Our General Practice Guidelines for yoga is a must read if you are new to the practice. We cover all of the do’s and don’ts to having a successful yoga experience.
When not to practice yoga
Please read the contraindications for each posture before doing it. Menstruation, pregnancy, high blood pressure and injuries to the knees, shoulders, and neck are all conditions where certain postures must be avoided and special care must be taken in all postures. If you have any medical condition, you should check with your health care professional before starting a yoga practice.
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Modify the postures for your body
The instructions and pictures of the yoga postures are the “goal,” meaning the direction you are going towards, not where you need to be. Experiment and explore different positions and alignment to make the posture work for your body.
Moderate the level of intensity
You can make your yoga practice as challenging and vigorous as you want. We recommend you start slowly and make sure you understand the alignment of postures. There are three ways to increase the intensity of your practice: one, hold postures for longer and longer periods of time; two, slowly build your practice up to more advanced and challenging postures; three, move quickly between postures. Read our Challenge Yourself article.
How to choose postures
Choose to practice postures that look like you can do them. Postures done on the floor are going to be easier than standing postures, as they do not require as much strength or balance. Also, postures that have longer recommended hold times (in breaths) are going to be easier to do.
Use our yoga posture sequences as a starting point and foundation for your practice sequence.
Duration of practice
Your daily practice should be between 15 to 90 minutes long and done 1-6 times per week, depending on your schedule, goals and ability. Practicing more frequently with shorter practice times will yield greater results that practicing less frequently with longer practice times.
Drinking and eating
It is not advisable to eat or drink right before a yoga practice (especially if you are practicing inversions). Eat no less than 1-3 hours before and drink only small amounts of water before practice, and do not drink during your practice if possible.