. Later on, if there are regular practice and perfection then it should be more stressed over the left side of the body as it provides a much better outcome then on the right side and will promote positive change in body
Diet and Bowel
- There is no clearly defined diet for Asanas but natural food should always be preferred in a moderate quantity. The number of meals should be according to the demand of the body and should be in quantity like that half of the stomach should be filled with food, one-fourth part for liquid a done fourth part should be kept empty. Overeating should always be avoided. Eat that amount which is necessary to live, live not only to eat.
- Bladder and bowel should be empty during practicing Asanas; whole body parts should be relaxed before practice. If bowel habit is not regular then drinking of two glass of water, salty water intake, or other measures can be taken to make it regular, use of laxatives should always be avoided. Once it is established then after some time body reflux will be maintained for always.
Asanas should always be performed in a particular order to avoid the overstraining of a particular part of the body. Some minor exercises are always advised prior to the initiation of Asana by some of Yoda tutors. As it is part of Ashtanga yoga so it is prescribed to do after the completion of Shatkarma and will be later followed by Pranayama.
Bathing and Clothing
Always try to take a bath with cold water and wear loose, light, soft, and comfortable cloth. Remove the other accessories like jewelry, wristwatch, or specs prior to Asanas.
Asanas are performed to create harmony between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of an individual. Initially, Asanas are performed at the physical level because at that time they only deal with the movement of a particular body part but they have a definite impact over every level of being. Awareness is concern about observing all the changes felt in the body, its movement, breath, all the thoughts that strike the, all the energy which is felt. This ability to judge the bodily effect and its awareness are necessary to receive the benefits from practices.
A person who is suffering from chronic spinal problems, abdominal conditions like hernia, any cardiac disease, and any other medical condition like a fractured bone which will otherwise lead to a serious condition. Better to consult a doctor or Yoga tutor prior to initiation of Asanas is a major or chronic illness history is there.
Ending the session of Asanas
If a person feels any excessive muscle strain or sprain in the body or severe pain anywhere it is better to end the session of Asanas and if necessary, should consult a doctor.
Babu Nath on September 21, 2020: