Yoga for Beginners

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More than six million Americans practice one of the many variations of yoga on a more or less regular basis. In addition, there are millions of yoga devotees worldwide. Yoga originated somewhere in India about 5000 years ago, but only reached Europe and America about 100 years ago. And even younger is the modern yoga boom that began in the USA – essentially triggered by the successful TV series by Richard Hittleman – in the 1960s. This series was followed by the also very successful yoga shows by Lilias Folan (which are still shown in the United States). This was also the time when TM (Transcendental Meditation) – a special yoga variant – became very popular thanks to the Beatles. This variation of yoga attracted hundreds of thousands of people in search of stress relief and a more meaningful life.

Yoga owes its current popularity to stars like Jane Fonda, Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Keaton or basketball player Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Hollywood, which is always very quick to react to new trends, has developed a successful TV series: Dharma and Greg, with Dharma being a refreshingly inventive young yoga teacher. Yoga is a very comprehensive philosophical doctrine, within which many variants have emerged. Before any journey through the unknown terrain, you should study the map thoroughly, thus, before you experiment with yoga, you should thoroughly inform yourself about what it is and how it works. By doing this, you will make yoga a fun and safe experience for you. Today, yoga is a term that really everyone knows, however, the fact that everyone knows the term yoga, does not mean that everyone knows its true meaning. Even among people who actively practice yoga, there are still many misconceptions. This  article aims to clarify the ambiguity and explains what yoga really is and what it can do for your happiness and health. It also aims to show you that yoga, with all its different variations and methods, can actually offer something to everyone. No matter how old, how heavy, how agile you are or what denomination you belong to, you can practice yoga and benefit from it because although it originated in ancient India, yoga is universal.

If someone tells you that yoga is just this or just that, you should take this with a great deal of skepticism. Yoga is simply too all-encompassing to reduce it to anything specific. Yoga is perhaps best compared to a skyscraper with many floors and lots of rooms on each floor. Here is a breakdown of what it is not:

✓ Yoga is not only a form of gymnastics.

✓ Yoga is not just a fitness workout.

✓ Yoga is not only a way to control weight.

✓ Yoga is not only a method for stress relief.

✓ Yoga is not only meditation.

✓ Yoga is not just a breathing technique.

✓ Yoga is not only a method of health care and improvement.

✓ Yoga is not only a spiritual tradition from India.

To make a long story short: Each of the points above belongs to yoga but the great thing is that yoga is much more at the same time which is expected from a tradition that is more than 5000 years old. Yoga has exercises that resemble gymnastics and these exercises can help you get or stay fit and slim, control your weight and relieve stress. Yoga also offers a wide range of meditation practices, including breathing exercises to strengthen your lungs, relax your nervous system and get a boost of pleasant energy for your head and body. What’s more, you can use yoga as a means of preventive health care which  is a method that has proven its worth both in rehabilitation and as a health-maintenance measure. Yoga is also gaining increasing acceptance in conventional medicine. It is being recommended by more and more doctors to their patients not only as a stress-relieving activity but also as a safe and healthy exercise and physiotherapeutic therapy (particularly for knee joint and back pain). Od course yoga is more than just a method for health care or rehabilitation. For yoga, health is an aspect that must be considered from a holistic perspective, which recently has also been used by advanced medicine. This point of view acknowledges that mental health, or psychological attitude, has a significant impact on physical health.

The Meaning of the Word Yoga

The word yoga has its origins in Sanskrit which is a language used by the Brahmans, the traditional religious elite of India. It can be translated to into English as “union” or “integration”. As a result, the yoga system is also referred to as an integrative or unitive discipline. Yoga seeks unification on several levels. First of all, it aims to unite the body and mind. Too often, people separate mind and body. Some people are constantly “beside themselves.” They feel as though they are floating above their bodies like ghosts and cannot feel their feet or the ground beneath them. They are unable to deal with the normal pressures of daily life and break down under stress. Most of the time, they are also confused and do not understand their own feelings. They are afraid of life and are very vulnerable. Many people suffer from a milder form of this syndrome, but it also makes it very difficult to cope with life consciously and energetically. Because they are not fully at rest in their bodies and have a tendency to shut themselves off from the world. They unconsciously take refuge in daydreams and avoid all the challenges of life instead of facing them energetically. With the help of yoga, these people can reunite their minds and emotions with their bodies. The result is a fulfilled life that they can enjoy again. The second problem that yoga can help with is the separation between rational thought and emotions. Too often, people shut off their emotions, do not express their true feelings, and try to justify these feelings rationally. If this condition becomes chronic, it can develop into a serious health hazard. Sometimes the people in question are not even aware that they are suppressing their feelings, usually anger or resentment. In this case, the anger will “eat them up” from the inside.

Here are some reasons why yoga can help with these problems:

✓ Yoga can help you to recognize your true feelings and provides a balanced emotional life.

✓ Yoga can help to remove the inner separation between emotions and mind and thereby let you become a “whole” person. In other words: Yoga can help you understand and acknowledge yourself as the person you really are. You no longer have to pretend anything and reduce your life to a certain role.

✓ Yoga can help improve your ability to interact with other people. In other words, you will be able to better approach and communicate with other people. Yoga can help you interact more effectively with others, i.e. through yoga you become aware that you are not an island, but part of a greater whole. People atrophy in isolation. Even the most independent person needs contact with others. Once mind and body are reunited, contact with others also becomes the most natural thing in the world. The overarching moral tenets of yoga encourage you to establish connections with everyone and everything.

The Eight Schools of Yoga

If you look at the tradition of yoga in an overview, you will be able to recognize a dozen main branches of development, each of which is divided into different subdivisions. It is best to think of yoga as a tree with eight branches, each with its own character, but each belonging to the same tree. You are sure to find a path that fits your personality, way of life, and goals among the many options. This article focuses on Hatha Yoga, the most common form of yoga. At the same time, we avoid the mistake of reducing the yoga variant to a means of mere physical exercise. We will therefore also discuss the meditative and spiritual aspects.

Here are the eight main schools of yoga in alphabetical order:

Bhakti Yoga: The Yoga of General Devotion

Guru Yoga: The Yoga of Devotion to a Teacher

Hatha Yoga: The Yoga of Body Discipline

Jnana Yoga: The Yoga of Wisdom

Karma Yoga: The Yoga of Transcending Action

Mantra Yoga: The Yoga of Healing Sound

Raja Yoga: The Royal Yoga

Tantra Yoga: The Yoga of Steadiness

These eight variants are briefly described in below.

Bhakti Yoga

The followers of bhakti yoga believe that a higher being governs their lives and attempt to connect or even merge completely with that higher being through certain signs of devotion. Bhakti yoga includes practices such as flower offerings, chanting of praises, and intense mental engagement with the higher being.

Guru Yoga

In guru yoga, the teacher is the center of spiritual practice. A guru should have experienced enlightenment or at least be close to it. Guru yoga requires that the student honor the teacher and focus his meditative practices on him until he merges with him. Since a guru is assumed to be the absolute truth, it is assumed that with this merging, his spiritual realization is duplicated in the student.

Hatha Yoga

All yoga schools pursue the same ultimate goal: enlightenment. However, Hatha Yoga achieves this objective through the body rather than the mind or emotions. Followers of hatha yoga believe that the higher levels of concentration, meditation and ecstasy can be achieved only with a completely healthy and purified body. Hatha yoga is the style that attributes the greatest importance to Asanas as the entire physical system, both external and internal, must be kept constantly in tune. Such is the purpose of Yoga exercises or asanas. These asanas, also called postures, consist of a systematic stretching of the muscles and not of a contraction. Their effects are muscular toning, the elimination of tension and the facilitation of excellent circulation, digestion and assimilation. It is worth noting that Hatha yoga is the most popular style of yoga in the West.

Jnana Yoga

The philosophy of non-dualism is what is mainly taught in Jnana yoga. According to this teaching, reality is singular, and the perception of countless different phenomena is based on a fundamental misunderstanding. What about the chair or the sofa you are sitting on right now? Are these things not real? What about the light hitting your retina? Is it all imagination? The masters of Jnana Yoga answer these questions as follows: All these things are real at the present level of consciousness, but as individual things they ultimately possess no reality. In the state of enlightenment, all things merge into one another as you yourself become one with the immortal spirit.

Karma Yoga

Karma means “action” in Sanskrit. It symbolizes both activity as a whole and the occult actions of fate in particular. According to the principles of yoga, every action of the body, every word and every thought has visible and invisible consequences. Occasionally, fate’s hidden effects are far more significant than the obvious reactions. Do not think of karma as blind fate. You have free choice in all actions. The goal of karma yoga is to act in such a way that you are no longer bound by karma. The followers of karma yoga strive not only to avoid bad (black) karma, but also to go beyond good (white) karma and reach a state where there is no karma at all. According to the teachings of this school of yoga, any kind of karma keeps the student in a state of non-enlightenment, where ultimate freedom and bliss are not possible. The followers of karma yoga try to influence fate positively. The most important principle of this direction is to act selflessly regardless of affection and love. The followers of this variant of yoga believe that all actions, words and thoughts have far-reaching consequences, for which we must take full responsibility.

Mantra Yoga

Mantra yoga, the yoga of healing sound, uses sounds to calm the body and focus the mind. This variation works with mantras, which can consist of a single syllable, a word, or an entire phrase. Traditionally, followers of Mantra Yoga receive their mantra from their teacher in connection with a formal initiation. They are asked to keep it a secret and repeat it as often as possible. Many Western yoga teachers do not consider initiation necessary and feel that any kind of sound can be used. A random word can be picked, i.e. love.

Raja Yoga

Classical Yoga is another name for the Raja Yoga, which literally translates to “Royal Yoga”. If you spend long enough among yoga devotees, you will eventually hear about the eightfold path codified in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Ashtanga yoga, or the eight-legged yoga, is another name for this type of yoga. You can see the eight limbs of this method of yoga, which is said to lead to enlightenment or perfect freedom, in the following list:

Jama: Moral discipline that postulates the following virtues: Do not hurt anyone, do not lie. do not steal, live chastely, and do not be greedy.

Niyama: achieving self-mastery through the five practices of purity. Satisfaction, sobriety, contemplation, and commitment to a higher ideal.

Asana: A position that serves two purposes: meditation and health.

Pranayama: Controlled breathing that strengthens and balances psychosomatic energy, increasing health and mental concentration.

Pratyahara: Ceasing senses and internalizing consciousness in order to prepare the mind for the numerous meditation stages.

Dharana: Concentration or extended mental focus – the basis of yogic meditation.

Dhyana: Meditation – the most important exercise for advanced yoga devotees.

Samadhi: Ecstasy or the experience of internalized consciousness in which you become inwardly one with the object of contemplation.

Tantra Toga

The most confusing and misunderstood form of yoga is probably Tantra Yoga. Tantra yoga is frequently mistaken for “spiritualized” sex in both the West and India. However, despite the fact that some schools of tantra yoga practice sexual rituals, the number of practitioners who incorporate them into their daily routines are not more than a few. Tantra yoga is in fact a strictly spiritual discipline that includes complex rituals and detailed visualization of deities. These deities are invoked to assist in the yogic process of contemplation. Tantra Yoga is also called Kundalini Yoga. This name, which means “the coiled one”, is a reference to the secret “snake power” that is to be activated by Tantra Yoga. This phrase refers to the latent spiritual energy that resides dormant within the human body. If you want to know more about this variation of yoga, we recommend reading the autobiography of Gopi Krishna.

Now that you have gained an overview of the different yoga variations, you will probably ask yourself the following question: Where do I go from here? To make a better decision, you can focus on the traditional model of the three main qualities which are called gunas in Sanskrit. According to the principles of yoga, everything (except the ultimate superconscious reality itself) consists of three gunas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

✓ Sattva is the principle of clarity.

✓ Rajas is the principle of dynamics.

✓ Tamas is the principle of inertia.

These three principles or forces occur in an unlimited number of combinations in the material and spiritual worlds. Some things are dominated by tamas, some by rajas, and others by sattva. The ultimate goal of yoga is to reinforce the principle of clarity in all our actions, thoughts and feelings. As long as you live, you will never fully achieve sattva, but you can train your mind to overcome the limitations of rajas and tamas. Once you have freed your mind from the negative influence of tamas and rajas, it is like a polished mirror that reflects the light of the spirit or higher consciousness. Numerous modifications have been made to yoga since its introduction to the Western world in the late 19th century from its Indian homeland. Today, yoga is essentially applied as follows:

✓As a means of physical exercise and health care.

✓As a body-oriented therapy

✓As a lifestyle

✓As a spiritual discipline

So let’s take a closer look at the individual points.

Yoga as Fitness Training

Utilizing yoga as fitness training is probably the first and most common reason for practicing yoga in the West. However, yoga as a fitness program is also probably the most radical transformation of the traditional form. To be more specific, it is a reinterpretation of traditional Hatha Yoga. Yoga as a form of fitness training focuses primarily on the body and aims to improve physical flexibility and strength. The majority of beginners to yoga learn about this great tradition in this way. Fitness training can be considered as a good introduction to yoga. However, some people are later surprised to discover that Hatha Yoga also includes mental exercises that are supposed to lead to enlightenment. Yoga teachers have always stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy body but they have also always looked beyond the physical aspects and focused their attention on the mind and other important aspects of life.

Yoga as a Form of Therapy

In yoga as a form of therapy, yogic techniques are used as a means of healing or restoring full physical and mental function. Several Western yoga instructors have recently begun using yoga exercises for therapeutic purposes. Although the concept of yoga therapy’s is quite old, it is being named this way is relatively recent. In fact, yoga therapy has created an entirely new profession that requires more training and knowledge on the part of the teacher than traditional yoga. Traditional yoga is actually not suitable for people with infirmities or diseases that require special medical therapy. Yoga therapy takes into account just this special situation. For example, this form of therapy can bring relief to certain ailments such as chronic back pain, asthma or rheumatism. Now that the effectiveness of yoga therapy has also been recognized in the Western world, various insurance companies have included this form of therapy in their coverage. Other companies will undoubtedly follow sooner or later.

Yoga as a Lifestyle

Yoga’s primary focus is on living a healthy lifestyle. Even if you only practice yoga for a few hours each day, it’s better than not practicing at all. After all, you can benefit from yoga even if you only think of it as a fitness program. However, you will only realize its true potential if you consider yoga as a part of your life. That means you have to live yoga and practice it every day – in the form of physical or mental exercises. Above all, it means that you transfer the wisdom of yoga to your everyday life and consciously experience this everyday life. Yoga teaches a whole lot about how you should eat, sleep, work and interact with other people. Yoga is, so to speak, a total system for a conscious and meaningful life. Don’t think that practicing lifestyle yoga requires you to be a yoga master. You can start today. Just make some changes to your daily routine, and always keep your goals clearly in mind. When you feel ready, stretch your yoga practice a little further – one step at a time.

Yoga as a Spiritual Discipline

Yoga as a way of life aspires for a balanced, mindful living. Yoga, considered as a spiritual discipline, also takes care of this, but also pursues the traditional goal of enlightenment – that is, the discovery of the spiritual being.  Spiritual refers to spirit: your very being. In yoga, this being is called Atman or Purusha. According to traditional yoga philosophy, the mind is the same for all people. It has no form, it is immortal, it is above consciousness and possesses absolute bliss -it is transcendent; because it goes beyond physical and mental boundaries and it is one and the same for all things and beings. A yoga devotee can discover this spirit at when he or she achieves enlightenment through the practice of yoga.

Strengthening Yourself With Yoga

External help such as doctors, therapists, and medications can help us with major crises, but the responsibility for our health and contentment lies entirely with ourselves. In particular, the source of lasting satisfaction lies within ourselves. Yoga reminds us of this truth and helps us to mobilize the inner forces that enable us to live a responsible and meaningful life. What is health? The majority of individuals will respond as follows: It is the opposite of sickness. However, health is more than just being disease-free. Actually it is possible to describe health as wholeness. Being healthy means not only having a functioning body and a healthy mind, but also being vibrant with vitality and connected to the social and physical environment. And being healthy also means being happy and content. Since life is constant movement, you cannot think of health as a static state either. Your health is subject to constant change during the course of life. Even if you cut your finger, this balance will be disturbed. Your body uses all of its biochemical resources to heal itself in response to the cut. Regular yoga can create the optimal conditions for the self-healing. You achieve a certain foundation with yoga with an improved immune system that helps you stay healthy longer and heals diseases faster.

Healinging Yourself With Yoga

Like any good doctor, yoga takes into account the deeper causes of diseases. These hidden causes can very often be found in the mind or in the way the person lives. For this reason, many yoga masters also recommend self-analysis. Most people are rather passive about health matters. They wait until something goes wrong before seeking help from a doctor or a pill for solving the problem. Yoga inspires you to take responsibility for your own health and wellness. Health control has nothing to do with self-diagnosis and self-treatment, both of which can be very dangerous. It is simply responsible for your health. Any doctor will tell you that healing is promoted when the patient actively participates in the process. For example, you could take all kinds of medications to treat a stomach ulcer, but if you don’t learn to eat right, get enough sleep, and avoid stress, you will relapse sooner or later. In other words, you need to adjust your lifestyle. Yoga is a good tool if you know how to use it properly. You could buy the latest and most powerful computer, but if you only use it as a writing tool, it will never be more than a typewriter. Yoga works the same way: the benefit you get from yoga depends on what you put into it. Don’t be biased! Let yourself be surprised by what yoga can offer you. Do not be content with this or that aspect. Even after decades of studying yoga, it is possible to discover new sides of it.

Realizing Your Potential With Yoga

Do not put limits on your potential and development opportunities. In 1865, Richard Webster ran the mile in a time of 4 minutes and 36.5 seconds. In 1993, Noureddine Morcelli needed only 3:44:39 minutes for this distance. At the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, Ellery Clark cleared 1.81 meters in the high jump. A hundred years later, Charles Austin improved the record to 2.38 meters at the Atlanta Olympics. The same is true for other sports. You may never become a world-class athlete. But you are in principle capable of achieving all that the great yoga masters have accomplished. We all have the same human potential. The extent to which you exploit and realize this potential depends on how determined you are and whether you succeed in tapping into your inherent power and wisdom. Yoga is indeed a training of the mind – but not exclusively. Yoga also includes the body which is considered a great treasure. Yoga asks you to take care of the body with the help of sensible nutrition and physical exercises, as well as rest and sleep. At the same time, however, yoga suggests that you are not only body, but also mind, and not only spirit, but also an even greater being that transcends body and mind. Ashrita Furman, one of the students of yoga master Sri Chinmoy, stands as the holder of the most world records in the Guinness Book of Records. In 1997, 39 year old Ed Kelley who is also a Chinmoy disciple, completed an ultramarathon covering a distance of 3100 miles in 47 days, 15 hours, 19 minutes and 56 seconds. Such feats are possible only in tandem with a healthy mind. And the mind has been the playground of yoga masters for centuries. At the Menninger Foundation in Topeka (USA) in 1970, now deceased Swami Rama  demonstrated that he could mentally control the function of his heart muscle. He also demonstrated very extensive control over his brain waves. He was able to generate theta waves, which normally occur only in dreamless deep sleep. And yet, afterwards, he was able to remember the events that took place in the laboratory during this experiment better than the technicians and experimenters. Other yoga masters have also amazed doctors and psychologists with similar feats.

Harmonizing Your Life With Yoga

Everything in you must run harmoniously in order to function properly. A disorganized mind will disturb itself, and this will eventually lead to physical issues as well. An unbalanced body can very easily upset your emotions and thought processes. If your relationships with others are strained, you not only burden them, but also yourself. If your relationship with the environment is not harmonious, this also has serious effects on all the other people around you. A simple yoga exercise called “tree” can bring you back into balance and provide inner peace. Even when external conditions force a tree to grow crooked, it maintains its balance by simply growing a branch on the opposite side. You learn to stand perfectly balanced like a tree in this position.  You can apply this principle to your life with the help of yoga. Your inner strength and mental harmony will serve as counterweights whenever the demands and constraints of life force you to bend to one side. You will rise above all adversities and can never be uprooted.

Before Starting

Before you start yoga, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and then ask yourself: What do I actually expect from yoga? If you spend a few minutes on the following topics, you will surely be able to answer this question.

✓ Do I want to try hatha yoga just because it’s fashionable right now?

✓ Am I looking for a way to relieve tension?

✓ Am I mainly interested in physical fitness?

✓ Do I just want to become more physically agile?

✓ Am I fascinated by the possibilities of meditation?

✓ Am I interested in the spiritual aspects of yoga?

✓ Do I want to relieve physical ailments with yoga (back problems, high blood pressure, etc.)?

After you are clear about your motivation and expectations, it is best to write them down. Write down all your goals so you can focus on your individual needs. For example, imagine you want to be able to handle stress better;  this is your goal. To be able to achieve this goal, you need to consider your personal situation. If you are a busy mother and have at most half an hour of quiet time in the evening on weekdays (and maybe even a whole hour on weekends), you obviously need to make your yoga program fairly simple. Have your health checked before you start yoga (or any other fitness program). Consult your doctor if you suffer from chronic diseases. Also, if you have high blood pressure, heart problems. Arthritis or chronic back pain, you may benefit from yoga. In more serious cases, work with an experienced yoga therapist to design exercises that are right for you and monitor your progress.

Most people are fully aware of how quickly time passes in the 24 hours they have each day. But if you take a closer look, you’ll find that not everything you do is really necessary. You will probably also notice that in the quiet minutes you let the opportunity pass unused to recharge yourself or to tap into your inner sources of energy. However, since you have chosen to read this article and are reading these lines right now, chances are that you will have enough time to practice yoga regularly. All those who think they can’t practice yoga because it requires physical agility or is otherwise too strenuous should think about the following fact: you can be stiff as a board and still practice yoga, because the point of yogic exercises is precisely to become agile. Don’t compare yourself with the yogis on the photos in yoga books. There are usually only yoga experts in top shape pictured.

Some Common Yoga Myths:

mythYoga is only for people with rubber bones.

Yoga is suitable for everyone and can be tailored to all needs. You don’t have to be able to knot yourself like a pretzel.

Yoga is only for Asians.

Despite its Indian origins, yoga is widely practiced worldwide. Many of the exercises have also since been adapted to Western conditions and needs.

Yoga consists of lot of mindless exercises.

The prejudice that Yoga is a kind of gymnastics is wrong. The physical exercises are only a part of the overall package and are anything but mindless, but require a high degree of mental concentration.

Yoga is for weaklings.

Yoga basically stands for caution and slowness. However, some advanced exercises require a high level of strength and energy. Many athletes supplement their training program with Yoga sessions.

Yoga is not suitable for strength training.

The muscles of the chest, back, abdomen, arms, and legs can be strengthened in a variety of ways with many yoga exercises. Take a look at some advanced yogis. You will be amazed at their muscles.

For Yoga you need a guru.

The advice of an experienced Yoga teacher can be helpful, but you really only need a guru if you want to experience Yoga as a spiritual system.

For Yoga you have to believe in strange ideas.

Yoga is based on universal principles to which many other holistic living systems are also committed. With Yoga, you have to find out at the beginning if these principles are something for you. The philosophical principles of Yoga have been developed over many millennia. You can find them useful or not – it’s up to you. But you don’t have to believe in strange ideas.

Yoga is not for people over 50.

Yoga is suitable for people of all ages. Some people only discover Yoga for themselves at the ripe old age of 70 or 80. It is never too late or too early for Yoga.

Yoga offers only a handful of exercises.

Yoga has a huge repertoire of exercises. New variations are constantly being developed by the various Yoga teachers to expand the exercise system and make it suitable for as \needy people as possible. With Yoga you can not only improve your flexibility and general fitness, but also combat stress. Because of its healing effects, Yoga is now also used as a form of therapy by many doctors around the world.

You can practice one mat per month and expect good results.

As with all other exercise systems, you can only get out of Yoga what you put into it. Regular daily practice brings the best results. Even just a few minutes a day will pay off in the long run.

The Most Important Requirements For Success With Yoga:

✓ Define your goals

Determine beforehand what you want to achieve with yoga (e.g. flexibility. fitness. health and/ or inner peace).

✓ Develop a realistic yoga program

Based on your goals, which should actually be achievable, develop your own program using the suggestions in this article.

✓ Consult your doctor

If you have health problems or are pregnant, you should consult your doctor before beginning your yogic journey of discovery. It is best to consult a medical professional who is positive about yoga and familiar with yogic principles.

✓ Proceed with caution

Do not see yoga as a competitive sport. You don’t have to outdo yourself or others. Discover your mental and physical potential with yoga. Do not overexert yourself during the exercises. Exaggeration only harms. Enjoying the exercises is an important prerequisite for success.

✓ Keep an exercise diary

Write down your experience with yoga. Check your notes to see what progress you have made. Success is the best motivation.

✓ Get support

You are always stronger in a group. Look for a yoga group where the participants can motivate and support each other. But even if you prefer to practice alone at home, you should attend a yoga class every now and then, because you can always get important tips and advice there.

✓ Change your program regularly

Even the best program gets boring over time. Change your exercise routine occasionally so your enthusiasm doesn’t wane.

✓ Educate yourself further

Engage in yoga even more intensively. This further training makes your exercises even more meaningful. Many good books and magazines have been published on the subject of yoga. Take the time to read them!

✓ Don’t get on other people’s nerves with your yoga enthusiasm

Be aware that others – perhaps even your own family – may not share your enthusiasm for yoga. The positive effects on your body and mind are the best advertisement. So let those effects speak for themselves and don’t bore others by talking about nothing but yoga.

✓ Focus on a personal ideal

We all need ideals. While you shouldn’t start worshipping a personal hero now, sometimes it’s helpful to be able to look up to someone who has made it and whose success can motivate you. Always keep your ideal vividly in mind.

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