What are Yoga Basics?

Yoga basics

If you are new to yoga, you might wish to learn some yoga basics, before embarking on practice. In this article, we reveal useful yoga basics which will help you get a good grounding before you start practicing the poses.


Yoga can be defined as the union of body, mind and inner spirit. The word yoga is a Sanskrit word and it means merger or union. Sage Patanjali from India is said to have founded yoga and is considered as the father of yoga.

Choose a Suitable Teacher
Make sure your teacher is well-qualified and experienced. He/she should not push you too much initially, as you are a beginner. He/she should be adept enough to change the pace and techniques to suit your body requirements.

Evolve Your Own Style
The beauty of yoga is that it can be effective even if you practice the poses well within your limits. So, do not over-stretch yourself, but exert yourself only as much as your body allows you to. To start, choose gentle yoga styles like Viniyoga, Kripalu yoga or Integral yoga. Avoid more strenuous forms like Power yoga, Ashtanga or Bikram yoga.

Warm Up Before You Start
At the beginning of the session, do not immediately go full throttle into the poses. Spend some time in warming up, which will lubricate the joints, promote circulation and enable effortless stretching. Start with simple poses and proceed to the tougher ones. Not warming up adequately can be harmful, so a proper warm-up is essential.

Avoid Certain Poses
Beginners should avoid certain complicated poses like Padmasana, Sirshasana, Sarvangasana and Halasana lest they injure themselves. Inexpert performance of these tough poses can strain your discs and joints, and even cause serious lesions.

Wear Comfortable Clothes
For yoga practice, wear loose, comfortable, cotton clothes that enable you to breathe. A loose, light cotton shirt or t-shirt is recommended. Shorts or exercise pants are also ideal. Women should avoid super-tight leotards, which may cause slip-ups while doing certain poses.

Basic Yoga Routine
Beginners should focus on doing the yoga basics correctly, instead of hurrying to do tough poses in search of quick results. Focus on breathing properly. Inhale through the nose into the abdomen. Yoga benefits are holistic and you can reap a whole lot of mental benefits too. So, start and end your yoga sessions with a brief meditation.

Yoga Poses for Beginners

  • Virasana (Hero Pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
  • Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  • Naukasana (Boat Pose)
  • Balasana (Child Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Five Yoga Basics
Beginners should focus on getting the following five yoga basics right to reap the best benefits from their practice. The five tenets are:

  • Right or proper exercise
  • Right breathing
  • Right relaxation
  • Right diet
  • Meditation and positive thinking

Different types of yoga:

There are different types of Yoga. The important ones are karma yoga, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga and rhaja yoga.

Karma yoga – Giving of oneself without the expectation of any reward is karma yoga.

Jnana yoga – The different illusions of the world are unveiled by the philosophical approach known as Jnana yoga.

Bhakti yoga – The emotional energy is channelized into the spiritual practice.

Rhaja yoga – It mainly covers mind matters and concentration. Hatha yoga which comes under rhaja yoga is a physical practice and covers the various physical exercises practiced by people.

Some benefits to know about yoga:

  • Self awareness and mind control are the spiritual aspects of yoga whereas asanas, kriyas, mudras and pranayama are the physical aspects of yoga.
  • Yoga is very beneficial in the treatment of many diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, digestive disorders, heart problems and many more.
  • Yoga improves the posture of the body. It stimulates the important glands and eliminates the toxic substances from the body.

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