Getting Started With Yoga

In today's stressful world, yoga is quickly becoming the top choice for help with stress management, relief of physical stiffness and chronic pain, for learning the art of relaxation and as a general

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In today's stressful world, yoga is quickly becoming the top choice for help with stress management, relief of physical stiffness and chronic pain, for learning the art of relaxation and as a general search for more balance and purpose in our lives. A lot to ask, but thank God (or Krishna) a 5,000 year history backs it up.

There are many types of yoga you can study, but the American attraction is for Hatha, the physical expression. Hatha yoga considers the body to be a vessel that holds our physical, mentaland spiritual energy. When any one of these is out of balance, we can feel sick, stressed or unfulfilled. So on the yoga mat we can gently stretch tight muscles, use the breath to quiet our busy and demanding minds and draw awareness inward to our spirit, where it's peaceful.

Starting in the right yoga class is important. For a beginner, a class of mixed levels can be discouraging and possibly dangerous. If you've never done yoga before (or not much), you should try to find a class called Basics or New Beginners. It's an introduction course that teaches the fundamental postures and breathing techniques that all the other poses are then built upon.

In these classes, most of the students will be brand new to yoga and instructions will be step-by-step, slow and clear. You'll learn to listen to your body, find your edge and work safely there. It prepares you for a comfortable transition into ongoing Basics and other levels.

And always remember: Go at your own pace and honor your body.



DIANE UTASKI WILL ANSWER YOGA QUESTIONS in future columns; send questions to [email protected]. Find more info at www.cincyoga.com.

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