19 February, 2009

A Beginner's Guide to Yoga Postures

By Kim Archer

The first yoga class for a beginner can be overwhelming in terms of the large number of poses that can be performed. However, the poses are learned progressively, with the instructor starting off by naming and explaining each yoga pose one by one while also giving a demonstration.

The benefits that come with the practice of these poses are many, from improved mobility and better health to stress management and an increased awareness of your inner being. Yoga gives great results when practiced on a constant basis, particularly if it brings about body and mind harmony.

Another name for the yoga poses is asanas, and each of them includes both a mental and physical component. Asanas address almost all the body parts, and usually the trainer will indicate where the physical stress lies. For further clarification consider the fact that, depending on the yoga variant practiced, the performance of the asanas varies, particularly since some postures are specific to one school or another.

Besides the physical capacity to perform yoga poses, one also needs to develop balance and an ability to concentrate, since physicality is just one side of the practice, and is completed by the spiritual dimension. Through learning breathing and relaxation techniques you'll come to ignore the difficulty of a posture as well as any distractions in the background. Once you have mastered a yoga pose, it is important to learn to maintain it for a specific period of time.

Instructions for the execution of various yoga poses are available in books, e-guides, on internet sites and magazines. However, the practice of yoga poses without professional guidance and help could turn into a threat to one's physical and spiritual health and could result in injuries. Therefore, do not start yoga practice by word of mo uth, or following directions in books, on the internet or through videos.

Beginners have to be under the direct guidance of a trainer, with the understanding that the beginner stage can often extend way beyond a year of practice. The complexity of the yoga poses will increase with every advance you make on the way, but progress is usually slow as one learns to push the limits of body and mind.

About the Author:
Learn more about the practice of yoga at Simple Yoga Essentials , a guide to simple yoga exercises that will improve your body, mind and spirit.


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