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the

yoga

beginner’s guide to


INTRODUCING

yoga Yoga is an ancient Indian body of knowledge that dates back more than 500 years ago. The word “Yoga” came from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means “to unite or integrate.” Yoga then is about the union of a person’s own consciousness and the universal consciousness. Ancient Yogis had a belief that in order for man to be in harmony with himself and his environment, he has to integrate the body, the mind, and the spirit. For these three to be integrated, emotion, action, and intelligence must be in balance. The Yogis formulated a way to achieve and maintain this balance and it is done through exercise, breathing, and Meditation - the three main Yoga structures.

Symbols in yoga are very meaningful and represents different practices and ideas. Specifically, there are seven symbols called “Chakras,” which represent different energy centers in our bodies. The Heart Chakra, or the anahata, is a representation of love, balance, and compassion. The location is the chest, and green is the color associated with the symbol. The camel pose is the yoga posture for opening this chakra.


WARM-UP

poses 1 eye training Like any other muscles, the eye muscles also need exercise to be healthy and strong. By moving the eyes in every direction, without turning your head at all, these Five Yoga Eye Exercises will strengthen the eye muscles, help prevent eyestrain, and improve eyesight.

2 neck exercises & shoulder lifts Many people hold tension in their necks and shoulders, leading to stiffness, bad posture, and tension headaches. Yoga practice can ease tension, increase flexibility, and tone the muscles.

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3 shoulder stretches Many people hold tension in their necks and shoulders, leading to stiffness, bad posture, and tension headaches. Yoga practice can ease tension, increase flexibility, and tone the muscles.

4 cat pose The Cat Yoga Pose teaches you to initiate movement from your center and to coordinate your movement and breath. These are two of the most important themes in Yoga practice. Keep in mind that the Cat Pose may not be advisable if you have any chronic or recent back pain or injury.

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standing POSES

1 mountain pose The Mountain Yoga Pose promotes the experience of stillness, strength, relaxed power, and immovable stability associated with mountains. This Yoga posture, and coming back to this stillness after other poses, is one of the ways of becoming acquainted with stillness.

2 triangle pose In Hindu art, the triangle is a potent symbol for the divine principle, and it is frequently found in the yantras and mandalas used for meditation.

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3 crescent moon pose The Crescent Moon Pose stretches and strengthens the arms and legs, increases stamina, improves balance and concentration, and can also relieve backaches. If you are suffering from diarrhea, high blood pressure or neck problems, you should take extra caution practicing this pose.

4 warrior pose I The Warrior Pose I or Virabhadrasana I improves balance and agility and strengthens your legs, back, and arms. It also targets the chest, shoulders, neck, and abdominal area.

5 warrior pose II This posture strengthens your legs, back, shoulders, and arms, building stamina. It opens your hips and chest, and improves balance. It is called the Warrior in reference to the fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva.

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seated POSES

1 easy pose This is one of the classic Meditative Poses and is usually performed after doing the Corpse Pose. The Easy Pose helps in straightening the spine, slowing down metabolism, promoting inner tranquility, and keeping your mind still.

2 spread leg forward pose The Spread Leg Forward Fold is a Yoga Posture which works primarily on the hamstrings and adductors. This energizes the body and promotes inner calmness.

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3 hero pose One of the fundamental seated postures is the Hero Pose. This serves as the initial position for several Asanas. It strengthens the arches of the feet, stretches the ankles, and improves posture. This Yoga Pose is ideal for people who have flat feet.

4 lotus pose The Lotus Yoga Pose is usually done in Meditation. It is a classic seated posture which strengthens your ankles and knees, enhances concentration, and improves flexibility of your legs.

5 seated forward bend Relax your body and mind, stretch your hamstrings, shoulders, and spine, relieve stress, and improve your posture and concentration by practicing the Seated Forward Bend. Learn how to do this properly and achieve maximum results.

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seated POSES

6 child pose The Child Pose is a gentle way of stretching your shoulders, hips, thighs, ankles, and back muscles. It is a relaxation posture which is done to normalize the ciruclation after performing the Headstand and to serve as counterpose after Backbends.

7 ankle rotation Pay attention to your ankles to avoid muscle or tendon strain due to too much training. Perform the Ankle Rotation Exercise and make your ankles more flexible. This is also ideal for people who are suffering from arthritis.

8 wrist bending

9 ankle bending Repeated strain or sprain in the ankles can contribute to the occurrence of Ankle Arthritis. Manage stress and keep your ankles in good condition through therapy, having enough rest, and by doing the Ankle Bending Exercise.

10 hand clenching Hands and wrists are common body parts which are affected by Arthritis, especially Osteoarthritis. Take good care of your hands and joints and always keep them in ‘good working condition’ by performing the Hand Clenching Exercise.

Your wrists can also be affected by arthritis, specifically Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Take good care of your wrists through stretching and bending. Learn how to improve the range of motion of your wrists by doing the Wrist Bending Exercise.

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finishing POSE

corpse pose Even relaxation can bring out the best in yous — but make sure you do it properly. The Corpse Pose or Savasana may look like a simple relaxing pose that is done in between or after an Asana, but this exercise requires a lot of concentration and will develop through continued practice. This exercise, if done correctly, will stimulate blood circulation and will lessen or relieve fatigue, nervousness, asthma, constipation, diabetes, indigestion, and insomnia. It will also improve one’s mental concentration. No Yoga Session is complete without the Corpse Pose. It is the body’s time to process information after a Yoga Exercise, and it is a must that you stay awake during the five to ten minute-duration of this pose.

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breakdown: 1

Rotate your legs in and out, and then let them fall gently out to the sides.

2

Let your arms fall alongside your body, slightly separated from the body, palms facing upwards.

3

Rotate the spine by turning your head from side to side to center it.

4

Then start stretching yourself out, as though someone is pulling your head away from your feet, your shoulders down and away from your neck, your legs down and away from your pelvis.

5

Breathe deeply and slowly from your abdomen.

6

Hold the pose for several minutes. Make your mind still and concentrate on your breath or the body.

7

After doing the pose, bend your knees. Using yourlegs, push yourself onto one side.

8

Push yourself in a sitting position.

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The Beginner's Guide to Yoga  

A short tutorial book

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