Yoga is not exclusively meant for the benefits of saints, ascetics and mystics. It, in fact, serves to benefit all and one alike but the accrual of benefits and time take to attain the desired result will depend on sincerity, regularity, patience will to learn and perform. Burning desire to learn is the main driving force behind yoga, besides faith, confidence and tenacity.
It is a complete, dependable and time-tested discipline and to derive optium benefits, following points deserve to be borne in mind.
One should not nurture any ill-will, tension orinimical feeling. Apply yourself fully in the yogic sadhana and practice, forgetting worries and cares. Your mind should be in a happy and peaceful state, while you embark upon performing asanas. Try to overcome what ails you physically and mentally.
Time : Ideal time to perform asanas is the early morning time, preferably before sunset. Attend to the calls of nature and do not take anything before and after the exercises. However, morning time does not suit, asanas can be performed in the evening time also but on the premise that nothing should be taken 3-4 hours prior to performing yogic kriyas. While doing yoga do not exert undue strain on your limbs. Initially, due to lack of practice and rigidity of joints and muscles, it may take a bit longer time but, as the time passes, all such problems would disappear or, at best, show a declining trend for the better. Have patience; do not be cruel to your body as it will require some time to acclimatise and adjust itself to respond to and withstand the demands made on it. It is not wise to change things every now and then, instead stick to time schedule, and be punctual and regular.
Place : Neat, clean, open, fresh environs are the prerequisites for yogic practice. Polluted contaminated and unnatural environs will do more harm than good. If latter is the case, it is better to bid good-bye to such a practice, till such time as you are able to find suitable site and congenial environs. Proper place, light open and fresh air, a soft blanket or durry/mat should always be handy. In winter you may use even a mattress or else a quilt may be used.
Rest : Whenever after doing an asanas, your ever feel tired, at once suspend the asana and give proper rest to your body. Rest is necessary for the tired body and, before you switch on to another asana, there should be reasonable gap.
Bath : Bathing is not merely a ritual, it is also intended to purify the body, by ridding itself of dirt, foul smell and other impurities. Bathing opens pores of the body also, when it is vigorously rubbed with a towel. If bath is taken before yoga postures, it would render the body light and also help on facilitating the process of asana. You can take bath with hot water, even after the asana is over, but a gap of 30 minutes is all the more necessary. Make sure that you towel your body in such a way that there is no moisture on your body.
Dress : The dress used for the asanas should conform to weather conditions but, it must be ensured, that body is not overloaded with too much of clothes as it will create problems while you are performing the asanas. Always wear loose clothes, as tight ones would restrict free movement of limbs. Ladies may use blouse with saree or slacks and men underwears, trousers or half pants for the performance of asanas.
Breakfast : There should ideally be a gap of half an hour between asanas and breakfast. Take only light and easily digestible breakfast. Take only light and easily digestable breakfast which should not be utilised to fill your belly to the full. Avoid taking any cold drink or food immediately after the asana is over. If you wish you may have a glassful of milk.
Sun-Bath : It will add to the benefits derived from asanas but sun-bath should be taken during winter only. It will free your body from toxic effects. Some people bask in the sun after massaging the body and then take bath with hot or luke-warm water. But, in so doing, one must keep a close watch of over one’s physical capacity as to whether the body is fully equipped to bear combined strain of all such disciplines. Do whatever you wish but never time your body or expose it to undue strain and thermic changes.
General : All the asanas are based and named after parts of the body material objects and animals. There are innumerable asanas but, in practice only 84 asanas are said to meet all the disorders to which afflict all persons, in one way or at one time or the other. Asanas are not medicines or toxics, they tend to correct the wrongs done by us. They also awaken our auto-immune mechanism which is adversely affected by various factors. They correct the defective metabolism inducing and fortifying the fighting capacity of our body to derive out the invading forces. They aim at rooting out the cause of the malady which often emanated from disturbance of the mind.