Yoga All-in-One For Dummies
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If you’re the kind of person who likes to exercise on your own, or if you can’t find yoga instructors where you live, you face additional challenges when doing yoga routines because you don’t have an instructor there to provide guidance or encouragement. Here are some tips to help you on your way:

  • Take your time. Nobody gets it right the first time. Take your time to understand what you’re supposed to do in each exercise. Fortunately for you, yoga is an intuitive discipline. Nine times out of ten, you can “feel it” when you’re doing an exercise right. You can feel the muscle groups at work and understand how each exercise is supposed to challenge you.

  • Start with warm-ups. In a yoga class, instructors never neglect the warm-up phase of a workout, but people exercising at home often skip the warm-ups because they want to jump right in. Don’t.

  • Use a mirror. The first few times you do an exercise, do it slowly and watch yourself in the mirror. Try to make your reflection in the mirror look like the exercise photographs in whatever book you’re using.

  • Read the instructions carefully. You are your best teacher and guide. You have wisdom and intelligence within you, and you have to tap your inner resources. In the end, because no instructor can tell you whether you’re doing an exercise correctly, it’s up to you to understand how to do an exercise and get the most out of it. That means reading the instructions and studying the pictures more carefully than you would normally read an exercise book.

  • Record your voice reading the exercises aloud and play back the recording as you exercise. This gives you the illusion that you’re in an exercise class and spares you from having to interrupt an exercise to consult a book.

  • If you’re doing Yoga with weights, practice the exercises without the weights initially. Mastering many of the exercise forms is hard enough without having to lift the weights as well. After you understand how to do an exercise, strap on the ankle weights and grab the hand weights.

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Larry Payne and Georg Feuerstein are the authors of Yoga All-In-One For Dummies, published by Wiley.

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