Once you have decided to practice yoga for better living and spiritual health, you need to take care of the following points so as to prevent injuries to your physical self:
• Physical condition of the individual: usually, it is recommended that people with normal health do yoga practice. But if you are suffering from some physical problems and are using yoga to cure it, you need to follow certain precautions since performing yoga practices without proper precautions may lead to harmful effects on the body. This is because the internal organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys etc. are involved and may get harmed if you do not practice yoga properly. Hence it is recommended that you follow the yoga techniques under expert guidance.
• Right advice: it is important for you to get the proper instructor to teach you the yoga techniques. Usually, people who choose the profession of a yoga teacher do not understand the scientific basis behind the yoga practice and just impose their opinions and likes and dislikes on the students. They bring an element of mystery, charge exorbitant fees and introduce rites and rituals which are not a part of yoga.
• Age and sex: yoga can be practiced by anybody irrespective of age and sex. However it is important to note that certain yoga techniques should not be followed under certain circumstances. Women, who are pregnant or menstruating, should avoid the poses which lay a great stress on the abdomen. Children below eight years should not practice any yogic technique but yogic breathing should be introduced only after twelve years. Very young and old should avoid the poses with the intense twists. After a certain age, avoid strenuous practice but you can practice pranayam, dhyana and simple postures.
• Place and surroundings: The place for yoga should be well protected from, animals, rodents and insects. If you choose the indoor room, keep it well lit and it should be airy. If you choose the outdoors, the surroundings should be quiet. But avoid the outdoors if it is cold, rainy or very hot.
The ground chosen should be plain and flat.
• Time: Morning is the ideal time for practice since it incorporates regularity, but evening time can also be chosen since the body is already warmed up. Your stomach should not be completely full. So if you have had a meal, you can perform yoga after five hours.
• Diet: Take simple and nutritious diet. Do not overeat. Keep chillies and spices to the minimum. It is not important to be vegetarians but do not eat more than your body’s requirements.
• Interval: it is advisable to be regular but if for some reason like a lot of work in office or sickness or any other reason you need to skip a day or two, it is fine. But once the reason is over, go back to your original routine. Avoid taking long and frequent gaps.
• Clothing: Choose light and loose fitting clothes. If you live in a hot climate, you can opt for the sleeveless shirt or a vest. However, in temperate climate, your clothing should offer protection against the cold weather but at the same time, they should not hinder your movements.
• The seat: Always perform the yoga practice on a mat or a carpet but never on an uncovered floor.
• The order of different techniques: When you are combining different techniques like surya namaskar, weight training etc. with yoga, keep a rest period of fifteen minutes between the two. Within the yoga practice, start off by postural techniques, followed by breathing techniques and the techniques of mental concentration in the mentioned order.