International Yoga Day 2019: A beginners guide to yoga

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Yoga is for all; it can be practiced by any individual regardless of their age. It is the only health regimen with no side effects when performed correctly under the guidance of a good tutor. This welcoming quality of yoga draws people towards it. However, there are a few steps everyone must take before they begin their practice.

*Always visit a physician or a doctor to get a thorough diagnosis of your body. Knowing what ails the body will help you understand how your yoga practice must be designed.

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*Meet and get to know your yoga teacher; choose a guide you are comfortable with. In return, let them know if you have any health issues that require special attention so they may be better equipped to give you the best experience

*Start slow. In the beginning, we are not too familiar with the movements, capabilities and limits of our bodies. Take time to understand your body and practice mindfully. The body may not be used to various postures, twists and movements, and hence, the asanas must be practiced slowly in order to develop the necessary muscle strength. Once you become a regular practitioner, the postures will be a natural reflection of your body, so always remain committed to your practice.

*Begin your practice with meditation for self-awareness and clarity. This will ensure that your session goes smoothly and you enjoy every minute of your practice. It will also help you give 100 per cent to your practice.

Here are a few basic, introductory asanas, pranayama and meditation techniques for beginners of the yoga practice, as suggested by grandmaster Akshar

*Remain seated in a comfortable posture with your eyes closed.

*Imagine a point of focus outside your heart chakra, in front of your chest.

*Create a similar point of focus within your chest.

*Inhale for 6 counts from the point of focus outside your body to the focal point within your body.

*Retain this breath for 6 seconds.

*Now remove that breath from the point of focus inside your body by exhaling for 6 seconds.

*Then hold your breath and repeat the same process once again.

These age old techniques help bring a wave of freshness to your day-to-day living, and must be practiced on a regular basis. Their immense benefits can help you lead a life of great health and positivity.

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