Rules For Yoga Asanas
Yoga is a physical achievement that requires the observance of certain rules, discipline, self confidence and continuity. The continued practice is a necessity. Before making Yogasana, take necessary precautions . If precautions are not taken, may harm rather than benefit.
- Time: Asana may be done both in the morning and evening. If one cannot do them at both the times, then morning time is better. The mind remains calm in the morning. asana can be done in the morning after performing daily chores, on an empty stomach, or in the evening, 5-6 hours after lunch. If there is a problem of constipation then one should drink water kept in a copper or silver utensil, in the morning, and take a stroll. This helps in clearing the system. If it is a case of severe constipation, one should take Triphala powder with warm water before going to bed.
- Place: A clean, calm and secluded place is the best for performing Asanas. Places like greenery of trees, park, garden, pond or river side are the most suitable places. Adequate amount of oxygen is available in open spaces and near the trees, which is good for health. If Asanas and pranayama are being performed at home, a lamp (diya) or guggulu should be lit to fill the air with aroma.
- Clothes: While doing asanas, clothes should be minimum and comfortable. Males can wear half-pants/shorts and a vest. Ladies can wear salwar, blouse, etc.
- Surface and duration: It is appropriate to spread a soft mat or blanket on the ground. Do not do Asanas directly on the floor/earth. Perform all the Asanas according to your stamina. Complete practice of the asanas takes about one hour, medium practice about 30 minutes and brief practice in about 15 minutes. Every person should preferably do these exercises for at least half an hour, daily.
- Age: Practice should be according to ones own capacity, physical strength, age and with a happy and enthusiastic disposition and full concentration of the mind. Only then can the person achieve the benefits of Yog. Weak and old people should not practice too much of Asanas and pranayam. Children above the age of 10 can do all the exercises. Pregnant ladies should not attempt difficult exercises. They should only undertake deep breathing and pranayam slowly, chanting Gayatri-mantra and other sacred mantras while meditating.
- Stage and precautions: Asanas and pranayama can be done in all situations. They enable healthy people become healthier. Such a person does not fall sick, whereas an unhealthy person will become alright. There are a few Asanas which a sick person should not perform or those who have discharge from ears, who have redness in eyes, who have a weak nervous system and heart, should not perform Sirsasan. Weak hearted people should not perform heavy exercises like full Salabhasana and Dhanurasana. Persons suffering from hernia should not do Asanas that put pressure on the lower part of the body, below the navel. Patients of high blood pressure should not do Sirsasan and women should not perform exercises during the 4-5 days of menstrual period. Those who have pain in the neck and back should not do exercises, which require bending forward.
- Food: Food should be taken at least half an hour after performing of Asanas. Food should be simple. Consumption of fried and spicy food leads to stomach disorder. Consumption of tea once destroys around 50 cells of liver and other delicate glands. You can yourself imagine the harmful effects of tea consumption. Tea is a bitter enemy of health, which deforms the whole body. Tea consumption has an addictive effect, which makes it habit forming. It affects the digestive system causing acidity, gas, constipation and several other problems. Tea and allopathic Ayuvedic Products are the two main factors causing deformation of the liver.
- Inhale-exhale rules: While doing Asanas, it is a common rule to exhale while bending forward and inhale while moving backwards. Breathing should take place through nose only, not through mouth, as the air inhaled through nose gets filtered automatically.
- Sight: Asanas done with eyes closed, help increase concentration of the mind, and thus help in eliminating stress and instability of the mind. Normally Asanas and pranayam can also be performed with eyes kept open.
- Sequence: Some Asanas are performed on one side only. If an Asanas is performed in one direction then it should be repeated in the opposite direction also. In addition, decide the order in which the Asanas should be done so that performing the succeeding asana provides exercise of the muscles and joints in the opposite direction also. For example, one should do Matsyasana after Sarvangasana and Ustrasa after Mandukasana. The beginners will experience pain in the muscles and joints during the first 2-4 days, however they should continue to practice. The pain will subside by itself. Whenever you get up after doing the Asanas in the lying position, you should turn leftwards while getting up. At the end of practice, Savasana should be done for 8-10 minutes so that the body parts are relaxed.
- Rest: Whenever one feels tired while doing asanas, one should perform Savasana Makarasna to provide rest to the body. When tired, one may take rest in between also.
- Guru: Gurupadishtmargen Yogmev sambhayset Yog is accomplished with the grace of the Guruand by following the path shown by him. Therefore, Yog-asanas, pranayam and meditation, etc. should be performed under the supervision of the Guru.
- Yam-Niyam: Yog practitioners must follow the principles of Yam-Niyam with full commitment. Without them nobody can become a Yogi.
- Temperature of the body: If the person is ill or the environmental temperature is high, which rises further while doing the Yog-practice, then inhale through left nostril and exhale through the right nostril repeatedly, to bring the temperature back to normal.
- Cleaning the stomach: If the bowels are not regular or there is a problem of constipation or indigestion, take harad or Triphala etc., before going to bed, for a few days in the beginning. If the bowels are not clear, one may face problems relating to eyes, mouth, head or weakness in the nervous system. Therefore, it is essential to have clear bowels, no constipation and good digestion, sufficient sleep, appropriate food and proper living conditions.
- Difficult Asana: Any person who has fractured his bone(s) any time previously, he/she should never undertake difficult asanas, otherwise the concerned bone(s) may be damaged again at the same place
- Sweating: If one sweats while performing asanas, the sweat should be wiped with a towel. This refreshes the body, makes the skin healthy and prevents germs from entering the body, through the skin. Yog Asanas should be undertaken preferably after a bath. One can take a bath after 15-20 minutes of exercises, when the body temperature becomes normal.